Vaginal dryness is a condition that's commonly associated with menopause, often bringing with it significant discomfort. During perimenopause, declining hormone levels cause the vaginal tissues to become thin, lose elasticity, and produce less moisture. This results in a feeling of dryness, known as atrophy. Vaginal atrophy can cause ongoing pain and itchiness on a daily basis, but this discomfort is often particularly intense during sexual intercourse. Keep reading to learn more about vaginal dryness, and discover the best ways of relieving the symptom at home.
While vaginal dryness and pain are unlikely to put you in the mood for seduction, sex is actually a natural antidote to vaginal dryness. When a woman is aroused, blood circulation to her vaginal tissues increases, which stimulates the production of moisture to combat dryness. Arousal also minimizes the discomfort of dryness. Try applying a water-based lubricant to the genitals for instant relief from painful dryness and enjoy plenty of foreplay with your partner to ensure that you are fully aroused before attempting penetration.
Many women assume that fragranced shower gels, soaps, or even vaginal douching are necessary to keep the vagina fresh and hygienic, but this is not the case. The vagina has internal functions to self-clean after sexual intercourse and menstruation, and harsh washing habits are likely to upset these functions and result in infection, thus exacerbating vaginal dryness and pain. Prevent this by using a gentle, soap-free cleanser or lukewarm water when you wash intimately.
Clingy styles of underwear, like thongs or G-strings, as well as synthetic materials, such as lace, are likely to rub against the vagina and aggravate pain. These types of underwear also restrict air access to the vagina, which is only likely to intensify vaginal dryness. Opt for looser styles of underwear made from breathable fabrics, like cotton briefs, instead.
Olive oil and coconut oil are natural moisturizers due to their nurturing and hydrating vitamin E content. Apply these topically to the vagina for instant relief.
Vaginal dryness is often caused by hormonal imbalances, primarily a decline in estrogen levels. Counter this
naturally by incorporating phytoestrogens – found in soymilk, tofu, nuts, and seeds – into your diet. These act with an
estrogenic function in the body to help regulate the imbalances that drive vaginal dryness to aid the correction of the
symptom over time and promote long-term vaginal health.
Although vaginal dryness and pain are by no means pleasant parts of menopause, luckily, the most effective treatment options are straightforward, affordable, and possible without medical assistance. Remember that the majority of women experience vaginal dryness at some point during their lives, so you have nothing to be embarrassed about; stay positive and focus on treating the symptom to prevent it from inhibiting your well-being.