Vaginal dryness occurs when the lubrication in the vagina does not flow as it should. This can occur at any time, but is most noticeable during sexual activity because extra lubrication is usually produced upon arousal. Vaginal dryness affects women of all ages and is usually no cause for concern. Use lubricants to help you have more comfortable sexual activity as well as for walking and inserting a tampon if you find it helpful. If you are experiencing vaginal dryness, do not be alarmed. You may want to see your gynecologist to get it checked out if it seems unusual, but unless your discharge has a foul smell or has a cottage cheese consistency, most likely your body is just experiencing some changes and you have no cause for concern.
What Causes Vaginal Dryness?
Vaginal dryness can be caused by many different factors. One cause is menopause. Because of hormonal changes, your body will secrete less fluid from the vagina than it has in the past. This fluid comes through the vaginal walls as a result of arousal. When you are aroused, the blood vessels in your vagina will allow more blood to flow more quickly, causing more fluid to be secreted. When estrogen levels fall in the body, less fluid is secreted from the vaginal walls. Vaginal dryness can also be caused by certain medications, especially antidepressants, cold medicines and allergy medicines. If you are breastfeeding or have had your ovaries removed, you may also experience lowered estrogen levels and therefore more vaginal dryness.
Warnings About Vaginal Dryness
If you experience severe itching, burning or swelling in the vagina before or after sexual intercourse, there may be another problem that causes vaginal dryness. Vaginitis is a disorder that can cause vaginal dryness and irritation, but it can easily be treated with antibiotics. Other causes of vaginal dryness are yeast infections or bladder infections, which can also cause stinging, burning or itching in the vagina. Go to your doctor as soon as you feel any of these symptoms so he or she can prevent a serious infection. You can purchase over-the-counter remedies for a mild yeast infection, but a bladder infection will need antibiotic treatment so it does not get worse.