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Why vaginal dryness is nothing to be ashamed of

Let’s distance ourselves from the classic vaginal dryness = menopause narrative and take the measure of how many factors come into play.

By Giada | 16 September 2021
A woman lying on the bed in sunlit dim light

When is the last time you had a chat about vaginal dryness? As one of the many taboos that still inhabit the sexual sphere, vaginal dryness is seldom discussed. When it comes to our vulvas and vaginas, it seems to be the kind of shameful secret one might keep to oneself rather than a normal variable that might simply require a change or two to our self-care routines.

To change the narrative, and experience sex as an essential part of our daily lives, in a shame-free manner, we need to remember just how connected our minds and bodies are. Everything that affects our physical health de facto affects our mental health. Learning to listen to ourselves and educating ourselves as to how our bodies work is the first and most crucial step towards achieving an overall state of happiness and well-being.

Vaginal dryness: let’s get to know it better

If we distance ourselves from the classic vaginal dryness = menopause narrative, we take the measure of how many aspects of our lives might come into play. Estrogen, the sex hormone responsible for the development and regulation of the female reproductive system and secondary sex characteristics, contribute to maintaining vaginas adequately lubricated. If things don’t work out however, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to maintain an active and fulfilling sex life, and achieve a state of sexual wellness that will translate as overall wellness.

During menopause (which actually means last menstruation), hormonal variations might cause the thinning of vaginal walls and varying levels of dryness. Vaginal dryness is directly influenced by our hormones. However, beyond the natural ageing process, other factors might cause it such as stress or other alterations to vaginal microbiome.

A number of studies and substantial research show that at least 50% of women have or will experience vaginal dryness. Knowing we are not alone can help us overcome any potential shame.

Vaginal dryness: symptoms to look out for

  • burning
  • loss of interest in sex
  • pain with sexual intercourse
  • light bleeding following intercourse
  • soreness
  • urinary tract infections (UTIs) that don’t go away or that reoccur
  • vaginal itching or stinging

Some of the causes of vaginal dryness

  • cigarette smoking
  • depression
  • excessive stress
  • immune system disorders, such as Sjögren syndrome
  • childbirth
  • rigorous exercise
  • some cancer treatments, such as radiation to the pelvis, hormone therapy, or chemotherapy
  • surgical removal of the ovaries

Vaginal flora is very easy to alterate. Through natural secrets, our immune system and “good” bacteria, vaginas usually look after themselves; however, changes in diet, use of products that may contain parabens and other lifestyle factors might affect vaginal health.

Vaginal dryness: a few suggestions

However much we look after them, most vaginas will come across a series of obstacles and difficulties in their lifetime. However, steps can be taken to prevent it from happening: here are a few things you might want to look into.

Are you getting enough sleep? We live busy lives, experience plenty of stress and most often sleep too little as a result. Getting enough sleep helps us keep our hormones in check; the less we get, the more likely we are to cause the kind of imbalance that may directly affect our intimate health.

Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate. We all know too well how staying hydrated (and eating a balanced diet) is of prime importance for our bodies. Drinking enough water might in fact by the easiest way to keep our highly sensitive vulvas and vaginas properly hydrated.

How well do you know your own desire? Sexual desire is a thoroughly complex topic, influenced by a number of factors. Stress and anxiety have a direct effect on our libido, but often even wanting to have sex isn’t enough to actually affect our sex drive. Talking about it might be a useful first step towards understanding it better, whether to a friend or, even better, a certified sex therapist.

Make love to yourself. If you’re on yspot.co, then you are already aware of the many reasons why masturbation is should be a part of our daily lives. So please keep doing it and never stop loving yourselves. Using the right toys can be a really useful way of exploring our pleasure.

Use lubricant! Vaginal dryness should never get in the way of having a fulfilling sex life. By always keeping lube at hand, whether with a partner or as part of solo play, we can overcome a number of difficulties related to penetration. Beyond the realm of penetration, there are many ways in which lubricant can make sex more fun and pleasurable; by choosing an all-natural water-based formula, there isn’t a body part or a toy we cannot use it with. Now unleash your creative self and play away.

Sex never gets old

Last but not least: no one is ever too old to have and enjoy sex. If vaginal dryness seems to be getting in the way, it’s important you figure out what might be causing it and how to take care of it. And talk to an expert! While we still haven’t figured out a way to stop time, we can choose to distance ourselves from stereotypes and refuse to buy into our often ageist narratives. It is never too late to enjoy our bodies and break free from injunctions.

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