Perhaps the only positive thing about menopause is the complete stoppage of those heavy periods you always felt uncomfortable having. Apart from this, menopause comes with all sorts of health issues for women, including vaginal dryness. Vaginal dryness is one of the most uncomfortable and often painful conditions occurring after menopause.
While nearly 17 percent of the women between 18 and 50 experience vaginal dryness during sex, the percentage reaches a whopping 50 percent by the time women are between 51 and 59. Thus, although it can affect women of any age, post-menopausal women are especially susceptible to vaginal dryness. It shows that whether pre or post-menopausal, you are not alone.
Among others, the main culprit behind vaginal dryness is the falling estrogen levels– the female sex hormone. It’s important to understand vaginal dryness, its causes, and various management options.
Normal Vaginal Moisture
A thin layer of clear fluid coats and lubricates the walls of your vagina normally. Certain glands at the neck of your womb (cervix of the uterus) produce this fluid to keep your vagina supple and moist. The fluid clears the vaginal walls of any dead cells or microbes and keeps them healthy. It moves down the vagina and comes out as vaginal discharge, which is entirely normal.
Vaginal moisture is slightly acidic, which acts as a defense against bacterial or fungal growth. Thus, the fluid prevents infections such as thrush and maintains the health of your vagina. The color, amount, and consistency of vaginal moisture may fluctuate throughout the month with the changing estrogen levels.
In addition to this normal vaginal fluid, two glands at the entrance of the vagina — known as the Bartholin glands — also produce additional fluid during times of sexual excitement. This additional fluid does two things — first, it aids in intercourse, and second, it changes the environment from acidic to alkaline to protect the sperm.
Look into the best vaginal health supplements to care for yourself and stay feeling balanced.