ISA-HERRERA-WHAT-YOU-NEED-To-KNOW-ABOUT-VAGINAL-DRYNESS

(Almost) Everything You’ve Wanted to Know About Vaginal Dryness & Have Been Afraid to Ask

Isa Herrera How to Combat Vaginal Dryness

Don't let symptoms like vaginal dryness stand in the path to your pelvic healing

It's easy to feel confused about your “Lady Parts” and let it stop you.

You start experiencing discomfort in your most private areas – the ones we've been culturally taught not to talk about – and you hope it'll just go away. When, instead, it gets worse, it gets even more challenging to ask for help.

Because maybe, you tell yourself, it's your fault or maybe because the doctor roadshow has let you down. Maybe you feel like did something wrong. Or maybe you didn't deal with a past birth trauma or maybe your bladder and pelvic floor muscles are in a state of disharmony. Or maybe it confronts you with the possibility you're getting older, whether or not it's actually related to that.

And either way, who's going to get up in the middle of her life and start talking about her vagina to strangers, or worse – your friends or your family?

It's easy to think you're the only one experiencing vaginal dryness.

The result? According to a 2018 study, more than 50% of women who are suffering from vaginal dryness don't even tell their doctors about it, and less than 4% of women who are suffering are actually taking action to heal. That's likely because feeling like you're the only one is isolating. It empowers the shame, the confusion and can keep you suffering when there are actually many ways to heal dryness naturally and holistically.

Get your copy of my Vaginal Dryness Survival Guide Here… Everything you need to know and recommended products to stop vaginal dryness in its tracks

Plus, vaginal dryness specifically is a very common physical situation and many times can help with internal and external vaginal massages and exercises.  Look around a room full of women of all ages, and it's possible one in every five women is going through the same situation, hoping she had someone to talk to. If you're in a room full of postmenopausal women, it's probably at least one of two. Yet many of us and I was there myself feel so alone.

So today, let's talk about it. Let's talk about the symptoms, the causes, and how we can claim our power and regain our vaginal health.

Isa Herrera How to Combat Vaginal Dryness

Symptom Checklist: What is Vaginal Dryness and How to Know if You Have It

According to Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation (DSLRF), “vaginal dryness probably results from changes that occur when estrogen levels drop. Low estrogen causes the vagina and surrounding connective tissue to lose elasticity and the tissue that lines the vagina becomes thinner and more fragile. Vaginal dryness occurs in about 20% of women, sometimes transiently and other times permanently. If you're sore from vaginal dryness, you don't want to have sex and if you don't have sex, your vaginal dryness gets worse—a classic catch-22.”

According to DSLRF, this is how most women describe vaginal dryness:

  • Itchy
  • Painful
  • Bleeding during sex

According to NHS (National Health Service), a website funded by the Department of Health and Social Care in the UK, additional symptoms of vaginal dryness may include:

  • “Need to pee more often than usual.”
  • “Keep getting urinary tract infections (UTIs).”
  • “Feels like a yeast infection.”

Does Vaginal Dryness Mean I'm in Menopause?

According to 2018 data from the Study of Women Across the Nation (SWAN), “which tracked more than 2,400 women over a 17 year period… it's no secret that as a woman transitions through menopause and her estradiol levels drop, her body undergoes many changes. Among these changes is decreased vaginal blood flow, which leads to vaginal dryness and pain during intercourse,” reported EurekAlert, a global news service by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

EurrekAlert also reported that “more than half of women develop vaginal dryness as they become more postmenopausal.”

Similarly, a 2019 study, reported by the US National Library of Medicine, concluded that “moderate-severe vulvovaginal symptoms are prevalent in both premenopausal and postmenopausal women and that these symptoms have a significant impact on sexual health.”

But menopause is only one possible cause you're experiencing vaginal dryness.

Get your copy of my Vaginal Dryness Survival Guide Here… Everything you need to know and recommended products to stop vaginal dryness in its tracks

What Else Can Cause Vaginal Dryness?

Estrogen reduction levels as well as other sex hormone reduction, which cause vaginal dryness, tend to be linked to menopause, but can happen for a variety of other reasons, including childbirth, explained Wellness Mama, an online resource that started when one mom, Katie Wells, began researching to find answers to her own health challenges.

“Hormone production starts declining when a woman is in her 20s,” clarified the site, explaining that “you may be particularly at risk for low estrogen if you:

  • “are post-menopausal
  • “smoke
  • “use birth control pills
  • “receive hormonal treatments
  • “have certain autoimmune diseases.”

According to WebMD,  and my personal experience “estrogen levels can also drop and vaginal dryness can develop because of:

  • “Childbirth and breastfeeding
  • “Pelvic floor dysfunction
  • “Pelvic floor tightness
  • “Perineal scars
  • “Pantyliners and Depends pads
  • “Radiation or chemotherapy treatment for cancer
  • “Surgical removal of the ovaries
  • “Allergy and cold medications
  • “Certain antidepressants
  • “Not enough foreplay before sex.”

NHS adds additional causes, including:

  • Contraceptive pills
  • Hysterectomy
  • Diabetes
  • Use of perfumed soaps, washes or douches in your vagina

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list. Even if you don't think any of these causes is related to your specific situation, if you're suffering, I highly recommend to do something about it. Keep reading for my advice on how to heal your vagina.

