We don’t know exactly when, but at some point in recent history, it was universally decided that “moist” was one of the most hated words in the English language.
You may think we’re being a little dramatic when we say “universal”, but seriously, there’s research on why this word has such an overwhelming ick factor! However, we can’t help but support the word moist. We even like it! Why? Because as our bodies go through changes and mature over time, it can be difficult to keep ourselves supple, hydrated, and yes, moist. Many of us experience conditions like vaginal dryness as a result.
Vaginal dryness occurs when your body’s estrogen levels drop, subsequently limiting the thin, natural lubricant your vagina produces. While vaginal dryness can be uncomfortable (and at times, even painful), it’s common and treatable, so your vagina can stay -- yup, you guessed it-- moist!
If your vagina is consistently dry over a long period of time, you may experience some physical changes. “Women will notice that they start to develop vaginal atrophy where the lining of their vaginas become thinner, drier and less elastic,” explained Dr. Navya Mysore. “It can occur during pregnancy, when you’re breastfeeding, surgically-induced menopause, or various medications that lower estrogen levels, often for treating breast cancer or endometriosis. It may also be due to a hormonal birth control, if your body doesn’t balance well with the hormones.” Vaginal dryness can cause a burning or itching sensation, and can make sex particularly painful (which, as you can imagine, we’re passionate about fixing). Luckily, there are ways to prevent vaginal dryness from getting worse, and to get your daily comfort (and sex life!) back on track.
Let’s start with your daily shower: what products are you using? According to Dr. Mysore, the best way to find relief can be tailoring your self-care routine with products that are gentle on the bod. “There can be many irritants in the soap you are using day to day which can worsen vaginal dryness. Try to use a soap that is fragrance free or even just cleanse with warm water and see if that helps your symptoms,” she recommends. She also suggests steering clear from products like vaginal wipes and douches, as they could further irritate your vagina, harm the vaginal tissue, and directly increase dryness.
If you don’t see a change after ditching fragranced products, consult with a trusted medical professional and work together to determine what the root cause may be, as it could be due to a medication or birth control. They may also suggest taking an estrogen replacement. “If your dryness is secondary to low estrogen levels, a replacement in the form of cream or tablet can be helpful, or an oral hormonal replacement with estrogen and progesterone,” suggests Dr. Mysore
And when it comes to sex, Dr. Mysore suggests opting for a water-based lube instead of an oil-based option. “Oil-based lubricants are not meant for internal use and can be irritating and harmful,” she warned. So for those interested in trying a water-based lube, you’re in luck-- we recommend our organic version!
If you can take anything away from this post, we hope it’s that a.) vaginal dryness is common, treatable, and shouldn’t be stigmatized, and b.) we all deserve moist (yup, one more time for the cheap seats in the back!) vaginas and fulfilling, painless sex. If we missed any other solutions, please share with us in the comments!
Photo by Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash