What is Vaginal Dryness?
Vaginal dryness occurs when the tissues of the vagina are not well lubricated and can occur at any age but is especially common in more mature women. Vaginal dryness can cause pain or discomfort in everyday life or during sexual intercourse, which may affect intimacy. This condition can also lead to bacterial or yeast infections.
What Causes Vaginal Dryness?
Menopause is one of the most common causes of vaginal dryness, but there are many other factors that can contribute to the condition. Childbirth, breastfeeding, radiation, before and after ovulation, chemotherapy, removal of ovaries, some medications (such as antidepressants), allergy and cold & Flu medications, douching, even a lack of foreplay can all cause vaginal dryness.
For many women vaginal dryness will be experienced at some stage in life, thanks to the hormone called estrogen. Under normal conditions fluid is maintained to keep the lining of the vagina healthy and flexible, but whenever a woman experiences a drop in estrogen levels, the amount of moisture available is reduced and vaginal dryness is the result, which thins out the lining and creates an uncomfortable less elastic environment.
A number of factors may contribute to vaginal dryness; including one of the most common, as previously mentioned is lowered estrogen levels.
Estrogen is a hormone that helps keep the tissues of your vagina lubricated and healthy.
Many factors can cause a drop in estrogen levels, such as:
- Menopause or perimenopause (a transition time before menopause)
- Surgery to remove the ovaries
- Certain immune disorders
- Cancer treatments
- Anti-estrogen medicines
Vaginal Dryness Symptoms
- Soreness, itching, or burning of the vagina
- Painful intercourse
- Light bleeding after intercourse
- Mild vaginal discharge
Douching and other irritants like certain soaps, lotions, perfumes, and douches can disrupt the natural balance of chemicals in your vagina, leading to dryness. Other medicines such as asthma medicines that contain antihistamines can have a drying effect on the body and contribute to reduced vaginal lubrication. Certain antidepressants may also lead to a reduction in vaginal secretions. Anxiety and stress can affect sexual desire and may lead to vaginal dryness.
This rare autoimmune disease can cause dryness in the eyes, mouth, and vagina. Low sexual desire, a low libido or other sexual problems may give way to dryness, and conversely, the dryness may worsen libido. For more info see here