Vaginal dryness. It’s not something you think about… until it happens to you. All of a sudden you might feel irritation, chafing, itching, and soreness—all from a loss of moisture down below. This dryness not only causes day-to-day discomfort, but also pain and irritation during sex. What causes vaginal dryness? How can you treat vaginal dryness? Let’s dive in.
What causes vaginal dryness?
Vaginal dryness is probably more common than you think! Menopause and perimenopause are major causes of vaginal symptoms—as your natural estrogen decreases with age, it can lead to uncomfortable symptoms throughout your body, including your vagina. The loss of estrogen leads to a decline in the production of moisture in the vaginal tissue, which can be a symptom of vaginal atrophy. Vaginal atrophy refers to inflammation, dryness, and thinning of the vaginal walls that commonly occurs as a result of menopause. Although it may seem like a small thing, when tissue that is supposed to be moist becomes dry, it can cause major problems!
Menopause and perimenopause aren’t the only causes of the kind of estrogen decline that can lead to vaginal dryness. The postpartum period after you’ve given birth is filled with hormonal ups and downs that can affect your vaginal wellbeing, as can breastfeeding. Breastfeeding keeps estrogen levels low and you may experience symptoms that mimic the experience of menopause, such as hot flashes, headaches, joint pain, and yes, vaginal dryness.
If you aren’t menopausal, and you haven’t given birth, but you’re still experiencing dryness down there, it may be the result of a new medication. Cold and allergy meds, antidepressants, and birth control pills can all lead to some discomfort as your body adjusts. The good news is that there are treatments available that can help you get a little more comfortable!
How to treat vaginal dryness
You have a few options when it comes to treating vaginal dryness. If your dryness is caused by perimenopause/menopause, postpartum, or breastfeeding, Estradiol Vaginal Cream is one option you can explore. Vaginal estrogen is a safe and effective way to restore estrogen that’s been lost and tends to carry fewer risks than oral estrogen. It’s been approved by the FDA since the 1980s and there’s little absorption from the vaginal tissues systemically, so this is a great option for people who have health conditions that prevent them from taking oral estrogen. It works over time to rejuvenate vaginal tissue and protect against the effects of low estrogen. If hormonal options aren’t for you, there are still other ways to treat vaginal dryness! Non-Hormonal Vaginal Moisturizer is a hormone-free cream that is safe for anyone experiencing vaginal dryness. It can be used in conjunction with Estradiol Vaginal Cream for quicker relief, or on its own as a safe option for those who can’t use hormones. Connect with a Wisp doctor to get the treatment that’s right for you and get relief!
Vaginal dryness and painful sex
Painful sex is a common side effect of vaginal dryness (you can imagine why). You may find that your libido is lowered, particularly if your vaginal dryness is caused by changes in your hormones, but if you’re interested in pursuing sex, vaginal pain or dryness shouldn’t get in your way.
- Incorporate lube into your routine. You know the drill! Adding lube during sex provides a more pleasurable experience, including for those of us experiencing menopause. This simple solution adds moisture and lubrication back to the vagina to decrease friction and increase pleasure. In fact, we recommend it for everyone!
- Maximize your orgasm. During the menopausal transition, blood flow to the vagina and clitoris decreases. If you usually need clitoral stimulation in order to orgasm, the resulting decrease in sensitivity can make orgasm more difficult to achieve and make the experience of sex frustrating. A prescription cream like wisp’s OMG! Cream includes the same prescription ingredient as Viagra to increase blood flow instantly and make orgasm easier and more satisfying.
- Get the urinary support you need. With menopausal women being at higher risk for UTIs, preventing UTIs (especially those caused by sex) is extra important. D-Mannose helps flush UTI-causing bacteria from your system before it has a chance to take hold. Incorporate it into your routine, and be sure to pee after sex every time!
Painful sex, sometimes referred to as dyspareunia, can be caused by vaginal dryness, but it can also be caused by:
- Health concerns that affect the skin and/or genitals like ulcers and cracks (exacerbated by vaginal dryness during intercourse), or infections like yeast infections, urinary tract infections (UTIs), and bacterial vaginosis (BV).
- Pelvic conditions that cause internal pain like endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), uterine fibroids, or cystitis.
- Vaginismus, a condition where the vaginal muscles spontaneously tighten and make any kind of insertion very painful and difficult.
If you aren’t sure about the cause of painful sex for you, talk to a doctor about your symptoms to be sure you’re getting the care you need!
If you’re dealing with vaginal discomfort, there’s no need to suffer in silence. Wisp can deliver the care you need, whether that’s hormonal or non-hormonal treatment, lube for a smoother ride, or OMG! Cream to heat things up. We are giving you the tools to own your sexual health!
Get Vaginal Dryness Relief Online
Non-Hormonal Vaginal Moisturizer
Hormone-free moisture for all life stages, including breastfeeding, postpartum, and menopause.
Estradiol Vaginal Cream
A hormonal cream that soothes vaginal dryness caused by menopause, or during postpartum, especially with breastfeeding.
Starting at $20.00/monthGet Started
A topical cream that increases blood flow to the clitoris leading to better, more fulfilling orgasms.
Starting at $11.00Get Started