Low Libido and Vaginal Dryness
Vaginal dryness affects women of any age and often times is a topic most women are embarrassed to ask about or think there is not a treatment for. Following is some information to give you confidence to ask practitioners and professionals questions about this topic.
Vaginal fluid or lubricant is mucus that is produced in the vagina.
The purpose of this is to maintain vagina health, help move sperm, prevent infections, and reduce friction in the vaginal wall during sex. When there is not enough vaginal fluid being produced then vaginal dryness occurs.
For More Information On Topics Like this see our blog: Low Libido In Women.
Low Libido, Vaginal Dryness and Estrogen
Reduced estrogen levels are the leading cause of vaginal dryness. Estrogen maintains normal vaginal lubrication, appropriate thickness of the vaginal lining, and tissue health. Estrogen levels may fall due to menopause, childbirth, breast feeding, cancer therapy, removal of ovaries, immune disorders, or smoking. Medications are another cause. Allergy and cold medications can create dryness in your whole body, including your vagina. Oral contraceptives and antidepressants can contribute to this. Douching can also affect vaginal dryness because it disrupts the normal chemical balance in your vagina.
If you’re concerned about your low libido due to medication, it may be time to switch
Vaginal atrophy is often seen with vaginal dryness in post menopausal women. This happens when your body does not produce enough estrogen, leading to thinning and inflammation of the vaginal walls.
The symptoms of vaginal dryness include stinging, itching, burning in the vaginal area, loss of libido, discomfort during sex, reduced lubrication during sex, and bleeding following intercourse.
Vaginal atrophy or dryness at any age can have a negative impact on your sex life since it can cause intercourse to be uncomfortable. It can cause your vagina to feel dry, itchy, or to burn which can be painful during intercourse. You may not feel as satisfied either. Therefore, you may be less likely to want to have sex.
There are solutions for vaginal dryness. Remedies include:
- Vaginal moisturizers – normally sold over the counter and used every few days to keep the vagina from being dry. You can apply the moisturizer a few times a week before bed. Apply it around the walls of the vagina to let it absorb. Don’t try to use a moisturizer or cream that is not specifically for the vagina.
- Water based lubricants – these are to be used on your vagina and on your partner prior to or during sexual intercourse. These are also sold over the counter. Be sure to choose a lubricant that doesn’t contain petroleum jelly or glycerin. Glycerin can cause your vagina to become even more irritated, and petroleum jelly can cause condoms to weaken or break during sex.
- Having sexual stimulation on a consistent basis can help improve your overall vaginal health because it increases blood flow and vaginal secretions. You can do this with a partner by engaging in foreplay before intercourse, or you can do it alone with a vibrator.
- You can also try other sexual activities that don’t involve intercourse but involve intimacy with your partner. Activities like massaging, mutual masturbation, oral sex, or simply touching can be fulfilling. These activities are typically more comfortable if your vaginal dryness symptoms are especially bothersome.
Pelvic floor exercises can help to strengthen weak vaginal muscles. With lower levels of estrogen, vaginal muscles weaken over time. Exercises like Kegels can help to relax tight muscles and strengthen weaker ones. These exercises also help to increase blood flow to the vagina. Use this link for instructions. Even better than Kegels are Jade Egg Exercises. For information on Jade Egg Exercises see our blog HERE.
Both hormonal and nutritional factors can influence vaginal secretions. When it comes to vaginal health, proper immune activity is crucial. Here are recommendations of what may help:
- Vitamin B complex – B vitamins can also be found in many foods such as salmon, leafy greens, liver, eggs, beef (steak), sunflower seeds, nutritional yeast, milk, shellfish (oysters, clams, mussels), legumes, and poultry (chicken/turkey).
- Vitamin D – this can be taken as a supplement or as a suppository. Studies have shown that using it as a suppository for 8 weeks can improve vaginal lubrication.
- Vitamin E – this also can be taken as a supplement or used as a suppository for 12 weeks.
- Omega 3 fatty acids (fish oil) – A study on 52 postmenapousal breast cancer survivors, who consumed 3.5 grams of omega-3 fatty acid daily for six months, had improved vaginal dryness as it can enhance estrogen levels.
- Hyaluronic acid – this is in many vaginal moisturizers
- DHEA – is an essential estrogen source. The amount your body makes of this decreases with age. Supplementing can increase this, helping estrogen levels and keep your libido constant.
Don’t hesitate to bring up vaginal dryness to your doctor especially if it is affecting your libido or sex drive. Your sexual health is an integral part of your overall health and well-being. After evaluating your situation your doctor can recommend what is best for you so you can have a normal and pleasurable sex life. You can also get testing done with us. The first step in working with us is taking our masterclass!