Vaginal dryness during menstruations
Not enough is said about vaginal dryness. And when that happens, people are likely to tell you that it is something you have to deal with as you age, usually due to perimenopause and menopause.
However, this is always strictly true. Vaginal dryness can occur at any age and can cause daily discomfort or pain during intercourse.
Vaginal dryness occurs when your vagina is less lubricated than usual. Vaginas are self-lubricating, which means that they produce moisture. Fluid from your cervix and secretions from the glands at the entrance to your vagina help keep your vagina lubricated.
Symptoms of vaginal dryness can include discomfort or itching, abnormal vaginal discharge, or pain during intercourse.
Vaginal dryness is more common than most people think, where 17 percent of women between the ages of 18 and 50 experience vaginal dryness during intercourse until they reach menopause, according to Women's Health Concern. Fortunately, symptoms can be treated once you understand the cause.
The levels of lubrication in the intimate female parts is linked to estrogen level, which can change over the course of a woman's life, which include menstruations, pregnancy, breastfeeding, menopause.
Your natural lubrication level often decreases during your period. At all stages of your cycle, estrogen levels change, and they drop when you are menstruating. Estrogen helps create natural lubrication, hydrates your vagina, and maintains the thickness of your vaginal lining.
Lack of estrogen can sometimes lead to decreased natural lubrication, causing dryness during menstruations. Whether it is for comfort during the day or during coitus, there are ways to deal with vaginal dryness and the discomfort that comes with it.
If you experience daily discomfort due to low estrogen levels, it is good to speak with your healthcare provider to find out which is the best option for you. Use a vaginal moisturizer made with organic ingredients and designed to hydrate vaginal tissues, so the pH balance is not disturbed.
If you are aroused but not wet, try using lubricant for foreplay, masturbating, or having sex with someone. You can also use lube when you are not feeling particularly dry, just for better intercourse.
In a 2013 study, more than nine out of ten women agreed that lubes helped sex be more comfortable, pleasurable, and simply better.
If you are using tampons with applicators, try using a vaginal moisturizer to help insert the tampon. Or choose natural, plastic-free pads that are designed to be soft and flexible on your skin, without the need to insert them.
If you have recently changed your hormonal contraceptive and vaginal dryness increases, speak with a healthcare provider about trying another type of contraceptive.
Using a menstruation tracker is a great way to keep track of where you are during your cycle, so you can prepare for the days when you are more likely to be dry and need help staying relaxed.
There is no reason to be embarrassed if you think you are experiencing vaginal dryness during menstruations; it is ubiquitous. But there is no reason to have problems. Fortunately, there are ways to help treat symptoms and prevent them from affecting your physical, mental, and sexual well-being, so seek advice if you have difficulties.
If you are experiencing something unusual in your body, it is a good idea to consult your healthcare professional. Do not forget that all bodies and experiences are different, so tracking your period and even examining your vulva from time to time in the mirror will help you understand what is normal for you.