Do you worry about vaginal dryness? Like things are just in a drought?
This month is all about relationships and we are diving in deep—ha, ha! If you missed the other articles in the series, check them out here.
We often don’t want to talk about vaginal dryness. It is not something that generally comes up in conversation but it can be a huge cause of pain and cause intimacy issues with our significant other.
Before we get into some solutions to help you, I wanted to share some possible causes of dryness as this might at least explain things for you.
Causes of vaginal dryness:
1.Hormone treatments used for Endometriosis
If you have been taking hormone treatments as a way to try and regulate or control your Endometriosis, then these could cause vaginal dryness. The hormone treatments aim to suppress estrogen, which unfortunately is exactly what you need to avoid that dry feeling. The ones which seem to be the worst are the low dose contraceptive pills, although many others would have a similar effect because their goal is the same.
There are medications such as antihistamines which dry out mucus in the body. If you are taking these for allergies, then it may be contributing to vaginal dryness. Check out some alternatives to allergy relief here.
3. You aren’t “in the mood”
There are of course many emotional components to why we may experience vaginal dryness. This could be painful past experiences or being anxious about feeling pain, so we close up and the body responds accordingly. I personally believe this is the most common cause of vaginal dryness for women with Endometriosis. It is natural to close up when you experience pain. If you want more detailed insights on how to alleviate pain with sex, check out the detailed article I wrote on this a few weeks back.
4. Other hormone factors
There are many other factors, which may alter our natural hormone balance, that will cause a drop in estrogen levels. These include certain medications like anti-depressants. Smoking also affects estrogen levels.
Other hormone fluctuations occur with menopause, breastfeeding and childbirth.
5. Sjögren’s syndrome
This is a condition which affects every mucous lining in the body. If you experience dryness throughout your body, including your tear glands, then you could have this condition. Find out more here.
5 Ideas to reduce vaginal dryness
1. Avoid soaps down there!
Soap will have a drying effect on the vagina and throws out our natural ph. Douching is a big no no! Rinse with pure, clean water and things will regulate and clean themselves. There is no need to buy any of those powders or put anything down there. Your vagina knows how to clean itself!
2. Reconsider the hormone treatments
I know for many of us we are scared to go off hormone treatments but these are affecting more than just your vaginal dryness. Everything you take into your body will have repercussions on other parts, including digestion, bone health and your immune function. If you are unsure, read the fine print on the label.
3. Use a lubricant
I personally like coconut oil as a lubricant, because it feels very similar to the real thing. It is also naturally anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, so it will help keep things in balance for you at the same time. I did a video on coconut oil as a lubricant here. Some bought lubricants can interfere with your body too, which will add to that dry feeling.
4. Talk about it loads!
Talking about sex, particularly outside of suitable times to have sex, is a great way to get your mind thinking about it before it even happens. This is a great way to foreplay and have heaps of fun with your partner too. Send each other text messages, pat each other on the bottom when you least expect it, and hold hands when you walk. These are all ways that you can start to subtly connect and also begin a natural feeling of wanting to be more intimate. Women need to feel comfortable and loved before having sex. When we think about it… it is far more trusting to have something come into your body space than pushing something onto someone else’s. So, talking and being close needs to be a part of your relationship and for you to feel safe and open to having sex.
5. Relax into it and take it slow
It typically takes a woman far more time to feel sufficiently aroused. Any pressure can limit your body’s ability to do that. So, take it slow and enjoy the moment. A great way to avoid any anxiety around sex is to play games where you restrict penetration for a specific time period. The restriction often adds to the excitement and you can relax into knowing that it is not going to happen too early.
I hope these ideas help you and allow you to explore more options on what could be causing you vaginal dryness. If you have any questions or further suggestions, feel free to add them below.