Blame it on your hormones, stress at work or at home, or crossing the menopause line. Whatever the reason is, you will experience a dry spell at one point in your life – and the effects are usually not good.
The question now is, can you get rid of it and make sex more pleasurable and comfortable? The answer is yes. Vaginal dryness is a treatable and manageable condition, as long as you employ the right techniques.
Stick around because here are 16 important things you should know about vaginal dryness treatments – and how you can say goodbye to dry spells in no time.
1. First, Get Up Close and Personal With Vaginal Dryness
Dryness, dry spells, or pain and discomfort down south – whatever you want to call it, vaginal dryness can surely create discomfort and make sex more painful and less exciting.
But first, what is vaginal dryness?
Vaginal dryness is an uncomfortable and painful condition that happens naturally, especially during and after menopause. It is a common condition that often affects post-menopausal women between the ages of 51 and 60, although younger women can also be affected.
At first, it seems like it is a minor irritation down there. Eventually, sex becomes uncomfortable and at times, painful, thereby slowly taking a toll on your sex life. As to why it happens is something you will know in the succeeding sections.
2. Getting to Know the Culprit Behind Those Dry Spells Down There
You guessed it right. Behind vaginal dryness condition are hormones that are all over the place.
Keep in mind that your vaginal walls are lubricated with a thin layer of clear fluid, which is regulated and maintained by estrogen. Aside from keeping you moist down there, this clear fluid also keeps your vaginal lining healthy, thick and elastic.
Unfortunately, there are certain circumstances when the hormone estrogen is missing in action. These instances include:
- Poor Lifestyle
- Radiation Treatment S
- Surgical Removal of Ovaries
- Anti-Estrogen Medications
However, a drop in your estrogen levels is not the only reason why you experience dry spells. Do you want to know what else is causing it? Then read the next section to find out more.
3. More Than Just Estrogen: Other Causes for Vaginal Dryness
Estrogen plays an important role in keeping you wet and elastic down south. This means a drop in your estrogen levels could cause chaos, and make sex painful and uncomfortable.
Here’s the thing: estrogen is not the only reason why you experience a dry spell down there. There are other causes of vaginal dryness such as:
- Sjogren’s syndrome, or a type of autoimmune disease that attacks cells in your body that produces moisture.
- Douching and using harsh feminine cleansing products.
- Lack of foreplay before sexual intercourse.
- Intake of anti-depressants.
- Allergy and cold medications.
If any of these conditions are present, there is a possibility you might experience dryness down there. Still, this doesn’t mean you cannot do anything about it. The good news is there are various vaginal dryness treatments that could make you “wet enough” in case the situation calls for it.
Read the succeeding sections to find out the treatment options available.
4. Scheduling That Trip to The Doctor for Proper Diagnosis and Treatment
By this time, you are tempted to visit the World Wide Web and look for ways on how to fix the dry spell situation. While the Internet can provide vast amounts of information, it is still advisable you seek help from a medical professional.
You might say that it is embarrassing and too personal. That’s true. However, the more you delay treatment, the more vaginal dryness can make sex painful and uncomfortable for you. This could lead to a decline in sexual activity, as well.
In case vaginal dryness starts to interfere with your lifestyle, you might want to schedule that trip to the doctor. During the appointment, your doctor will ask several questions such as:
- What your symptoms are and when they began.
- Prescription and over-the-counter medications you are taking.
- Existing medical conditions.
Aside from this, your doctor will conduct examinations like:
- Pelvic exam to check any changes or abnormalities in your reproductive organs.
- Pap smear to test any infections or cancer.
- Other tests your doctor deems necessary, depending on the preliminary results of initial tests.
One or more trips to the doctor will determine the cause for dryness. At the same time, your doctor will prescribe vaginal dryness treatments and medications like Osphena, the only FDA-approved oral pill to make sex less painful. If you still feel confused about your options, don’t worry. You will learn more about various vaginal dryness treatments below.
