Experiencing vaginal dryness? You’re definitely not alone, and we are here to help.
What causes vaginal dryness?
According to The Mayo Clinic, “Reduced estrogen levels are the main cause of vaginal dryness.”
Estrogen levels change not only throughout your menstrual cycle but are affected by many other factors. Common causes of decreased estrogen levels (causing vaginal dryness) include breast-feeding, childbirth, cigarette smoking, effects of cancer therapies, immune disorders, perimenopause, menopause, the absence of ovaries (often done through a procedure called an oophorectomy), and the use of medications that inhibit estrogen production. Other causes include douching, the use of allergy/cold medications, and Sjogren’s syndrome (a disorder of your immune system).
Also, one frequent side effect of oral contraceptives (that is rarely discussed in healthcare settings) is vaginal dryness.
Types of Vaginal Moisturizers
Vaginal moisturizers come in many forms – suppositories, creams, gels, ointments, etc. One thing to look out for is whether a product is water-based or oil-based – some products should not be used with condoms (they can break down the condom material).
Vaginal Moisturizers vs. Lubricants
Lubricants are specifically designed to be used during sex and/or intercourse. Moisturizers aid in daily comfort and relief from dryness throughout the day.
Without further ado, here are 10 non-toxic vaginal moisturizers for you to try out.
Author’s note: Do not use any oils or oil-based products with condoms/dental dams (see here for more detail). Oils damage latex which decreases the effectiveness of the condom/dental dam. As always, with questions or concerns, ask a healthcare professional before using products.
Gillian ‘Gigi’ Singer, MPH
American Board Certified Sexologist, Sexuality Educator, and Sex Ed Content Specialist