Rarely talked about but commonly experienced by many women: vaginal dryness. Discomfort surrounding the terms “moist”, “wet”, and “lube” have resulted in the silencing of any relevant discussion for decades – it’s about time we open the conversation about the causes, effects, and solutions to vaginal dryness.
Let’s start with the basics: Typically, a thin layer of moisture coats the walls of the vagina. The female hormone estrogen is responsible for this lubrication, so when estrogen levels decrease, vaginal dryness tends to occur. While menopause is a primary cause of the dryness due to the drop in estrogen production, other causes include breastfeeding, stress, childbirth, immune system disorders, and smoking.
For some, this dryness may not be a big deal, for others it can result in many unwanted changes. It can cause pain and discomfort during sex – along with burning, light bleeding post-sex, soreness, urinary tract infections, and itching. These symptoms are sometimes experienced in the years leading up to menopause, but can also come into effect after several years into menopause.
As mentioned, menopause and vaginal dryness tend to complicate sex life. Libido might plummet as a result of vaginal dryness, but the good news is that there are ways to address these challenges. Evidence even shows that women who have sex more tend to experience less vaginal atrophy – so the question is where do we start?
Doctors recommend over the counter vaginal moisturizers and lubricants which can be applied to the vagina before sex or bedtime. While these products might temporarily give your vagina the moisture it needs, cannabis might be the best solution to get your sex life back on track. When cannabinoids (CBD and THC) are applied directly to your vagina using a cream or a vaginal suppository, they encourage blood flow right to the vaginal tissues. Additionally, cannabis can relax muscles and fight inflammation in these tissues (more on that here).
Regardless of the approach a woman takes to address her vaginal dryness, the important thing is that she doesn’t settle. There are so many variables that cause this dryness, so it’s important that women consider a multitude of solutions when it comes to feeling like themselves again.
by Brooke Kenerson