There are 5 possible causes of vaginal dryness
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Vaginal lubrication is generally naturally occurring in women. Lubrication is present at all times in a healthy vagina, though production of lubrication does increase with arousal in preparation of sexual intercourse. Without lubrication, penetration would be painful for women. Insufficient lubrication is referred to as vaginal dryness.
Lubricating fluid in the vagina is made up of acetic acid, aldehydes, complex alcohols and glycols, ketones, lactic acid, pyridine, squalene, urea and water. It is generally similar to pre-ejaculate. It is typically clear and slightly acidic. Color, consistency, odor, taste and texture can vary based on levels of sexual arousal and phase within the menstrual cycle. These characteristics can also be changed by diet, genetic factors, and the presence of certain drugs or infection.
Vaginal dryness can lead to dyspareunia. Simply put, this means painful sexual intercourse. Many different factors can inhibit lubrication. Certain over-the-counter medicines can act to lessen lubrication. Life events, including aging, lactation, menopause and pregnancy can all lower lubrication levels. In general, lubrication levels are tied directly to estrogen levels in the body. As women age estrogen levels drop and subsequently so can lubrication levels.
Without proper lubrication, sexual intercourse can become very painful. In order to remedy this, many women who suffer from vaginal dryness seek out both medicinal and homeopathic methods. If estrogen deficiency is the cause, then a vaginal-estrogen based cream can help. Artificial lubricants can moisten the vagina for hours at a time. Soybeans contain isoflavones that mimic estrogen in the body. Including foods rich in soy is considered by some to be a remedy. Soy based foods include tofu, soy milk and edamame. Health care providers can best determine the cause of dryness and recommend the most effective solution.
Possible Causes - Listed in order from the most common to the least.
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