Vaginal dryness is common among women, especially during and after menopause.
It’s important to have a lubricated vagina to prevent chafing and infections. Since natural vaginal moisture is slightly acidic, it helps keep away infections such as thrush. A light vaginal discharge is normal and shows that the vagina is being naturally cleansed, moving dead cells and menstrual remains out. When a woman is sexually excited, her Bartholin’s glands, at the vaginal entry, secrete mucus to provide extra lubrication to prepare for sexual intercourse.
Vaginal dryness can be a frustrating issue when it comes to having sex. Dryness before menopause is typically a problem solely because it hampers one’s sex life. A woman might experience this lack of natural lubrication because she’s anxious, not aroused, or is otherwise unrelaxed for a variety of reasons. If she’s with a man, he might have been ready to go long before she had a chance to become aroused and it’s too soon for her to experience vaginal penetration. There are conditions, such as diabetes or those involving low estrogen levels (common in women who breastfeed) that can contribute to vaginal dryness before menopause. It’s easy enough to lubricate a dry vagina with a water-soluble lubricant or vaginal moisturizer. Stay away from using petroleum based lubricants, as they can disrupt natural vaginal secretions.
Vaginal dryness is extremely common during and after menopause due to a lack of estrogen. A woman’s estrogen level plummets during this time. The production of moisture from the cervix was dependent its existence. The vagina will also feel more dry as its lining is thinned and elasticity lessened. Infections such as thrush are more common. Many women report experiencing painful intercourse after menopause and it can take several minutes for a her to become aroused for penetrative sex when she’s menopausal.
There are some steps that menopausal and postmenopausal women can take specifically for their vaginal dryness. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can help thicken the vaginal lining and aid in lubrication. HRT is best if there are other problems along with dryness because it presents some risks. Taking time and engaging in a lot of stimulating foreplay is another way to relax, slow down and allow time for the Bartholin’s glands to do their job lubricating the vagina. Traditional water-soluble lubricants are another option. It’s possible that after meeting with a doctor you’ll receive a prescription for one of a variety of creams or pills that are available to treat vaginal dryness. With all that’s available, prescription or not, there are plenty of helpful treatments available to help every woman have the most satisfying sexual experience possible.