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What causes vaginal dryness?


Question: What causes vaginal dryness?
“I’m a woman in my mid 40s, I’m not married, but still manage to have sex pretty regularly. Recently I’ve noticed a big change in how wet I get. Most of the time when I’m with a guy I’m really wet, I’ve never needed to use lubricant, but lately even when I think I’m ready to go, my body just doesn’t seem up for it. I consider myself to be in good shape, I work out, so I don’t know what’s going on. I read about vaginal dryness but I’m not sure if that’s what’s happening to me.”

Based on your description, I’d say what’s happening to you is that you are experiencing vaginal dryness. What’s impossible for me to say, is why. There are many reasons women experience vaginal dryness . Aside from fluctuations in hormones (including changes that result from taking certain medications ) and a variety of medical procedures that can lead to vaginal dryness, you may also not get “wet” if you simply aren’t turned on enough. One way to narrow it down a bit is to notice whether your vaginal lubrication is still the same when you masturbate. If it is, it may be something about the sex you’re having (or who you’re having it with). If you’re experiencing the vaginal dryness during all your sex play, there may be something else going on. There are many options to treat vaginal dryness most of which are easy and non invasive.

I also wanted to take a moment to respond to your comment about never “needing” to use lubricant. This is a bit of a shameless plug (so to speak) but personal lubricants are, in my opinion, the great unsung sex toy. For many people it isn’t a question of needing or not needing lubricant, it’s a matter of lubricant making sex slippery, more sensitive, and often more fun. Personal lubricant is also the easiest and least invasive way of dealing with vaginal dryness. Rather than thinking of lubricant as something that indicates a lack, you may want to try it out and think of it as something that simply adds to the sex you’re having.

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Published March 12, 2006.

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