50% of Women Experience it.
Vaginal dryness is a conversation that isn’t getting enough attention. Of the many challenges a woman’s body can experience, this topic is often swept under the rug. Few feel comfortable enough to broach the subject even with a close friend. Many wait to discuss it with a physician until well after the situation becomes intolerable. The crazy part of all of this is vaginal dryness affects around 50 percent of women of all ages. The truth of the matter is this is not something rare that only happens during menopause- it's incredibly common and can occur at any age for a variety of reasons. If you have a vagina, it gets dry sometimes. And it's ok!
There are numerous issues that can arise from vaginal dryness. One common side effect that can often cause pain and embarrassment is the strain it can have on your sex life. Around 17 percent of women between the ages of 18-50 consistently have a hard time enjoying sex due to a lack of natural vaginal lubrication. Vaginal dryness is caused by a reduction in estrogen, which is the hormone responsible for making the fluids that hydrate the vaginal walls. It goes without saying that not only does vaginal dryness lead to discomfort during sexual activity, but it can also be very dangerous, leading to cuts and tears of the vaginal wall that could lead to infections. Further, it often leads to the avoidance of sex which can contribute understandably to low sexual appetite. Let’s be frank, if sex is painful, you won’t want it.
It’s time we introduce you to the Bartholin glands! They sit on either side of the vaginal opening (along the lips) and they aren’t easily noticeable, being the two tiny little holes that they are. However, those tiny holes do masterful work that when you are sexually stimulated by your partner or yourself, they secrete a slick lubricant that easily spreads around your vagina wall.
There are a number of reasons why women suffer from vaginal dryness. Most commonly hormonal imbalances or declining estrogen are major contributing factors. However, it's also important to consider behavioral and emotional influences that compound feelings of shame, guilt, and even fear which can suppress lubrication. We are going to explore a number of ways in which you could look to overcome these issues but beforehand, please take consideration of the advice of your physician. Vaginal dryness is not something to be embarrassed about and can be resolved with the right advice.
What can you do?
The great news is there are a number of solutions that you can act on immediately to start to improve your symptoms or even better, rid yourself of them indefinitely.
Stay hydrated, super hydrated: Too many of us are still not drinking enough water, even after the constant haranguing from both doctors and the media. In fact, new research shows that 75 percent of Americans are chronically dehydrated. A lack of hydration severely limits the ability of your glands to produce natural lubricant. So before you do anything, make sure you’re drinking the recommended amounts of water- 80oz per day!
Omega 3 Fatty Acids: On top of the many health benefits provided by Omega 3, studies have shown that making sure you’re consuming enough Omega 3 In your diet aids the functions that produce natural lubricants. Consider increasing your consumption of certain types salmon, sardines, and cod as well as a number of plant sources, such as pumpkin seed.
Phytoestrogen Rich Diet: Hormone imbalance is often a leading cause of vaginal dryness. Be sure to include phytoestrogens, plant-based food chemicals that support adequate estrogen, into your diet. Flax seeds are a great source of phytoestrogens.
Maca: Yes! Maca is one of our favorite food solutions thanks to its many cognitive benefits. Also, studies have shown that it raises estradiol levels which can combat vaginal dryness.
Vitamin D3: Most of us don’t get enough Vit D3 from the sun, so supplementation is often necessary. Hormones are made from cholesterol and vitamin D in the body so keeping your vitamin D levels up means good hormonal support.
Last but not least, make sure you indulge in proper foreplay and invest in lube. It can be tempting often to skip the lead up and dive right into intercourse. However, sometimes our bodies require a little bit of waking up before they function properly. A touch of foreplay prior will help you reach a point of arousal that allows you to lubricate naturally. A good lover wants you to enjoy yourself, so make sure you communicate your needs with them. Finally, consider purchasing either water-based or silicone-based lube, this will work wonders in easing any discomfort from sex and best of all, there is no limit to how much you can use! We love Sustain for all your lube needs.