Isa Herrera How to Combat Vaginal Dryness

Vaginal Dryness: Your Opportunity to Claim Your Personal Power

“It is estimated that up to 60% of post-menopausal women suffer from vaginal atrophy [which can include vaginal dryness]. And due to embarrassment, cultural taboos and the fact that many women just don’t feel comfortable speaking to their health care providers about the intimate details of their sex lives, many women suffer in silence,” wrote Dr. Christiane Northrup, a women's health expert, wellness speaker and a New York Times bestselling author.

In that article, Dr. Northrup covered multiple ways to keep your libido high during menopause, including getting your hormone levels checked, trying a progesterone cream, trying phytoestrogens and exercising.

But her tips can be your gateway to claiming your personal power even if you're years before or after menopause. Specifically, I really like her tip to “give yourself permission to explore your sexual energy on your own terms.” Exploring your sexual energies includes correctly exercising the pelvic floor muscles and making sure they stay supple and flexible.

Tight pelvic floor muscles decrease circulation to the vaginal area and tissues. Pelvic floor tightness many times creates pelvic congestion and this tightness can affect the quality of the vaginal tissues. That's why I always encourage you to never be ashamed about your sexual health, and that's why I'm going to give you the straight scoop on healing vaginal dryness.

How to Heal Vaginal Dryness and Get Your Vaginal Tissues in the Best Shape Ever at Any Age

In the 17 year study I covered above, “19.4% of women (aged 42-53) reported vaginal dryness. By the time the women… were aged 57 to 69 years, 34% of them complained of symptoms,” reported EurekAlert.

That means you are not alone.

Vaginal dryness is very common.

What's not common is asking for help (less than 50% of women do that) or taking action to heal (less than 4% do that).

I want you to be in the latter “uncommon” group. I want you to live a life free of suffering, and I know it's possible, because I've helped thousands of women heal. Heck I even healed my own vaginal dryness when I went through menopause at the age of 41 ( that’s another crazy story I will share later on) and I did it naturally.  In these healing processes, I've found certain vaginal products, sexual lubricants and food that help more than others across the board.

I've compiled it in a quick list for you, divided by categories. It's completely free, but as you download it here [link to landing [page], I want you to make a promise to yourself that you will take at least one step forward this week to get your vaginal tissues in the best shape they've ever been, so you can live a fulfilling, pain-free life.

Get your copy of my Vaginal Dryness Survival Guide Here… Everything you need to know and recommended products to stop vaginal dryness in its tracks

Vaginal Dryness: Your Opportunity to Claim Your Personal Power

“It is estimated that up to 60% of post-menopausal women suffer from vaginal atrophy [which can include vaginal dryness]. And due to embarrassment, cultural taboos and the fact that many women just don’t feel comfortable speaking to their health care providers about the intimate details of their sex lives, many women suffer in silence,” wrote Dr. Christiane Northrup, a women's health expert, wellness speaker and a New York Times bestselling author.

In that article, Dr. Northrup covered multiple ways to keep your libido high during menopause, including getting your hormone levels checked, trying a progesterone cream, trying phytoestrogens and exercising.

But her tips can be your gateway to claiming your personal power even if you're years before or after menopause. Specifically, I really like her tip to “give yourself permission to explore your sexual energy on your own terms.” Exploring your sexual energies includes correctly exercising the pelvic floor muscles and making sure they stay supple and flexible.

Tight pelvic floor muscles decrease circulation to the vaginal area and tissues. Pelvic floor tightness many times creates pelvic congestion and this tightness can affect the quality of the vaginal tissues. That's why I always encourage you to never be ashamed about your sexual health, and that's why I'm going to give you the straight scoop on healing vaginal dryness.

How to Heal Vaginal Dryness and Get Your Vaginal Tissues in the Best Shape Ever at Any Age

In the 17 year study I covered above, “19.4% of women (aged 42-53) reported vaginal dryness. By the time the women… were aged 57 to 69 years, 34% of them complained of symptoms,” reported EurekAlert.

That means you are not alone.

Vaginal dryness is very common.

What's not common is asking for help (less than 50% of women do that) or taking action to heal (less than 4% do that).

I want you to be in the latter “uncommon” group. I want you to live a life free of suffering, and I know it's possible, because I've helped thousands of women heal. Heck I even healed my own vaginal dryness when I went through menopause at the age of 41 ( that’s another crazy story I will share later on) and I did it naturally.  In these healing processes, I've found certain vaginal products, sexual lubricants and food that help more than others across the board.

I've compiled it in a quick list for you, divided by categories. It's completely free, but as you download it here [link to landing [page], I want you to make a promise to yourself that you will take at least one step forward this week to get your vaginal tissues in the best shape they've ever been, so you can live a fulfilling, pain-free life.

About the Author

ISA HERRERA, MSPT, CSCS

Isa Herrera, MSPT, CSCS is a New York City-based holistic women’s pelvic floor specialist, author of 5 books on pelvic health, including the 2017 international best seller Female Pelvic Alchemy and the ground-breaking self-help book, Ending Female Pain, A Woman's Manual. She has dedicated her career to advancing awareness of pelvic floor conditions so that more people can find relief from this silent epidemic that affects over 30 million people in the US alone. Ms. Herrera holds a BA in Psychology and Biology from Fordham University and also a Masters in Physical Therapy from Hunter College. Click here for a complete bio.