5. Tell Your Man to Spend More Time in the Land Down Under
Let’s say you are cleared and the doctor didn’t see any abnormalities in your area down there. That’s good news. This means saying goodbye to vaginal dryness is easier to accomplish since you don’t have to worry about any medical conditions.
So, what is causing your dry spells? Perhaps, it’s a lack of foreplay. Unlike men, women need a connection, intimacy, and a bit of teasing throughout the day to get in the mood. In fact, jumping straight to seal the deal simply won’t cut it for you.
To make sex more pleasurable, it is important that your partner spends a considerable amount of time tickling every inch of your body, especially what is down south. This gets you in the mood and makes arousal easier. At the same time, it will be less challenging for you to get wet, thereby making sex a pleasurable and enjoyable experience.
You might say that your partner spent some time in the area down there and still, you are not getting wet. Don’t worry. There are other vaginal dryness treatments available to help you curb the El Nino phenomenon.
6. Lubricant: The Simplest Solution for That Drought Down South
In case those extra minutes of foreplay did not work, here is another solution for you: sexual lubricants.
A lubricant is a type of product that helps you in the lovemaking process to ease painful intercourse. Aside from overcoming vaginal dryness, lubricants such as those from companies likeReplens can help enhance pleasure. Hence, it won’t hurt if you have a tube on your bedside table to enhance sexual pleasure and experience.
Three Main Types of Lube
- Water Based – This is the most common type of lubricant available in the market. When buying water-based lube, make sure you go for products that mimic fertile cervical mucus with a lower salt concentration to minimize irritation. At the same time, it should feel and taste like natural lubrication so it won’t interfere with any types of sexual foreplay.
- Oil Based – This type of lubricant is easily accessible since you can find it in your kitchen or bathroom. Examples of these are mineral oil, petroleum jelly, baby oil, and body lotion. The problem with this kind of lubricant is that it can easily destroy latex condoms and make them less effective.
- Silicone Based – Among the three types, silicone-based lubricant lasts longer than its sisters. This is also recommended if you have chronic vaginal dryness.
It is best that you try the lubricant first and take note of the effects. If you experience irritation, discomfort, and other adverse reactions, then discontinue use immediately. You might also want to consider the following treatment for vaginal dryness.
7. Vaginal Moisturizers: A Feminine Product You Should Consider
First, what is a vaginal moisturizer? A vaginal moisturizer is a type of product that aims to replenish the lost moisture in your vaginal area. At the same time, the moisturizing agents help introduce water into vaginal tissues, thereby bringing moisture back. As a result, this provides relief against ongoing discomfort caused by vaginal dryness.
Unlike lubes, a vaginal moisturizer brings back spontaneity inside the bedroom. Simply apply the moisturizer in your vagina regularly and at least two hours prior to sex to help you become moist.
The good thing about using a moisturizer is that you don’t have to apply it right before the scheduled – or unscheduled intercourse. This makes sex more spontaneous and enjoyable, since you don’t have to worry about whether you can get wet down there. Just worrying about it can make you dry, after all.
You have to be careful in choosing a vaginal moisturizer. There are products like Luvena, which has an existing injunction case filed by the FDA before the Department of Justice against the pharmaceutical company, Laclede Inc.
8. Low Dose Vaginal Estrogen Therapy: Another Solution for Dryness
Lubricant and vaginal moisturizer could help you achieve hydration and moisture in your vaginal area. However, this is not enough, at least for some. There are instances wherein some women do not get sufficient relief from lube and moisturizer, which could affect their way of life.
You know that lubrication is dependent on estrogen. This means if there is not enough of a supply, vaginal dryness follows. Given this scenario, it is right to conclude that replacing and increasing your body’s estrogen supply is the best way to boost lubrication.
In this case, low dose vaginal estrogen therapy could help. There are various kinds of treatments under this umbrella, which you will learn more about below.All estrogen products are designed to do the following:
- Helps restore healthy blood flow in your vagina.
- Improves the thickness and elasticity of your vaginal tissue.
- Provides quick relief from the symptoms of menopause.
