The causes of vaginal dryness are many. However, there is still vaginal dryness treatment to help you out of this situation.
Vaginal dryness is a painful symptom that most women may experience at some point in their lifetime. It is mostly a temporary issue and not a major cause for concern.
Vaginal dryness is one of those side effects with many contributing factors. It has been known to be caused by a decrease in hormone levels, breastfeeding, menopause, or other medical conditions.
Although a vaginal moisturizer could go a long way in relieving these symptoms until one identifies the underlying cause. Otherwise, treatment options could be typically dependent on the cause of the symptom.
So just before you ask why you are suddenly dry down there, stay glued and read further!
13 Things That Cause Vaginal Dryness
One or more of these factors contribute to vaginal dryness. So, here are some vaginal dryness causes:
- Smoking cigarettes
- Excessive alcohol
- Allergic reactions
- Using a douche
- Birth control pills
- You’re taking antidepressants
- Asthma medications
- Anti-estrogen medications
- Your monthly period
Stress is one of the causes of vaginal dryness. And speaking of sexual stimulations in individuals, it is more than just a physical response as it connects more to mental health.
When you reach a certain level of stress without plans of taking a break and recouping, it can create a mental block. This makes it difficult to achieve arousal and limits vaginal secretions/wetness.
Stress can also set off different inflammatory activities in the body which could affect the circulation of blood or nervous system transmissions required to achieve vaginal lubrication.
In other words, necessary steps should be taken to avoid much stress to improve one’s overall health especially Sex life.
2. Smoking cigarettes
People who smoke may experience vaginal dryness and this is because smoking affects blood flow to the body tissues and one of which includes the vagina.
So when there is less blood flow in the vagina, it could go a long way to impact your arousal, sexual stimulation, and lubrication. This would also lead to painful sexual intercourse.
3. Excessive alcohol
Generally, alcohol dehydrates the body and the vagina inclusive. When there is less body water, there is less fluid available for lubrication.
Alcohol is also a central nervous system depressant and most times leaves people tipsy and unaware of what they do at some point. This means that when there is no mind-body connection due to high consumption of alcohol, then there wouldn’t be an effective stimulation of the vagina.
This, in turn, leads to its dryness. Thus, excessive intake of alcohol also causes vaginal dryness.
4. Allergic reactions
Some certain beauty products may smell nice enough, but it is advisable to keep them off your vulva.
Highly scented or perfumed products can irritate your vaginal skin and stem sensitivity that brings about dryness. Some of these products include:
- Perfumed detergents used in washing underwear
- Body lotions
- Coloured and scented tissues
But in cases where you experience vaginal dryness after using a new product, it is advised that you discontinue the use of such product.
5. Using a douche
Douching is one of the prevalent causes of vaginal dryness. This practice involves washing the vagina with water or a mixture of fluids to eliminate odor and keep the vagina clean.
Although this practice is not bad, it is important to note that its continuous use can disturb vaginal flora and the bacteria that live in the vagina to help keep it healthy.
6. Birth control pills
Generally, anything that impacts and helps to lower your estrogen level can cause some degree of vaginal dryness. A perfect example of this is the birth control pills that most young women take to encourage family planning.
Note that the extent to which this occurs often may be dependent on the dosage level too. So, imagine abusing it? Or taking more than prescribed by your doctor?
If vaginal dryness persists or starts to take a toll on your thoughts due to the consumption of these pills, then it is advised that you try more natural means of controlling birth or you see a doctor to recommend the (IUD) Copper intrauterine device.
7. You’re taking antidepressants
Antidepressants are not left out from the vaginal dryness causes. Some examples of these antidepressants are Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) and tricyclic antidepressants which can cause some side effects in your sexual life.
These medicines are designed in a way to alter communication between nerve cells and the brain.
While this can be beneficial to mood, it could slow down nerve signals from your vagina to your brain. And as a result, you develop poor vaginal wetness or stimulation.
The sexual effects of antidepressants are highly related to their dose. The higher the dose you take, the more likely you are to have vaginal dryness.
