Der Mythos von einer immer-feuchten Vulva

Why hardly anyone goes to an expert for vaginal dryness and what we can do about the problem

In sixth grade sex education class, we were asked how lust would manifest itself in men. We all knew the answer, although few raised their hands at our embarrassment. The next question was much more difficult for us: How does the woman's physical pleasure express itself? This time, our silence not only had something to do with the supposedly embarrassing topic, but above all with our ignorance. Only later did “getting wet” become the ultimate sex symbol. But what if it doesn't happen - and we're left dry with our intimate area?

One in three women* over the age of 45 suffers from vaginal dryness, statistically speaking even every woman* suffers from it at least once in her life. This problem is becoming more and more common, especially during menopause. But only less than half speak to experts. Despite simple ways to solve the problem, less than 4% of patients can be treated.

But why is that?

We can only guess, because as is usually the case with the "niche topic" women*, there are no statistics on the stigmatization of vaginal dryness. Here are a few explanations: Being super wet often means being sexually aroused. If there is no moisture, we have the feeling that something is wrong with our libido, we no longer find our partner hot, it is simply a 'low' phase or, in very bad cases, we ourselves are no more "sexy". Because songs like “WAP” suggest that a wet vulva is not only an indication of how much you want it yourself, but also how desirable we and our private parts are seen by potential partners.

Anyone who has not yet crossed the magical menopause threshold is confronted with another prejudice: being too young for vaginal dryness. At the same time, the topic is hardly communicated, so we often don't realize how many people share the problem with us. That's why hardly anyone knows that there are simple therapy options. Because vaginal dryness is nothing to be ashamed of or to sit out. Like other issues related to the female* sex organ, vaginal dryness is a completely normal phenomenon that often occurs - no matter how old or sexually active you are.

It is exciting that hardly anyone turns to experts. A dry vulva can be incredibly uncomfortable: it itches, burns and makes sexual intercourse painful. Because being wetter not only means that you are more keen, but also that the risk of injury during penetration is lower. When dry, the mucous membranes can tear, increasing the risk of inflammation and infection. Conversely, a wet vulva is much healthier: the vagina is a self-cleaning organ. Enough discharge means that their cleaning and protective functions are working and you are less likely to be injured.

But where does vaginal dryness come from if not (only) due to menopause?

Vaginal dryness can have many reasons: The most common are hormonal fluctuations, which can occur during menopause, pregnancy, breastfeeding, but also within your regular cycle - if you suffer from vaginal dryness, pay attention to whether the problem occurs regularly at the same time in the cycle. Hormonal birth control, especially with progestins, can also affect your vulva.At the same time, vaginal dryness is a side effect of certain diseases: diabetes, endometriosis, MS or high blood pressure can cause your vulva to dry out

The situation is similar with cigarettes, alcohol and coffee. They can constrict our blood vessels, affecting blood flow and thereby inhibiting the production of our vaginal secretions. Because sufficient blood flow is 'key' for a healthy vulva! And while we think we're doing her some good, sometimes we do more harm. With too much (and wrong) intimate hygiene, for example, we ruin our vulva flora.

A final reason for vaginal dryness can be overwork, because our desire is created in the head and is susceptible to stress. So if you can't come down in everyday life, it may not be so easy to come down after work either. More stress means less desire - this can manifest itself in vaginal dryness, a general lack of relaxation and thus also in difficulties in finding an orgasm. Because the moisture penetration during sexual intercourse depends on your arousal.

What can we do about vaginal dryness?

Let's go straight to the point of relaxation: What relaxes you? Try to listen to yourself and your body a little more. Soak in the bath, read a book, do CrossFit, do yoga, sort through your records, have a long cooking session, or meditate - everyone relaxes differently. If you clear your head when you exercise, you beat two causes with one activity,because regular physical activity stimulates blood circulation, which in turn leads to the production of vaginal secretions.

Another way to relax is through orgasm and masturbation - grab a toy (like Smile Makers' 'Poet'), a partner, the shower head, or whatever otherwise fun. The blood circulation is stimulated and your mucous membrane remains active. If you have acute problems with vaginal dryness during sex, you can deal with erotic reading (perhaps from Berlinable?), films or a long foreplay that goes particularly well into your fantasies with metaphorical Hold water.

If it's still dry time down under, just grab the lubricating gel. The less friction causes less pain and you can not only relax physically but also mentally. CBD lubricating gels (such as the CBD-infused Intimate Gel from nevernot) even help in two ways: CBD can have pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory, relaxing and blood circulation-promoting effects. So it is the ideal product to tackle vaginal dryness. Massage or baby oils also help. But make sure you pay attention to the ingredients and the right pH value. Perfumes, aromas and chemicals can damage your mucous membrane and the optimal PH value for your intimate area is by no means neutral, but acidic! It is best between 3.8 and 4.4. Therefore, lubricating gels with lactic acid (included in all three nevernot intimate gels) or estrogens are ideal for your vaginal milieu. You should also pay attention to the ingredients of the products in your intimate care routine. It is best to wash yourself with clear water or a gentle washing lotion that is adapted to the acidic PH value of the vulva. You can also swap your synthetic fiber panties for cotton underwear and use pads or soft tampons (our customers report that they help them with vaginal dryness during their period) instead of cotton tampons during your period.

Each case is individual, please seek advice from your doctor, as we are not allowed to provide any medical information.

Read the article 'Why we don't say "power woman" anymore..'

Nele cloth
Nele is nevernot's content and social lead and writes articles at the intersection of topics such as sexual liberation, feminism and gender theories.