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Vaginal dryness is actually a lot more common than we think. It doesn’t always mean you’re not aroused, but can be caused by multiple reasons and in some cases is even treatable. So, if you find yourself one of those people who experience vaginal dryness, before you stress yourself out, read the article below to find out why vaginal dryness occurs and what you can do to cure it.
Why is your vagina dry?
Vaginal dryness during sex
Your vagina can be experiencing dryness during sex for several reasons. If your partner is not turning you on, then your body will not automatically produce the moistness that comes with feeling turned on. In this case, you should speak openly with your partner and try to guide them to do things that turn you on to reach the lubrication you need.
If you are turned on but your brain isn’t catching up, you can increase the foreplay until your body starts responding. However, if you’re simply not in the mood and aren’t even experiencing any sexual desires, you could be experiencing low libido which can be caused by hormone imbalances, medication, or health conditions, as well as how much you’re interested in your partner or what they’re doing.
Decreased level of estrogen
Estrogen is in charge of keeping your vagina moist. When your estrogen levels decrease, you’ll find yourself experiencing vaginal dryness. This can be as a result of health conditions – a common condition also known as vaginitis – or even due to your menstrual cycle as the levels of estrogens can decline during certain parts of your cycle.
When does your body produce less estrogen?
During the luteal phase of your cycle straight after ovulation, if you do not get pregnant, your body experiences a rapid decline in the hormone estrogen which could make you experience vaginal dryness during this period.
One of the signs of menopause is your body producing less estrogen. Not only do the levels of estrogen decrease as you get older, but also if you’re experiencing menopause or you are post-menopause. When your menstrual cycle stops post menopause, your ovaries no longer make estrogen. Instead, your fat cells produce the majority of your body’s estrogen resulting in a decreased estrogen level which could lead to vaginal dryness.
If you’ve just had a baby, congratulations! As your body has experienced a huge hormonal shift and is more focused on providing nourishment for your baby, the estrogen levels in your body drop. In fact, when a baby starts latching on to your breast, the hormone oxytocin is released to help the release of milk.
This means that the hormone prolactin remains high in the body which plays a huge role in suppressing ovulation. As a result, estrogen levels take a dip, and the vagina experiences dryness.
If you’re taking any medication that interferes with reproductive hormone regulation such as certain types of birth control or medication to treat breast cancer, one of the common side effects can be a reduced level in estrogen levels.
Unfortunately, some diseases that require chemotherapy, radiation therapy of the pelvis, or the removal of ovaries will also interfere with your menstrual cycle, stop ovulation from occurring, decrease estrogen levels, and leave your vagina dry.
Treatments for vaginal dryness:
Speak to your doctor
If you’re feeling vaginal dryness as a result of hormonal birth control, then speak to your doctor and consider changing to another form of birth control that will be a better fit for your body.
If you’re experiencing low estrogen levels, then your vaginal dryness treatment options include using vaginal lubricants and vaginal moisturizers to help lubricate your vagina and reduce the dryness to ensure safe and easier penetration during sex.
Consider your sex life
It’s quite likely that your vaginal dryness is telling you what you’re too embarrassed to admit: you’re not enjoying your sex life. Whether you’ve lost interest in your partner or the sex itself is not doing it for you, then maybe you need to try new ways to reignite your spark, explore different positions, spend more time on foreplay, or speak to your partner about what you like and don’t like about your sex life.
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Sources used in this article:
- How birth control affects your vaginal health – Vagivital
- The Physiological effects of breastfeeding – National Library of Medicine
- Low Estrogen – Cleveland Clinic
- Vaginitis – ACOG
- Vulvovaginal Health – ACOG