One in three women will suffer from vaginal dryness at some point in her life. This often leads to pain during sex. Many women suffer in silence, too ashamed to address the issue. While sexual dysfunctions in men are frequently biological in nature, a woman’s lack of lubrication can have many different causes. Whatever the cause of this dysfunction, it results in an inadequate production of fluid/secretions.
When everything is functioning correctly, the vagina is well supplied with blood and enough fluid can be produced. However, there is no need to resign oneself to passively enduring the physical and psychological dysfunctions described below. The lack of moisture can simply be remedied using a lubricant such as AQUAglide or BIOglide. Lubricants return the delicate mucous membranes to a moist and elastic condition, allowing those women affected to enjoy pain-free sex.
Hormonal fluctuations The most frequent cause of vaginal dryness can be traced to women’s hormone levels. The fairer sex experiences regular hormonal fluctuations. The supply of blood to the vagina is reduced and the skin becomes thinner. The mucous membranes become more delicate, with tears occurring more easily, leading to infections. Along with general vaginal dryness, which might make itself noticeable through itching and a stinging pain, there is above all a lack of sufficient lubrication during sexual intercourse.
Menopause (climacteric) For most women, the hormonal changes that occur during menopause signal the beginning of a time of physical changes. For example, hot flushes and sweating can considerably reduce their desire for physical contact. However, the biggest problem for ageing women is the reduced ability of their vagina’s mucous membranes to secrete moisture. Their diminishing levels of oestrogen mean that the mucous membranes receive less blood and therefore fewer of the necessary nutrients. The vaginal secretions change and can no longer be produced as quickly. This often makes sex into a painful activity. Yet every woman should be able to enjoy this second blossoming without any pain! A lubricant makes it easier for a woman to enjoy her femininity.
Around one in three women will be affected by vaginal dryness during menopause.
Pregnancy, parenthood and breastfeeding Fluctuations in the female hormonal system also occur during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Some women are not only affected by the invasion of hormones, but also worry themselves with fears: Could I get a bacterial infection through having sex? Could an orgasm cause contractions? Could sex even lead to a miscarriage? All of these worries are completely unfounded, yet women’s psyches can still play tricks on them! These unfounded fears can also lead to a dry vagina and pain during sex, which of course only makes the mental anxieties worse.
Diabetes: Diabetes mellitus, in which the increased blood sugar levels affect the nerves and blood vessels in many parts of the body, can also severely affect sexual function. In particular, it can take longer for the vagina to lubricate itself, and there might be less secretion overall. Some diabetes drugs also reduce the patient’s libido.
High blood pressure: If it isn’t treated properly, high blood pressure can cause lasting damage to the blood vessels. This also affects the blood vessels responsible for lubricating the vagina. The fine interplay of the stimulus conduction system is disrupted, leading to vaginal dryness. Some drugs used to treat high blood pressure can also cause a loss of libido and the ability to become sexually stimulated.
Multiple sclerosis (MS): With this chronic illness, the nerve structures in particular are plagued by inflammation. Recent studies in particular have shown that the illness can also lead to sexual dysfunctions. The symptoms of this unfortunately also include vaginal dryness.
Endometriosis: This is a benign growth of the lining of the uterus, which occurs in places outside the uterine cavity, such as the fallopian tubes. Vaginal dryness is one possible accompanying symptom of this illness.
Side effects of cancer treatment: Breast cancer treatment can suddenly bring on menopause in women. One possible accompanying symptom of this is the sudden onset of vaginal dryness.
Medication / Contraceptives Taking certain medications and hormonal contraceptives (e.g. ones containing progestogens) can cause vaginal dryness. Blood pressure medication, sedatives, neuroleptics and antidepressants are known for their negative impact on libido.
Individual psychological factors
Stress Day-to-day pressures can often lead to a reduced libido. Around 60 percent of women and men believe that work-related stress has a negative impact on their sex lives. Stress is a sexual inhibitor, according to a representative survey conducted by FOCUS magazine. One in three people generally lose their desire for sex when suffering from stress, with 46 percent of 35- to 54-year-olds surveyed stating that stress sometimes made them lose their desire for physical intimacy.
Stressed-out managers who do not deal well with their day-to-day pressures are much more frequently dissatisfied with their sex life (34.5 percent) than their less-stressed colleagues (only 7.2 percent). These are the findings of an analysis conducted by the Munich-based geva institute on behalf of FOCUS. 2112 managers were surveyed.
Career women’s libido suffers twice as often as that of women who are in part-time employment or who do not work at all. These are the findings of a study of 218 women treated at the renowned Masters and Johnson Institute in St. Louis.
Nervousness Because sexual stimulation in women is to a certain extent mentally derived, psychological problems also have a negative impact on vaginal lubrication. When women suffer from anxiety or nervousness, this can result in vaginal dryness. Vaginal lubrication can also suffer when women lack interest in their sexuality. This can sometimes be due to serious causes, such as trauma suffered through sexual abuse or a taboo-based sex education.
Relationship problems In long-term relationships in particular, people’s libido can suffer for a variety of reasons. The relationship becomes routine – the partners know each other inside out, and sex unfortunately becomes a duty rather than a pleasure.
Many people take their partner for granted and do not see the need to make sufficient effort. The result is often a lack of stimulation. In addition, tensions in the relationship can often go hand in hand with a lack of desire. Problems in bed – especially when they are not talked about – can also be the cause of a diminished libido and the vaginal dryness that goes with it.
Taboo-based sex education Many women with vaginal dryness also suffer from feelings of guilt during sexual intercourse, as sex was explained to them as something “dirty” or “forbidden” during their childhood, or defined as such by their religion.
Sadly, the problem can also be due to serious causes, such as trauma suffered through sexual abuse.
Feelings of inadequacy Vaginal dryness can be caused by a great number of psychological factors: women who are dissatisfied with themselves and their bodies experience powerful feelings of shame and cannot relax during sex (which in turn can cause pain through vaginal cramping and make the problem worse). Or they totally refuse sex because they do not feel themselves to be attractive.
Alcohol and nicotine These toxic stimulants also affect the blood vessels. Consuming them can therefore also affect vaginal lubrication.
Excessive genital hygiene The vaginal flora normally has a natural balance. Ordinary soap therefore has no place in vaginal hygiene. Some women wash excessively, which can lead to vaginal dryness. Clean water or a skin-neutral, gentle wash lotion are suitable for gently washing the outer vaginal area.