WHO IS KYNECT FOR: VAGINAL DRYNESS


Just like menstrual cycles, discharge and menopause, vaginal dryness is nothing to be ashamed of. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not something that only happens to us once we’ve been through the menopause - vaginal dryness can be caused by a vast number of reasons and is completely normal to experience at one point or another.

 

Just like menstrual cycles, discharge and menopause, vaginal dryness is nothing to be ashamed of. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not something that only happens to us once we’ve been through the menopause - vaginal dryness can be caused by a vast number of reasons and is completely normal to experience at one point or another.

WHAT IS VAGINAL DRYNESS?


Vaginas are pretty special. They are completely self-cleaning thanks to the natural lubrication produced by glands in the cervix, which helps to maintain a thin layer of moisture that prevents infections, and aids sperm survival if you’re trying for a baby.

Vaginal lubrication is governed by three hormones:

  • Oestrogen
  • Progesterone
  • Testosterone

    You might be surprised to see the third one as it’s more commonly associated with men. But testosterone helps to repair reproductive tissues and is essential for sexual arousal. Progesterone, meanwhile, plays a key part in the menstrual cycle. It helps to thicken the walls of the womb, ready to support a fertilised egg. The starring role, however – the same one people with periods have to thank for bloating once a month – goes to oestrogen. 

    When females go through puberty, oestrogen levels begin to rise. This rise kickstarts periods, breast development, pubic hair growth and that natural vaginal moisture. When a female then gets older hormone levels begin to drop, which causes the walls of the vagina to become narrower, decreasing the number of cells capable of producing our natural lubricant.

This natural occurrence is called “the menopause”, with one of the main symptoms being vaginal dryness. Vaginal dryness can lead to soreness, burning, stinging or lowered libido. This can put a huge strain on relationships, which is why honest and open conversations are important.

WHAT CAUSES VAGINAL DRYNESS?


While age is a factor, some hormonal causes can also lead to vaginal atrophy – the thinning and inflammation of vagina walls as mentioned above. This may be embarrassing for women to communicate to their partners, but trust us - it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Around 17% of women experience vaginal dryness between the age of 18-50, with 56% of women experiencing vaginal dryness between 40-84.

Alongside the menopause, here are a few things which may affect your hormone levels, leading to vaginal dryness:

  • Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy or hormone therapy
  • Perimenopause (the years leading up to the menopause)
  • Medications such as birth control pills or anti-depressants.
  • Breastfeeding (as you have low estrogen during this time)
  • If you’re postpartum (read more about this here)
  • Using perfumed fragrances (The NHS advise that perfumed soaps, gels and antiseptics can affect the healthy balance of bacteria and pH levels in the vagina, which can cause irritation or dryness)
  • Smoking and alcohol, along with many other side effects, can also affect natural vaginal moisture.

A common reason women may experience vaginal dryness is also stress. We’ve all had those moments where we’re just not in the mood. The kids have tired us out or our jobs are driving us crazy. If you’re not relaxed, you will find it more difficult to become sexually aroused, or again, your body’s ‘fight or flight’ response may inhibit blood flow.

Try not to pressure yourself if you’re not feeling it. Many couples benefit from scheduling ‘date night’, while others may prefer to go with the flow. Focus on the relaxation and the intimacy will come.

MY VAGINA IS DRY. SHOULD I PANIC?


You should absolutely not panic if you suffer vaginal dryness during sex or a general lack of moisture down there. It happens to everybody regardless of their age, and anything from natural monthly changes in your hormones to medication could be the issue.

If it’s a long-term problem, for example, if you’re adjusting to life after the menopause, you should try a water-based lubricant like Kynect. These are perfectly safe and will ensure you enjoy a healthy, full sex life without pain and irritation.

WHY USE A LUBE FOR VAGINAL DRYNESS?


Water-based lubricants like Kynect are an ideal alternative for those who want to enjoy sex during periods of vaginal dryness. They can help to reduce friction, which lessens the likelihood of injury or soreness – mimicking your body’s natural lubrication and helping you both to enjoy sex.

If you’re using latex or polyisoprene condoms, lubricants can also prevent them from breaking or coming off unexpectedly, making for safer sex. Oil-based lubricants can break down condoms, but water-based products have no effect on latex or polyisoprene protection.

RECONNECTING WITH YOUR PARTNER

Let’s not forget that sex is about so much more than intercourse. You can also introduce lube into the bedroom for foreplay, giving you both the chance to familiarise yourself with each other’s bodies or aid masturbation. It’s gentle on your skin and can be used with sex toys, so there’s no reason not to get experimental.

To reconnect with your partner, you need to reconnect with yourself. Our bodies all go through changes and we may need to re-familiarise ourselves with our most intimate zones. Spend time exploring each other’s bodies and try to talk about it.

Don’t forget – your ‘intimate zones’ aren’t only between your legs! Spend time kissing, cuddling and even pressing your foreheads against one another’s for another level of intimacy.

Remember, no matter what your age, orientation or sex life, vaginal dryness can affect all of us. It’s rare that it indicates any kind of medical condition, but always ask your doctor if you’re not sure.

To keep things running smoothly and help keep you and your partner connected, try Kynect today.