If you do not see the need to quit this medication, you could see your health care provider about lowering your dosage or offering alternative medicine that would impact your sex life.
8. Asthma medications
Asthma medications like ipratropium bromide (Atrovent) and tiotropium bromide (Spiriva) can block the action of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which helps to relax the airways.
While providing dryness to enable healthy breathing, it can also impact the health of the vagina too. Note that these medications are very important for asthma patients.
So, you shouldn’t attempt to stop the dose on your own accord. Instead, you can speak to your doctor on ways to handle the side effects or suggest good lubricants to use against vaginal dryness.
Read more: When is the best time to get engaged
9. Anti-estrogen medications
Since vaginal dryness is often caused by a drop in estrogen levels, taking anti-estrogen medication causes a more noticeable drop.
When estrogen levels drop, one of the effects is that the vagina loses its natural fluid, thins, and becomes less elastic. And when the vagina becomes less elastic, it causes painful sexual activities and difficulties in penetration.
10. Your monthly period
Interestingly, your monthly period causes vaginal dryness. Yes! It does. The menstrual cycle is a delicate one and brings about an imbalanced increase or decrease in estrogen hormones in the body.
Firstly the estrogen level rises monthly to create a thickened tissue in the uterus to support a fertilized egg. And if this egg isn’t fertilized over time, it decreases before you start your period.
Since it turns very low during your menstrual cycle, you are likely to experience a dry vagina.
The use of tampons during your period may also impact this dryness as it is designed to soak up moisture thereby leading to drying out of the vaginal tissues.
Making use of a non-absorbent tampon or sanitary pad can help to retain the normal lubrication level during this period.
Pregnancy affects hormones big time and that is why you see pregnant women demanding unimaginable things within the same time frame.
An example is a decrease in the estrogen level which can cause vaginal dryness and increased irritation. During pregnancy, your libido tends to fluctuate as you wouldn’t always be in a sexual mood because of complications or stress.
So, low Libido causes vaginal dryness.
This happens most especially with lactating mothers. Breastfeeding a newborn suppresses estrogen release.
It even causes many to not see their periods till the first six months after childbirth elapses. So relax, as your body estrogen levels would surely return to normal after your breastfeeding sessions.
Estrogen levels naturally tend to drop when one is at the peak or approaches menopause. Since estrogen is one of the key hormones to vaginal lubrication, you can make use of moisturizers.
This is especially for those nearing menopause to avoid bleeding or skin tearing during sex.
Possible Treatments For Vaginal Dryness
If you’re experiencing vaginal dryness and wondering how best to go about it, there are a variety of vaginal dryness treatment options available.
However, vaginal dryness treatment for these symptoms solely depends on the cause but some common vaginal dryness treatments include:
- Avoid the contact of perfumed soaps or lotions close to the vaginal skin.
- Have your bath at least twice a day.
- Make use of lubricants to provide at least short-term moisture.
- If you are married, have more sex than you’ve ever had and include adequate forplay to stimulate moisture production.
- Washing your vagina and its environment with just warm water.
- Wear more cotton pants to allow your vagina to “breathe.”
- Avoid wearing thongs and clingy synthetic fabrics for a long time as they could worsen vaginal irritation.
- Eat foods that contain phytoestrogens, like soy, nuts, seeds, etc.
- Wear loose pants more often to avoid irritation of the vaginal wall and to ward off heat.
There are also natural oils that serve as vaginal dryness treatment. You could try them out too.
Natural oils like grape seed, olive oil, sweet almond, sunflower, or coconut oil. Another important thing couples should not forget is very long foreplay before having intercourse.
This helps to make you more aroused, thereby increasing your wetness. You can talk to your partner about this and he wouldn’t hesitate to even bond more with you.
Vaginal dryness causes discomfort. As much as it is rarely a serious issue, there are several vaginal dryness treatment options you can explore in treating it.
We have also listed some ways that have to prevent it. However, if you experience vaginal dryness and don’t know what more to do, discuss it with a doctor. Don’t buckle it up!