Is 2019 the year of the vagina?
From twitter to blog posts to sexy start-ups, what’s going on down below is truly trending. Think more open conversations around toys, lube, and even how popular diets can affect your lady parts. (Keto crotch, anyone?)
And although women are vocalizing what they want and need when it comes to sex, vaginal dryness still seems like something a lot of women don’t want to talk about. PS- it’s not only happening during menopause, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Not feeling shame and speaking up about dryness can not only help with the issue, but change the stereotype to be more inclusive of women at all phases of life. It doesn’t matter if you’re 15 or 50- vaginal dryness can be a “thing”. In fact, many women suffer from dryness for over 2/3 of the month, and many don’t even know why.
So why so dry? There’s a few reasons.
According to Clue, a menstrual tracking app, it’s all about estrogen levels. Estrogen keeps the vagina moist and also helps to support the thickness of the vagina’s lining . When estrogen decreases, so does moisture. This condition is known as atrophic vaginitis. It’s true estrogen levels dwindle during menopause but according to the same piece, there’s more to the story when it comes to that dreaded dry spell:
- During your period, estrogen is at it’s height in the days leading up to and around ovulation.
- After baby, your hormones may be way off; especially if you’re breastfeeding.
- During chemo or radiation therapy for pelvic cancer, or after removal of the ovaries, you may experience dryness.
- Certain medications like hormonal birth control can halt estrogen production and lead to dryness.
- In addition to many other health risks, smokers may have an increased risk of an earlier menopause leading to less estrogen production and vaginal dryness.
- You may need more foreplay. It may take a minute to sync up your body and your brain. Ask your partner for a little more time to get hot and bothered i.e. wet before you take it to the next level. Otherwise, you may just not be that into him/her.
And if the idea of period sex doesn’t do it for you, you may want to rethink getting turned on at that time of the month. It’s when you’re most lubricated, and Clue’s recommendation of shower sex during your period is not only kind of steamy, but you’ll need less lube overall.
Now that you know why you’re dry, it’s time to talk to your partner or friend with benefits about what’s going on. Whether it’s a legit need for more foreplay or simply a product of your cycle, you need to talk it out before you work it out.
Toronto relationship therapist Susan Valentine says that talking about vaginal dryness is an opportunity to increase connection and intimacy, and something a couple should deal with together. “It is difficult to talk about issues that make us feel vulnerable,” she says, but “part of what ends up disconnecting couples is the withdrawal and other defenses that arise in trying to protect oneself from shame or embarrassment.”
She adds, “Learning to talk about our fears and vulnerabilities with our partners strengthens our connection and overall relationship. It provides our partner with the chance to listen to our concern, validate it, and offer empathy.”
It’s also worth talking to your doctor and other women to encourage a bigger conversation in society-at-large. Dryness is not your fault, and you are not alone. Get int touch with what’s going on down below and further your confidence, well-being, and satisfaction.
If you’re suffering from vaginal dryness, try a product like K-Y® Liquibeads ®Vaginal Moisturizer which feels like your own natural moisture and allows for spontaneity.
And to learn more about the lube that’s right for you, check out our product page here.