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Vaginal Dryness

Vaginal dryness is a common problem for women of all ages, but is especially associated with menopause, and also breastfeeding.

A dry vagina is usually most obvious during sex, as a feeling of ‘’too much friction’’. This can cause discomfort described as  ‘’chafing’’, ‘’stinging’’ or ‘’raw’’. Extreme dryness can also be associated  with fragility of the tissue, where it is easier to cause small tears or ‘’micro-trauma’’, especially with intercourse. Sometimes there can be a pinkish discharge after sexual activity, showing that there has been a small amount of bleeding. (Remember, any bleeding after sex or bleeding outside of your normal menstrual period should be discussed with your doctor.)

 Especially at or after the menopause, this dryness is caused by low vaginal oestrogen. The body’s own oestrogen (‘’endogenous oestrogen’’) contributes to the health and suppleness of the tissues in and around the vagina, so when oestrogen drops, dryness can occur. This is often called atrophic vaginitis or vaginal atrophy. This is often a long-term problem after menopause. With prolonged breastfeeding, where the ‘’sex hormones’’ are low, it can also occur, but usually resolves once regular menstrual cycles start again. Women on certain forms of hormonal contraception can also experience vaginal dryness, especially after a period of time. This may be because the hormones used in contraceptives (‘’exogenous oestrogen’’) act differently in the body to endogenous oestrogen.

Women who are not on hormonal contraceptives may also experience vaginal dryness at certain times of month. The healthy cervix produces mucus throughout the cycle, and this mucus is more obvious at some times than others. It also changes in consistency and quantity through the month. It is common to feel more vaginal dryness after the period has finished, before the quantities of mucus start to increase.

The vagina itself produces lubrication during sexual arousal. This does not have to be confined to sexual activity. Reading erotic books or seeing erotic images, or even thinking sexual thoughts, produces the normal response of increased lubrication or moisture within the vagina. If you experience vaginal dryness, regardless of your age, it is helpful to take special care with sexual activity to make sure you are becoming very aroused before there is any attempt to start penetration. It is important that your partner understands this too!

Using a good quality natural lubricant is essential too. Not only does this help alleviate the symptoms associated with vaginal dryness, it can enhance the sexual experiences for both parties. To purchase a high-quality, natural, effective organic lubricant, contact us.

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