Vaginal dryness can get in the way of your everyday life, making you feel uncomfortable and also making intimacy less enjoyable. If you're tired of dealing with vaginal dryness, it's important to talk to your gynecologist and get to the bottom of whatever is causing the problem. Here's a look at some of the most common causes.
Are you approaching the age of onset of menopause? If you're in your late 40s to early 50s, vaginal dryness may be a sign that menopause is just around the corner. When you approach menopause and your estrogen levels drop, your vagina responds by reducing the amount of lubrication it produces. Hormone replacement therapy can help combat this and other menopause symptoms. There are also topical estrogen creams that you can use throughout the day or just prior to intercourse in order to stimulate moisture production.
If you are taking any prescription or over-the-counter drugs on a regular basis, the dryness you're experiencing may be a side effect. Many asthma medications and antihistamines, in particular, can cause vaginal dryness. Your doctor may recommend switching to another medication or adjusting your dose to reduce the severity of your vaginal dryness.
Is your life exceedingly stressful, or do you feel some anxiety related to sexual intimacy, in particular? Anxiety can cause a lack of arousal and therefore a lack of vaginal lubrication. This can be a very complex issue. Talking through your anxiety with your partner may help you to relax, which may stimulate the production of more lubrication. In more serious cases, you may want to seek the help of a therapist or even consider seeing a psychiatrist who can prescribe anti-anxiety medications.
Many soaps, shampoos, and shaving creams are not formulated to be used in or near the vagina. If you are using these products in this area, they may be causing some irritation and dryness. Soaking in a bubble bath can also lead to dryness for many women. Try taking a break from all of these products for a week, and see if your dryness improves. Purchase a non-scented cleanser made just for your intimate area, and make that the only product you use to clean in that area.
In most cases, vaginal dryness can be solved with a simple GYN exam and consultation with your doctor. He or she will help you determine the most likely cause of your dryness and then take steps to resolve it.