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 lust lust would manifest itself in men. We all knew the answer, although few raised their hands because of 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 unawareness. Only later did “getting wet” become the ultimate sex symbol. But what if it doesn't happen - and our intimate areas are left high and dry?
One in three women over the age of 45 suffers from vaginal dryness, statistically speaking 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 of the people affected speak to experts. Despite simple ways to solve the problem, less than 4% of patients are treated.
But why is that?
We can only guess, because as it's 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, that we no longer find our partner hot, that it's simply a 'low' phase or, in very bad cases, that 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 same problem. 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.
Interestingly, hardly anyone turns to experts. A dry vulva can be incredibly uncomfortable: it itches, burns and makes sexual intercourse painful. Because being wet does not only mean that you're horny, 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. 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 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 stress, because our desire is created in our heads. So if you can't calm down in everyday life, it may not be so easy to calm 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 to orgasm. Because the moisture 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. Take a 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 the Smile Makers 'Poet'), a partner, the shower head, or whatever works for you. The blood circulation is stimulated and your mucous membrane remains active. If you have problems with vaginal dryness during sex, you can deal with erotic reading (perhaps from Berlinable?), films or a long foreplay.
If it's still drought season down under, just grab the lubricating. 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 might 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. Also, the optimal PH value for your intimate area is not neutral, but acidic! It is best between 3.8 and 4.4. Therefore, lubricants 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.
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