It happens

Yeah, Your Vagina Is Probably Gonna Get Dry As You Age

No one needs to be living with discomfort.

Your vagina will dry out as you age, nobody needs to living in discomfort
Natalie Board / EyeEm/EyeEm Premium/Getty Images

Fifty is just around the corner for me, and over the past few years, I’ve noticed something: it feels like everything is drying up with zero chance of moisture returning. Sure, I’m talking about my hands, feet, and legs. But perhaps most of all, my vagina has decided it’s time to dry out too. There are times I’m walking around and I just feel off and uncomfortable down there. When this first started happening, it almost felt like a UTI was coming on. It kept happening. Honestly, I wasn’t sure what was going on.

Sex was more uncomfortable at times, too. Even when I’m primed and in the mood, sometimes I need some additional lubrication, or my mood would change from frisky to please-don’t-touch-me real fast. At first, I felt embarrassed about it, and I didn’t want to talk about it or even admit it to myself. I wasn’t sure what it meant or why my body was changing. My partner could also tell I felt different, and stopped and asked if I was sure I was in the mood or he should get some lube.

I was in denial. I thought moisture would just magically appear. But I wasn’t fine. Friction in your nethers when you’re trying to get it on isn’t something you should ignore. Not to mention it made it almost impossible to orgasm. I realized I needed to get over the embarrassment and shame and that lubrication was invented for a reason. Just like other parts of our body, there are times when your vagina needs some extra attention and care.

I probably should have known better from the beginning — this isn’t the first time in my life vaginal dryness has happened, either. I remember other times, like after I had kids and I was breastfeeding. One of my close friends struggled with dryness in her 30s, because it was a side effect of a new medication.

The fact is, there’s nothing to be ashamed of. And as women, we need to feel comfortable talking about all the things that happen to our bodies; there are great solutions out there.

It’s important to note that about 17% of people experience vaginal dryness before menopause and about half of post-menopausal women will experience it. It all has to do with our hormones; a drop in estrogen is all you need to have a drop in your natural lubrication. Ninety percent of women don’t seek treatment, which can make things like sexual intercourse, exercising, and even sitting uncomfortable.

I’ve been on a mission for the past few years to find products that relieve discomfort due to dryness and this is what I’ve found:

My top choice is this THC pleasure oil. It’s not only a lubricant, it also gives you extra warmth, relaxation, and stimulation. If you are someone who always struggles to fall asleep after sex, I can’t recommend this product enough. A little goes a long way and as soon as this liquid gold starts warming up a bit you will be hooked. Don’t be afraid to use this on other areas of your body; it’s great for sensual massage and nipples too.

Using hyaluronic acid daily can also help. I started doing this regularly to give my vagina a little boost. It’s excellent for your face, and your hair, so why not put a little bit down there while you are at it? [[While it’s not a cure-all and I still need to reach for my pleasure oil, it has helped.]]

Lark is another one of my favorite lubes.It’s made with organic ingredients and I love how it comes in a bottle that you can pump instead of a screw-cap tube. It’s long-lasting and a little goes a long way.

Regardless, it’s important to remember that vaginal dryness can be normal. No one needs to be living with discomfort that’s preventable so if you’ve noticed a bit of a climate change down there, pick up some lubricant, or THC oil, and see if that helps. If it doesn’t and you are still in pain, contact your OBGYN and they can help you decide on other available options.

Katie Bingham-Smith is a full-time freelance writer living in Maine with her three teens and two ducks. When she’s not writing she’s probably spending too much money online and drinking Coke Zero.