“Dry” is great for certain kinds of wine, a special sense of humor, and cleaning wool suits.

It’s not a good thing when it comes to your vagina. Vaginal dryness can be uncomfortable during normal activities like exercise, and downright painful during sex. For many women, vaginal dryness happens as the estrogen levels in their bodies drops.

Fluctuations in estrogen levels are normal, but there are steps you can take to alleviate the dryness that comes with the drops.

fluctuations

So….what causes drops in estrogen?

According to the Mayo Clinic and Everyday Health, some of the major causes of dive-bombing estrogen levels include childbirth, breast-feeding, certain medications and treatments, perimenopause and menopause, stress, smoking and douching.

Whether it is a result of

  • reduced circulation and blood flow (stress, smoking, cancer treatment, some antihistamine-containing allergy and cold medications),
  • natural estrogen suppression (childbirth and nursing) or
  • the aging process (perimenopause, menopause),

vaginal dryness happens to 1 in 3 women during their lifetimes. Clearly, you’re not alone!

good news

Four ways to say good-bye to vaginal dryness

Some causes of vaginal dryness are temporary: for breast-feeding moms, once Junior is weaned, your body will likely return to normal. With smoking, stress, and many medical interventions, once the source of the problem is gone, so is the problem.

With perimenopause and menopause, the root cause doesn’t go away, but there are still effective ways of treating the problem and re-claiming your happy sex life.*

  1. Lubricants and moisturizers. For many women, the right system of lubricants and moisturizers is a great, simple, effective solution for the problem of vaginal dryness. Check the label to ensure your lubricant is free of parabens which can cause irritation; lubes that offer numbing, warming, fragrance or flavor may also contain substances that users can have reactions to. The genneve line of personal care products is free of irritants and pH-balanced to maintain your body’s natural chemistry, since you’re asking. Our line of products includes genneve Intimate Moisture for vaginal dryness; genneve Personal Lubricant (currently on back order); our Hybrid Personal Lubricant, which is a long-lasting intimate lubricant; and our Cleansing Cloths, which are feminine wipes for comfort on the go.  
  2. Lifestyle changes. Some women find relief by adding regular exercise, reducing alcohol and nicotine intake, avoiding caffeine, and eating a healthy diet. Douches, some soaps and lotions not intended for sensitive areas can increase irritation, so choose your cleanser carefully and don't douche at all
  3. Alternative remedies. Compounds in soy and soy products can mimic estrogen and help some women reduce vaginal dryness, so consider adding tofu and soy milk to your diet. And because we know a lot of folks are mystified about what to do with tofu, here’s some help with that as well. (Seriously, the tofu scramble is SO delicious.)
  4. Hormone therapy. Designed to replace your body’s natural estrogen, hormone solutions are localized treatments such as vaginal estrogen inserts, skin patches that release estrogen over time, and oral medications. These may not be suitable for every woman, so be sure to work with a doctor to determine if one of these treatments is right for you. To continue the fight against dryness, also check out our 10 questions to ask when picking a feminine lubricant.

Now, about that “1 in 3” stat…

Did you have any idea vaginal dryness was such a common concern? Maybe not, because reproductive and sexual health issues are still such taboo topics that often women don’t discuss these problems with each other…or with their doctors. And we want your help to change that.

tackle taboos

The women of genneve toss around terms like “vaginal dryness” and “personal lubricant” the way other people discuss sports scores—and we want the world to be right there with us. We think women can only benefit from making vaginal health issues as open a topic of conversation as any other topic that impacts our health and quality of life.

So consider this an invitation to join the discussion at whatever level and in whatever way you’re comfortable. Check out our posts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and tweet or comment back with your thoughts. Join Midlife & Menopause Solutions, our closed, women-only Facebook group. Keep yourself in the know by subscribing to our podcasts, blog, and newsletter. 

What solutions have you found to deal with vaginal dryness? Leave your successful remedies in the comments section!

 

*As with any medical issue, please consult with your doctor to rule out more serious causes.


Shannon Perry

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