Vaginal dryness causes intimate discomfort in everyday life and sexual relations: difficult penetration, pain during and/or after the act... Relationships can quickly start suffering.
Normally, the vagina is wet: throughout the menstrual cycle, ovarian hormones, such as estrogen, influence its development and determine its flexibility. During sexual intercourse, blood circulation increases and the vagina becomes more moist and lubricated.
Do not confuse vaginal dryness with a lack of lubrication.
When hormonal secretions are disturbed or when the vaginal flora is unbalanced, the vagina can lose its moisture: this is known as vaginal dryness. Vaginal dryness must be distinguished from a lack of lubrication, which is related to sexual arousal and therefore only occurs during sexual intercourse. Thus, it is possible for a woman to have a lubrication defect, but no vaginal dryness problem per se.
Sexual harmony is impaired
Vaginal dryness is the leading cause of pain during intercourse," says Dr. Alain Tamborini, a gynecologist. It must be treated quickly because the discomfort and then the pain caused by sexual intercourse will quickly transform into a fear of penetration, which is responsible for the lack of lubrication. Women who are embarrassed by painful intercourse will tend to avoid or delay intercourse, thus becoming more stressed out by their problem. This can become a vicious circle. »
The causes of vaginal dryness can be many and vary from person to person.
In order to get an effective treatment, the cause of vaginal dryness must be identified. It is important not to neglect the psychological aspect: worries and problems in the couple make the body and mind less open to sexuality and can be responsible for vaginal dryness.
A drop in estrogen levels is often the primary cause for vaginal dryness.
If it is true that the lack of desire influences the degree of humidity in the vagina, the origin of this problem is most often hormonal: a decrease in the level of estrogens, which limits the secretion and causes vaginal dryness.
"Vaginal dryness must be minimized. All women, at some point in their lives, will be confronted with this problem, particularly during the menopause, when the production of estrogen decreases, after childbirth or while breastfeeding," explains gynecologist Alain Tamborini.
Other, non-hormonal factors are also responsible.
However, hormonal variations are not the only culprits for vaginal dryness and lubrication problems. Other factors can include:
- Irritation and/or infection of the vaginal mucous membrane;
- a disturbance of the vaginal flora;
- Wearing clothes that are too tight, causing prolonged rubbing of the vulva;
- and/or overly aggressive intimate care: repeated douching, vulvar epilation, use of tampons throughout the menstrual period...
Repeated and prolonged sexual intercourse, excessively rapid penetration without foreplay or the use of unlubricated condoms can also irritate the inside of the vagina.
Finally, major fatigue, alterations in the general health condition, serious illnesses over a prolonged period of time and/or the intake of certain medications (tricyclic antidepressants, antipsychotics...) cause disorders related to vaginal dehydration.
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