- Brings back sexual comfort, thereby improving your sex life.
What are the different types of low dose estrogen therapy? The next section will explain your choices.
9. Vaginal Cream: A Type of Cream You Can Rely On
Many doctors prescribe vaginal creams like Premarin cream as part of the first stage of intervention. This is because vaginal creams are formulated in a pH-balanced base with concentrations of 0.5 to one gram.
Depending on the recommended dosage, you have to insert the cream into your vagina at bedtime for seven to 10 days, then reduce the frequency to one to three times a week. The good thing about vaginal cream is that it is safe and gentle to use. It is gentle enough to use on your urethral and vulva tissues.
It may take a while, but you will notice an improvement in as little as one to two weeks.However, the cream may feel messy and comes with a burning sensation, especially during the first few days. Eventually, you will get used to the feeling.
A piece of advice: Never use vaginal cream as a lubricant.
10. Vaginal Inserts: Another Product to Kick Your Drought’s Butt
Vaginal cream may be messy for some women. If you want to keep things feeling clean down south, you should consider vaginal inserts.
A vaginal insert is a type of suppository you can insert in your vagina to help restore and renew your vaginal tissues. This is like the type of suppository used for yeast infection treatments, although the target is different. Just like vaginal creams, you have to insert this vaginally at bedtime for one to two weeks, then reduce the dosage to two to three times a week for maintenance.
Aside from less of a mess, the use of vaginal inserts makes it faster for your vulva to respond to treatment. However, this type of product may not work faster than vaginal creams. You might have to use this regularly to maintain results and to make sure your area down there won’t fail you. Just like vaginal cream, you cannot use vaginal inserts as a lubricant.
You can start with Vagifem or Lubrin, although between the two, Vagifem is safer, more effective, and recommended more often.
11. The Low Dose Vaginal Ring: A Convenient Way to Get Your Estrogen Back
You heard about what penis ring could do to help a man get and maintain an erection for a maximum of 30 minutes. Did you know that there is a female equivalent to it?
You read it right, and it’s called vaginal ring. The vaginal ring is a soft, flexible ring you insert into your vagina. You can wear it for a maximum of three months as it releases a steady flow of estrogen directly to your vaginal tissues.
In case you are wondering, there is no need to remove the ring before sex. It will work perfectly fine, even during intercourse. Unfortunately, you cannot buy low dose vaginal estrogen therapy products anytime you want to. A prescription is necessary, which makes a doctor’s appointment an important step to treat your recurring vaginal dryness.
12. Not-So Low Dose Hormone Therapy: An Alternative Vaginal Dryness Treatment
Let’s say the low dose estrogen therapy does not work. Don’t worry – you still have another option. In this case, you can try hormone therapy.
Instead of just targeting the vaginal walls, this type of therapy raises the estrogen levels throughout your body. Aside from vaginal dryness and pain down there, this type of therapy also addresses other symptoms of menopause like night sweats and hot flashes. This is because it delivers higher doses of estrogen, thereby targets all aspects in your system.
You can avail yourself of this treatment in various forms such as:
- Pills and supplements.
- Through your skin using creams, patches, gels, or sprays.
- Vaginal rings including the Femring.
Still, this doesn’t mean you can go through this type of therapy for a long time. Once there is a buildup of vaginal tissue, you will have to switch back to low dose vaginal estrogen therapy to minimize the common side effects like:
- Weight gain
- Fluid Retention
- Skin Spotting
- Breast Tenderness
- Increased Risk of Blood Clots, Strokes and Heart Attack
Still, this doesn’t mean you are left with no other choice. Aside from the mentioned vaginal dryness treatments, sometimes, lifestyle factors could also play a role why getting wet is an issue. The next sections will tell you how you can say goodbye to dry spell by paying attention to the little things around you.
13. Watch What You Eat: What to Add to Your Diet
Do you want to curb vaginal dryness in the most natural way possible? If yes, then you should consider adding soy in your diet.
You might be wondering why.
