Have you ever been out with a friend enjoying a slice of pizza and wanted to ask them if their vagina has ever been through a drought? It seems like our bodies are forever changing and it gives us peace of mind knowing someone else has experienced something similar.
However, vaginal moisture isn’t one of those things people are comfortable talking about. It matters though, and can have quite an impact on our sex life. So, many of us wonder what is normal and what isn’t when it comes to our vaginas. Something my doctor once told me is that it’s important to remember the range of “normal” is a lot bigger than we might think.
I noticed after having all three of my children that I wasn’t as … ripe in my special area as I wanted to be. I was in my twenties then, and I had no idea that hormones played a part — and I didn’t feel comfortable asking my gynecologist about it, so I just used extra lube during sexy time, and around the time I was done nursing, things seemed to go back to normal.
However, now that I’m in my mid-forties, I not only have night sweats and horrific mood swings thanks to perimenopause, but there are times when I’m drier than a ball of tumbleweed rolling across an Arizona desert.
Even when aroused there are times when my vagina just isn’t going to produce the liquid gold on her own and I have to reach for the lube before anything touches it or I know I’ll be screaming in pain.
Scary Mommy talked with Dr. Alyssa Dweck, MS, MD, OB/GYN and Chief Medical Officer at Bonafide via email, who gave us some insight to why our undercarriage may dry out — and more importantly, what we can do about it.
Vaginal dryness naturally occurs anytime your body’s estrogen level drops. Dweck says, “Less estrogen leads to less blood flow to the vaginal tissue. Less blood flow means less natural lubrication and potential for uncomfortable symptoms including dryness and painful intercourse.”
You can expect this to happen during menopause, and even perimenopause, but it can also occur due to use of the contraceptive pill, chronic antihistamines, lactation, and as a result of cancer treatments like surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, says Dweck.
So, there are many factors that can lead to some dryness, but there are ways to get through it.
First, try using hyaluronic acid down there. You know, the stuff we love to put on our face because it moisturizes and plumps? Well, it can do the same for the vagina.
“It is a clinically studied, FDA cleared and super effective, naturally occurring ingredient used to manage vaginal dryness and associated symptoms like burning, irritation, and painful sex,” says Dweck. Plus, hyaluronic acid is non-hormonal.
How often do you need to use something like this? Dweck recommends using vaginal moisturizers on a regular basis. “Unlike hot flashes or night sweats, vaginal dryness related to menopause will only persist or worsen with time if not managed regularly. Sure, lubricants can work on demand, but moisturizers can provide longer lasting management and comfort,” she says.
We spend lots of money and time on our skincare routine, so there’s no reason not to take a bit of time on the skin that doesn’t show. Add your vaginal moisturizer in the morning before doing your face, right after a shower, or at night when you are washing off the day and doing your nighttime skincare routine.
Dweck recommends Bonafide’s Revaree®, which can provide relief from vaginal dryness, with an easy-to-use vaginal insert that renews your body’s moisture for everyday comfort and intimacy. Hormone-free, soy- and phytoestrogen-free, steroid-free, and paraben-free, Revaree helps rejuvenate vaginal tissue and replenish moisture.
I personally use Lark Revival and I love it — all you need is a swipe once a day and it literally takes just a few seconds.
We also spoke with Dr. Rashmi Byakodi, a health and wellness writer and the editor of Best For Nutrition who says if you’d like to preserve vaginal moisture you should avoid “using scented toilet paper, chemicals, perfumes, and harsh soaps near your intimate area.”
Once again, proof that trying to make our lady bits smell like flowers or candy is harmful (not to mention pointless, since it doesn’t work anyway).
If you experience dryness remember it is very common, and there are many reasons: stress, where you are in your cycle, medications, perimenopause and menopause, along with many others.
It’s a good idea to have something on hand like a good vagina care products and a sustainable lube — and stay away from the smelly stuff already.
You vagina is fine in all its forms, but we want sex and self pleasure to be comfortable and there’s no shame in giving it a boost.
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