While there is no single cause of vaginal dryness, factors like childbirth, menopause, and aging can all contribute to it. The good news is that it doesn’t have to get in the way of intimacy. A natural remedy for vaginal dryness is simply a matter of finding the right products your body will respond well to. Sebaceous glands produce natural oils in the outer layer of skin called sebum. The sebaceous glands also produce lubricating fluids that flow from these glands as well as from Barth's salivary ducts (where saliva flows from inside the mouth). When women experience reduced production or flow of sebum, their intimate tissues can become drier and experience discomfort as a result.
What is vaginal dryness?
Vaginal dryness is a condition where women experience reduced levels of sebum production and a resulting loss of lubrication and sensitivity. With reduced levels of sebum, the skin of the vagina can become irritated and even develop small ulcers, which can lead to further discomfort and pain during sex. As the vagina is the canal leading to the uterus and fallopian tubes, any issues with dryness can cause these organs to experience pain and discomfort as well. Dryness can occur for a number of reasons, including hormonal changes, pregnancy, menopause, and aging. It’s also possible to experience vaginal dryness if you have a hormonal imbalance, have had surgery, have low levels of estrogen, have diabetes, or have another health condition.
Causes of Vaginal Dryness
- childbirth - While many women experience vaginal dryness after childbirth, it is not a common condition. - menopause - As women enter menopause, estrogen levels drop. This can cause a decrease in lubrication in the vagina, and increased vaginal dryness. - breastfeeding - Women who are breastfeeding are prone to vaginal dryness as the hormone progesterone is needed to create sebum. - obesity - Excess body weight can lead to reduced levels of sebum, which can cause vaginal dryness. - medications - Certain medications can lead to vaginal dryness. - surgery - Hysterectomies, salpingectomies, and other surgeries to remove the uterus or ovaries can cause vaginal dryness. - low levels of estrogen - Having low levels of estrogen is also known as hypoestrogenism and can cause vaginal dryness.
Tips to treat vaginal dryness naturally
- Try a moisturizing, anti-itch cream. - Increase water intake. Water helps keep the vaginal walls soft and hydrated. - If you have low levels of estrogen, consider taking an estrogen supplement. - Exercising can increase blood flow to the genital area, resulting in increased levels of sebum. - Apply a solution of one teaspoon of baking soda to a cup of water and drink. Baking soda has been found to have a diuretic effect, which increases urine flow and can result in more vaginal sebum. - Reduce stress by doing things you enjoy.
Foods That Help Treat Vaginal Dryness
- Bananas - A natural source of potassium, bananas are a good remedy for vaginal dryness. Just remember that they are also a good source of sugar, so eat them in moderation if weight loss is your goal. - Papayas - Papayas are low in calories and high in vitamin C, which has been shown to improve lubrication in women. - Carrots - Another low-calorie vegetable that can be beneficial for treating vaginal dryness, carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which functions as an antioxidant and is beneficial for your reproductive health. - Goats Milk - If a dairy allergy is keeping you from incorporating products like yogurt, milk, and cottage cheese into your diet, goats milk is a great alternative. - Aloe Vera - A soothing herb that can be found in many health food stores and some pharmacies, aloe vera has been found to treat vaginal dryness.
Spa Treatments for Vaginal Dryness
- Steam Baths - Feeling anxious? Having trouble relaxing? Try taking a steam bath to calm yourself and relieve some of your stress. Research has shown that a short, relaxing steam bath can increase blood flow to the pelvic region, resulting in more sebum production. - Foot Massage - Women who have had a hysterectomy or who experience low levels of estrogen can experience pain during sex due to a lack of lubrication. A foot massage can be relaxing and help ease this pain. - Hydrotherapy - Showering and bathing may feel relaxing, but did you know that hydrotherapy, the use of hot or cold water, releases endorphins that can make you feel happier and less stressed? This therapy can be beneficial for women experiencing low levels of sebum and vaginal dryness.
Yes, sex can be painful with vaginal dryness. But you can still have fun.
Sex shouldn’t feel painful. If it does, it’s important to talk to your partner and figure out why it’s bothering you. It could be something you’re doing, or it could be something they’re doing that is hurting. If you can’t figure it out by yourself, ask your partner to help you. Maybe they could try something new or change their approach. However, there are some things you can do to make sex more comfortable, regardless of whether you have any other reasons for pain. Here are some things you can try, no matter why your sex is painful.
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