Vaginal dryness can cause discomfort during sex, and itching and burning sensations.
Some causes of vaginal dryness are:
Lower estrogen levels after
- Hormonal due to childbirth or breastfeeding
Cancer treatments, such as
radiation, and hormone therapy
- Use of certain medicines, such as antidepressants, antihistamines, cold medicines
- Sjogren’s syndrome
Your doctor may choose to do a pelvic exam to make sure that no other conditions are responsible for your vaginal dryness. During the exam you may be tested for infections or other conditions and may be asked to undergo a urine test. The good news is that you do not have to live with vaginal dryness. Sexual lubricants can bring back the pleasure.
Lubricants are substances designed to ease dryness, prevent friction, and make sexual intercourse more comfortable and enjoyable for both partners. There are many over-the-counter products available including:
- Aqua Lube
- K-Y Jelly
- Liquid Silk
- Moist Again
To treat vaginal dryness, often associated with:
- Post-partum period, due to the hormonal changes following childbirth and breastfeeding
Some medicines, including
, antihistamines, ulcer medicines, antidepressants, blood pressure medicines
- Strenuous exercise
- Use of oral contraceptives
- To enhance sexual pleasure
- To make condom use more enjoyable
How They Work
Lubricants provide moisture to reduce friction during intercourse and can increase sensation and comfort for both partners.
Not all lubricants are created equal. Do not use any of the following as lubricants:
- Petroleum-based products, such as Vaseline, mineral oil, and baby oil
can cause the latex in condoms to break down, increasing the risk for sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and pregnancy.
- Moisture creams and lotions
can interfere with the body's pH levels and cause irritation or infection.
can cause a yeast infection.
- Industrial lubricants, such as WD-40
are not made for human use, and may be dangerous.
Vaginal dryness. Mayo Clinic website. Available at: . Updated July 1, 2010. Accessed December 6, 2011.
Last reviewed December 2011 by Brian Randall, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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