Causes of Vaginal Dryness
A dry vagina can be uncomfortable to say the least. Sex, sport, even wearing pants can be a trial. Violet knows all about vaginal dryness and help is at hand. However, a good place to start is to understand some of the causes as changes to lifestyle, environment or medication can make a difference. The most common causes of vaginal dryness include:
A dry vagina can prevent the enjoyment of sex. And then the whole enterprise becomes a stress fest. Talk about a vicious circle. Stress can create an emotional distraction or mental block, making it difficult to achieve arousal and, in turn, this limits vaginal secretions (read more on natural vaginal moisture here).
Stress triggers inflammatory processes that can affect bloodflow and, again, this can inhibit natural vaginal lubrication.
Birth control pills
Contraceptive pills can cause vaginal dryness. Vaginal moisture is greatly assisted by the testosterone and the pill is not this hormone’s friend. The pill causes the ovaries to produce less testosterone. Also, the synthetic progesterone found in newer birth control pills poisons the testosterone receptor at high doses. Low-dose estrogen pills that contain drospirenone, desogestrol or norgestimate are said to have the greatest negative impact on libido and vaginal dryness. Read more about vaginal dryness and birth control pills here.
So-called feminine hygiene products — such as intimate cleansers and wipes, douches, and even deodorants – are big business. 2018 sales for vaginal treatments in the US amounted to over $286 million, and we spent $41 million on douches. These products can upset the pH balance of the vagina, causing dryness and discomfort. Read more on a healthy vagina’s pH balance here.
A peer-reviewed study concluded that bubble baths, applied antiseptic solutions to the vulva or vagina, or used store-bought or homemade solutions and washes to clean the vagina were more likely to have bacterial vaginosis.
A 2013 study found that the spermicide, Nonoxynol-9, completely killed off the “good” bacteria (lactobacillus) present in the vagina.
During pregnancy, hormones can fluctuate rapidly, which can cause vaginal dryness or irritation. Progesterone is the main culprit.
Vaginal dryness may occur post-pregnancy, especially for breastfeeding mothers. The hormone from the pituitary gland called prolactin, which helps keep up milk production, also can lower your estrogen levels.
Menopause can bring on atrophic vaginitis or vaginal atrophy. With this condition, vaginal tissues become thinner and more easily irritated. The cause is the natural decline in your body’s estrogen levels during menopause
“Vaginal dryness is not inevitable”- Your Friend, Violet