You learned that vaginal lubrication is dependent on estrogen. This means the more estrogen you have, the easier for you to get wet down south. When your supply is low, then lubrication supply is likewise low.
This is where soy comes in.
Soy is rich in phytoestrogen, a synthetic form of estrogen that mimics the effects of this hormone. Consequently, soy is rich in protein, isoflavones, folic acid, omega 3 fatty acids, calcium, and other vitamins and minerals to keep you and your reproductive system healthy.
Since soy’s properties mimic estrogen, this could help in sparking your body’s lubrication system and provide you with relief from vaginal dryness. You can find soy in many products like:
- Soy Milk
- Soy Beans
- Roasted Soy Nuts
Enjoy a Banana Soy Smoothie
You will need the following ingredients to make this smoothie:
- One fresh ripe banana, sliced.
- One cup of vanilla soy milk.
- One tablespoon of soy protein powder.
- One cup of frozen blueberries.
- One-half cup of crushed ice cubes.
Simply blend these ingredients together and you have a drink to enjoy on the go. The best part is this is healthy, and good for your sex life, too.
Aside from what you eat, the section below will tell you something you should remember to combat that drought down south.
14. Irritants: Your Skin’s Silent Killer That Could Bring on a Drought
Did you know that irritants could also be the reason why you experience dry spells? These irritants could come from chemicals secretly tucked into your favorite soaps, perfumes, detergents and other hygienic products. Thereafter, these chemicals can be transferred on your underwear, towels, skin and other clothing.
What is the effect?
Believe it or not, it could be vaginal dryness. The worst part is you may not even notice that these products are the culprits, too. You might even think that the heat or other factors are causing the itch.
The best way to combat it is to make a switch to gentler, chemical-free and fragrance free products. Organic cotton clothing is also another way to minimize irritation in the area down there. By addressing irritants and allergens, you might be able to bring the moisture back in your vaginal area.
15. Increase Your Fitness Level and Dry Spell Won’t Surely Follow
You know that diet plays an important role in your health. Apparently, diet needs back up keep your health in its best shape. By back up, this means exercise.
Here’s the secret: if you are having problems down there, then exercise could help you, too.
The question is how?
Exercise increases your strength and fitness in various areas in your body. This promotes healthy blood circulation too, which is what you need when the situation arises. However, what makes exercise extra special is its ability to release chemicals in your body such as endorphins to help you boost your mood.
It turns out that a boost in your mood could manage symptoms of vaginal dryness and eventually help you go on with your normal routine, especially in bed.
Start your workout routine by looking for a physical activity that you love to do, such as running, biking, swimming or dancing. It helps if you enroll in classes or workout with your partner, too. Don’t forget to plot workouts in your schedule.
16. Communicate With Your Partner and Rekindle That Flame You Both Lost
How often do you sit with your partner and just talk about anything? You may not notice it, but the lost connection might be the reason why your vagina is not cooperating in the bedroom.
Therefore, spend some quality time with your partner. Start by having a simple dinner at home or watching your favorite movie while the kids are sleeping. Once a month, schedule a date night. You can try a new restaurant, look for a new activity to try, watch the latest movie in town, or visit a new place.
The bottom line is to find some time to reconnect with your partner. At the same time, engage in non-verbal cues like kiss, hug or hold hands to rebuild intimacy. When you are both ready, you might be surprised to find your lady down there in the mood and cooperating.
Vaginal dryness is no laughing matter. If it is starting to take a toll, not just in your sex life, but also in your daily activities, then it won’t hurt if you schedule that trip to the doctor. Don’t forget to take note of the 16 tidbits about vaginal dryness treatments and how it can help you curb dry spells.
More importantly, be patient. Don’t be too hard on yourself in case your lady down south doesn’t cooperate. It happens occasionally, but if it happens more often to you, start with some lifestyle changes, such as exercise, a healthy diet, plenty of water and restful sleep. Schedule a vacation to rekindle your feelings for each other, and most of all, enjoy your life to the fullest.