Vaginal Drought

The natural lubrication of the vagina, giving to it a soft and elastic texture is regulated by hormonal, genetic, medical and psychological factors. This natural balance of moistening can be disrupted thus very easily during the life of a woman.

The lubrication consists in a more or less plentiful transparent drainage which moistures all the vagina wall and the rima vulvae. This “sweating”, sign of feminine excitation, is necessary to allow penetration and facilitate penis movements. Lubrication is both a protector and a pleasure activator.

If the vaginal wall does not moisten enough, women suffer from vaginal dryness. This drought can cause pain during penetration or can even prevent having a sexual intercourse. Burns and itches can occur, provoking tiny lesions on the vaginal wall due to frictions on the dry mucosal membrane. This painful experience often affects women psychologically and can even disrupt the couple’s dynamic. Psychological consequences go from fear of sexual relations with loss of sexual pleasure, to a reduced sexual activity, ending possibly in the systematic refusal of any intimate contact.

Although many women suffer from it in a more or less temporary way during their sexual life, and although many of them confide in their gynaecologist and even in their partner, only a few use the available solutions, nevertheless simple and effective. These women often consider that it is a temporary or a benign disorder and sometimes they are not anymore concerned by sexuality.

Furthermore, these women often ignore the origin of this dryness unless they are menopausal.

But menopause or not, it is important to know the multiple factors that interfere and destabilize natural vaginal lubrication. It allows the release from an inequitable feeling of culpability towards the partner, and help women consult and effectively treat vaginal drought.

The various causes of vaginal drought

The causes are diverse and when added, it multiplies their negative effects

Hormonal causes:

–          In the front line, deficiency in oestrogen of menopause

–          hormonal changes like for example during breastfeeding

–          pregnancy, especially during the first trimester.  Afterwards the pelvic region becomes congested with blood restoring moistening

–          ovary disorders

Iatrogenic causes:

Certain contraceptive pills, antihistaminic, vasoconstrictors, certain antidepressants, certain antiacneic treatments, the side effects of certain chemotherapies, antihormonal treatments of the breast cancer …

Infectious causes

Vaginal infections (specially yeast) which, besides the vaginal drought, come along with pruritus, with nauseous discharges or with whitish losses of abnormal color and consistency.

A bad hygiene of life

–  Tobacco, by the nicotine vasoconstrictrive action

–  Alcohol which provokes a dehydration

–   Stress and fatigue

–  An excessive intimate hygiene

Psychological causes

They are often connected to the couple sexual behaviour, for example, the quickness or the absence of preliminary, the low frequency of the sexual relations, the lack of desire, the fear of sexual relations, couple disagreement … Sexual inhibition and the ignorance of her body can also be found.

Preventing or treating vaginal drought

1-Having a regular sexual activity (in couple or solo),

–          To improve the blood stream of genitalia

–          To prevent the atrophy of genitalia and thus to decrease vaginal drought.

2- Prolonging preliminary before sexual relations.

3- Regularly practising Kegel exercises

Kegel exercises consist in tightening and relaxing the muscle group which supports (bear) the organs of the pelvis and the rectum. The alternation of tension (blood pressure) and relaxation strengthens the pelvic floor and can improve the sexual function (office), while reducing incontinence (involuntary flight of urine of the bladder).

4- Do not hesitate to use lubricants or moisturizers easily found in pharmacies (do not use petroleum jelly or  oil based lubricants , they alter condoms that lose their efficiency and also become irritating).

5- Reducing stress in everyday life.

6-Restoring a healthy hygiene by stopping or by decreasing tobacco, alcohol …

7-For intimate hygiene use a sweet soap of neutral PH, one or at the most twice a day without vaginal showering.

8- Consult to be better advised

9- In case of menopause, take the opinion of a doctor about :

–  Substitute hormonotherapy (the most effective solution of vaginal drought)

–  Non hormonal therapies (cremate on base of tocopherol)

–  Therapies in healing plants ( phytœstrogènes )

Finally, don’t forget that speaking about vaginal drought is a way of recognizing that the desire is not dead, that sexuality continues and that the pleasure is possible with an appropriate help.