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Vaginal Dryness: Meaning, Symptoms, Causes & More

TeamAckoJan 17, 2024

It is essential to take care of your sexual health. In this regard, one related issue that affects women is Vaginal Dryness (VD); a condition that can cause discomfort, pain, and even affect intimacy! It occurs when the tissues inside the vagina become thin and dry, leading to itching, burning, or soreness. In this article, we'll discuss everything you need to know about Vaginal Dryness, including its definition, symptoms, causes, and treatment. 




What is Vaginal Dryness? 

Vaginal Dryness is a condition that occurs when the vagina loses moisture and becomes less lubricated, leading to discomfort, pain, or even bleeding during intercourse.

Symptoms of Vaginal Dryness

The symptoms of Vaginal Dryness include the following. 

  • Burning or itching sensations in the vagina

  • Soreness or discomfort during intercourse

  • Vaginal bleeding during intercourse

  • Pain or discomfort when inserting tampon

  • Vaginal discharge that is less than usual

  • Urinary incontinence or recurrent urinary tract infections

Causes of Vaginal Dryness

Vaginal Dryness can occur due to several reasons, including the following. 

  • Menopause: The decline in oestrogen levels during menopause can cause the tissues in the vagina to become thinner and drier.

  • Breastfeeding: Hormonal changes during breastfeeding. 

  • Medications: Some medications, such as antidepressants. 

  • Cancer treatments: Radiation or chemotherapy. 

  • Autoimmune disorders: Conditions such as Sjogren's syndrome or lupus. 

  • Lifestyle factors: Smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and poor diet. 

Treatment of Vaginal Dryness

The treatment for Vaginal Dryness depends on the underlying cause. Some treatment options include the following. 

  • Vaginal lubricants: These are water or silicone-based gels that can help reduce friction during intercourse.

  • Hormone therapy: Oestrogen therapy can be used to help restore vaginal moisture and thickness.

  • Moisturisers: These are used daily to help maintain vaginal moisture.

  • Lifestyle changes: Quitting smoking, reducing alcohol consumption, and eating a balanced diet can help alleviate VD.

How long does Vaginal Dryness last?

The duration of Vaginal Dryness can vary depending on the underlying cause and whether or not it is being treated. 

  • For some women, VD may be a temporary issue that resolves on its own, while for others it may be a chronic issue that requires ongoing management.

  • In some cases, it may occur for a short period of time due to factors such as stress or anxiety, changes in medication, or hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle. In these cases, it may resolve on its own once the underlying issue has been addressed.

  • For women experiencing VD due to menopause, the duration can vary. While some women may experience only mild symptoms, others may experience more severe and long-lasting symptoms that require ongoing treatment. Oestrogen therapy or other hormonal treatments may be recommended in some cases to help alleviate symptoms.

How to prevent Vaginal Dryness

Here are some tips on how to prevent Vaginal Dryness.

  • Drink enough water: Drinking enough water can help keep your body hydrated, including your vaginal tissues.

  • Avoid harsh soaps: Using harsh soaps can disrupt the natural pH balance of the vagina and cause dryness.

  • Reduce friction: During sexual activity, using a water or silicone-based lubricant can help reduce friction and prevent VD.

  • Consider hormone therapy: If you are experiencing VD due to menopause or other hormonal changes, hormone therapy may be an option to help alleviate symptoms.

  • Practise safe sex: Using condoms and practising safe sex can help prevent infections and reduce your risk of developing VD.

  • Eat a balanced diet: Eating a healthy diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals can help support vaginal health and reduce your risk of developing VD.

  • Quit smoking: Smoking can reduce blood flow to the vagina and increase your risk of developing VD.

Issues due to Vaginal Dryness

Here are some of the common issues that can arise due to Vaginal Dryness.

  • Painful intercourse: VD can cause discomfort and pain during sexual activity, making intercourse painful or difficult.

  • Vaginal itching and irritation: Dryness can cause itching, irritation, and even a burning sensation in the vaginal area.

  • Urinary tract infections: VD can increase the risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs) by disrupting the natural balance of bacteria in the vagina.

  • Vaginal infections: Dryness can also increase the risk of vaginal infections, such as bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections.

  • Decreased libido: VD can lead to a decreased desire for sexual activity due to the discomfort and pain it can cause.

  • Decreased vaginal elasticity: Chronic dryness can lead to decreased vaginal elasticity, making sexual activity more difficult and potentially painful.

  • Psychological distress: The discomfort and pain caused by VD can lead to psychological distress, including anxiety, depression, and a decreased quality of life.

What does a dry vagina appear like?

A dry vagina can feel uncomfortable and even painful. 

  • It may feel sore or itchy, and the lack of lubrication can cause friction and irritation during sexual activity, making intercourse painful or uncomfortable. 

  • Some women may also experience a burning sensation in the vaginal area, particularly during urination. 

  • In addition to physical discomfort, VD can also cause psychological distress, such as anxiety, depression, and a decreased quality of life. 

Dry vagina during intercourse

There are several reasons why a woman may experience Vaginal Dryness during intercourse. One common cause is a decrease in oestrogen levels, which can occur during menopause, breastfeeding, or after certain medical treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy. 

Other factors include certain medications such as antihistamines and antidepressants, stress and anxiety, lack of arousal or foreplay, and certain medical conditions such as Sjogren's syndrome or autoimmune disorders. It is also possible for certain hygiene products, such as soaps, to irritate the vaginal tissue and cause dryness.


  • Use water-based lubricants during sexual activity to help reduce friction and discomfort.

  • Drink plenty of water to help keep the body hydrated and promote vaginal moisture.

  • Practise good vaginal hygiene by using mild, unscented soaps and avoiding using harsh products that can irritate the vaginal tissue.

  • Wear cotton underwear and avoid tight-fitting clothing to promote air flow and reduce irritation.


  • Don't use perfumed or scented products in the vaginal area, as these can cause irritation and dryness.

  • Don't smoke, as it can reduce blood flow to the vaginal area and exacerbate symptoms of VD.

  • Don't use certain medications that can contribute to VD without first speaking to your healthcare provider.

  • Don't be embarrassed to speak to your healthcare provider about any symptoms or concerns you may have related to VD.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some FAQs related to Vaginal Dryness.


Can Vaginal Dryness occur at any age?

Yes, VD can occur at any age, but it is more common during menopause.

Is Vaginal Dryness a sexually transmitted disease?

No, VD is not a sexually transmitted disease.

Can menopause cause Vaginal Dryness?

Yes, the decline in oestrogen levels during menopause can cause VD.

Is there a permanent cure for Vaginal Dryness?

No, there is no permanent cure for Vaginal Dryness, but treatment can help alleviate symptoms.

Is Vaginal Dryness common?

Yes, Vaginal Dryness is a common condition that affects many women at some point in their lives. It is most commonly associated with menopause, but can also occur due to a range of other factors, such as childbirth, breastfeeding, certain medications, and hormonal imbalances. Women of all ages can experience VD, although it is more common among postmenopausal women.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. Please consult a doctor before making any health-related decisions.


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