causes of vaginal dryness


11 causes of vaginal dryness

What causes vaginal dryness; What are the triggers and how can they be treated;

Key points :
What is vaginal lubrication and what is it used for;
What are the symptoms of vaginal dryness;
What causes vaginal dryness;
premenopause and menopause
Childbirth, breastfeeding and puerperium
hormonal contraception
Excessive cleaning
Sjogren's syndrome
Lack of arousal during sex

Vaginal dryness is the consequence of a decrease in the amount of fluids produced in the vagina. This dryness can cause discomfort such as itching, irritation and itching sensation in the genital area, as well as pain during sexual intercourse

causes of vaginal dryness

When should I see a doctor about my vaginal dryness;


Almost 17% of women suffer from vaginal dryness before menopause, and more than half of women are affected by this phenomenon after menopause.

A drop in estrogen levels may be responsible for vaginal dryness. This rate varies physiologically during a woman's life in case of pregnancy, lactation or at the time of menopause. But other causes can alter estrogen levels, such as autoimmune diseases and certain medical or surgical treatments. Its dosage is one of the first steps to take in case of vaginal dryness.


What is vaginal lubrication and what is it used for;

Vaginal secretions are created by glands located in the lower part of the vagina at the level of the cervix. They are intended to maintain a moist and slightly acidic environment in the vagina. These secretions also help to preserve the proper balance between the different bacteria that inhabit the vagina and prevent infections. Finally, they remove dead cells and unwanted bacteria to make the vagina clean at its best.


These secretions fluctuate during the menstrual cycle to help (at the time of ovulation) or conversely to thwart (during the rest of the cycle) the movement of sperm. The lubrication that occurs before sex is different. It comes from the Bartholin's glands located to the right and left of the opening of the vagina. These glands constantly produce secretions, but are particularly stimulated in case of sexual arousal to protect the sensitive membrane of the vagina during penetration.


What are the symptoms of vaginal dryness;

The most common symptoms of vaginal dryness include:


What are the symptoms of vaginal dryness;

Vaginal discomfort, tenderness, and pain

Pain on penetration

Itching in and around the vagina

Insufficient moisture in the vagina can alter the vaginal flora (bacteria that live inside the vagina) and therefore increase the risk of disorders such as vaginitis, vaginal yeast infection, and bacterial vaginosis.


What causes vaginal dryness;

Vaginal dryness can have various causes, but in most cases it is associated with the production of hormones such as estrogen and progesterone. The best treatment for vaginal dryness depends on what causes it, and the causes can be multiple:


1. Premenopause and menopause

In premenopause and menopause, the body produces less estrogen. The lining of the vagina, which is usually moist, supple, and pink, can become increasingly dry and pale. Vaginal dryness that occurs during menopause is associated with vaginal atrophy. The latter affects more than 50% of postmenopausal women.


Vaginal atrophy can cause tingling and itching, as well as pain during intercourse. It can also affect the urinary tract, making you more prone to recurrent urinary tract infections and making you feel the need to urinate more often.


Vaginal dryness may be accompanied by other symptoms such as irregular bleeding, hot flashes, or a change in libido.


In many postmenopausal women, hormone treatment can overcome these difficulties. This treatment is very effective but is contraindicated for women with breast cancer and at risk of breast cancer and in the case of a history of thromboembolic events.


2. Childbirth, breastfeeding and the puerperium

For women who have just given birth and/or are breastfeeding, vaginal dryness is perfectly natural and should not cause concern. It is also possible that your period may not return right away or may return sporadically due to hormones that prevent ovulation.


Using a water-based lubricant can help to achieve this, and if that's not enough, your doctor may temporarily prescribe local estrogen.


3. Hormonal contraception

Vaginal dryness is also a common side effect of hormonal birth control. This is due to the fact that the body's production of estrogen and progesterone, which controls the production of vaginal secretions, is replaced by synthetic hormones from hormonal contraception.


hormonal contraception

Since synthetic hormones are not the same as the body's natural hormones, they cannot fully recreate their functions. Most hormonal contraceptives contain a relatively high concentration of hormones, which is constant throughout the month, unlike the natural fluctuations in the menstrual cycle. For some women, this is not a problem, but for others, it leads to discomfort such as vaginal dryness. Do not hesitate to try another hormonal contraceptive if you are in this case.


4. Antidepressants

The main role of SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), commonly used antidepressants, is to increase levels of serotonin, a hormone that stabilizes mood.


Antidepressants also affect the receptors for a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine which can block certain involuntary muscle movements and bodily functions leading in some cases to vaginal dryness.


If you suffer from vaginal dryness, talk to your doctor, a change or adaptation of the treatment may be necessary.


5. Hysterectomy

The uterus and the cells that produce vaginal secretions can be completely removed during a hysterectomy, and this can cause vaginal dryness.


If you develop these symptoms after a hysterectomy, see a doctor. Local estrogen administration can be very helpful in this case.


6. Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy also affects the production of hormones in the ovaries and puts the body in a state of chemical menopause.


7. Excessive cleaning

Some women think the vagina should be douched, but water and cleansers have a dehydrating effect. Know that the vagina has the property of self-cleaning - this is precisely the role of secretions and discharge. They are completely normal as long as they are not accompanied by pain, discomfort or bad smell.


Just wash the vulva with water and do not use soap or hygiene products.


8. Sjogren's syndrome

Sjögren's syndrome is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the exocrine (body fluid-producing) glands, which in turn leads to a decrease in the production of secretions. It can dry out the mouth, eyes and skin, and cause a dry cough. This can lead to vaginal dryness and itching. Sjögren's syndrome is relatively uncommon and affects more women than men, especially after the fifties.


9. Diabetes

High blood sugar levels can eventually damage the small nerves and vessels in the body. This can damage the glands in the uterus and dry out the mucous membranes.


10. Lack of arousal during sex

Some women experience vaginal dryness simply when they are not sexually aroused.


The best treatment in this case is to determine the cause of this lack of arousal to avoid the development of chronic vaginal pain. But in the meantime, to overcome this problem, use a water-based lube, try extending foreplay, or find alternatives to penetration. It is also advisable to avoid latex condoms.


11. Antihistamines

Antihistamines are used, among other things, in the treatment of seasonal allergies. They work by blocking your body's secretion of histamine to relieve a runny nose or watery, scratchy eyes.


However, antihistamines also affect the vaginal mucosa by drying it out.


When should I see a doctor about my vaginal dryness;

If vaginal dryness causes permanent discomfort, makes your sex life difficult, and there is no obvious temporary cause, such as breastfeeding, see a doctor.


Also, vaginal dryness can be accompanied by other symptoms that should never be ignored and for which you should see a doctor:


Pain during sexual intercourse that does not go away even when you are aroused;

Recurrent urinary tract infections;

Recurrent mycosis or bacterial vaginosis;

Unusual vaginal bleeding.

Here all our tips to relax, recharge batteries, fight stress and ensure your well-being by taking care of your body; Priorité santé gives you tips to enjoy good health and to discover the causes of various diseases: infection, viral disease, shock, inflammation, etc. But beware;
Warning: These articles are provided for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for medical or medical diagnosis. You are responsible for your actions, treatment or medical care and should consult your doctor or other health professional if you have questions about your health.