Vaginal dryness is an affliction that doesn't just affect a woman's physical comfort; it can have emotional repercussions, too. The vagina is a sensitive area, and dryness can cause itchiness and pain that may make intercourse feel uncomfortable. This is bound to affect a woman's attitude toward sex, and it may have a lasting impact on her sex drive. A healthy sex life with your partner is both natural and essential for your relationship and personal well-being, and vaginal dryness is a condition which could potentially threaten that.
Why Is Sex Important?
Sex is an essential part of any loving relationship. It is a healthy physical manifestation of affection and desire, and a way of sharing intimacy with your partner. Sex is sometimes associated with empowerment and stress relief, but most commonly with pleasure; intercourse is a stimulating expression of sensuality that can be both physically and emotionally satisfying. A sex drive is defined as the urge to have sex; the higher someone's sex drive, the greater their sexual appetite.
Vaginal Dryness and Sex Drive
Vaginal dryness occurs during menopause primarily due to hormonal changes that occur in this time. Decreased levels of estrogen cause the vaginal tissues to become thinner, lose elasticity, and secrete less natural lubrication. These factors create a feeling of dryness in the vagina that generally comes with itchiness, pain, or both.
Vaginal dryness can affect sex drive in more than one way; first, the condition may diminish libido by causing physical discomfort during sex. Dryness is likely to create painful friction if penetration occurs before a woman is fully aroused, as arousal stimulates the secretion of vaginal moisture. Physical discomfort may alter a woman's attitude toward sex, and she may experience a natural diminishment in her sex drive because of this.
Sex drive is influenced by emotional factors, too. If a woman feels self-conscious about her dryness, has fears about sex causing pain, or associates her vaginal health with feelings of femininity or attractiveness, these are all likely to make sex seem unappealing and reduce her sex drive.
How Can I Prevent Vaginal Dryness from Affecting My Sex Drive?
First, communicate with your partner. Pick a moment outside of intercourse and explain the reasons you are experiencing vaginal dryness and why this is affecting your experience of sex. Ask for his support as you deal with your dryness.
It is important to continue to have regular sex, both for your emotional well-being and because sex is a natural antidote to vaginal dryness. When a woman is aroused, increased blood circulation to the genitals stimulates the secretion of moisture in the vagina. Indulge in plenty of foreplay (e.g., kissing, manual, or oral stimulation) to ensure that you are fully aroused before penetration, and use a water-based lubricant to provide immediate relief for any discomfort.
Some women believe that medical treatment is the solution for vaginal dryness, but in reality, there are many habits, natural therapies, and moisturizers to prevent and combat the symptom that you should consider first.
Like many aspects of a relationship, sex is something that you and your partner need to give time and effort to. If vaginal dryness is affecting your experience of sex, either emotionally or physically, don't ignore it. Vaginal health is important, and the various treatment options available mean that you do not have to allow it to impede upon your well-being.
- National Health Service. (2012). Sex after the menopause. Retrieved on February 19, 2014, from http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/women4060/Pages/sex-after-the-menopause.aspx
- National Institutes of Health. (2014). Vaginal dryness. Retrieved on February 19, 2014, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000892.htm
- Office on Women's Health. (2010). Menopause. Retrieved on February 19, 2014, from http://womenshealth.gov/menopause/symptom-relief-treatment/
- University of California Santa Barbara. (2013). FAQ: Different Sex Drives. Retrieved on February 19, 2014, from http://www.soc.ucsb.edu/sexinfo/question/faq-different-sex-drives