Q: Hi doctor I’m no longer getting vaginal discharge. What makes my vagina dry inside? I went to doctor about it then she gave me vagina pills. The following (day?) I started my period. I thought after, I’ll go back to normal but it’s happening again. Can you please help – what to do or what to eat to bring my discharge back? I’m worried. Thank you
A: Vaginal dryness can occur due to variety of reasons and at any age. Usually the vagina has a thin film of fluid that coats it. This fluid helps lubrication during sexual intercourse, maintains the normal environment of the vagina preventing the overgrowth of organisms like fungi, flushing out dead cells and menstrual blood. The level of this fluid/moisture varies with the level of estrogen released in the body. During sexual intercourse, there is increased blood flow to the vaginal area leading to an increase in the volume of moisture. During menopause, however, the level of estrogen is very low leading to vaginal dryness, loss of elasticity and thinning.
The main consequence of vaginal dryness is the fact that it affects sex life such that these women experience significant pain and sometimes, bleeding. Other problems that vaginal dryness could cause include soreness, itching and burning around the vaginal area, recurrent urinary tract infections and frequency of urinating etc.
There are other conditions, other than menopause that can lead to low estrogen and consequent vaginal dryness. They include childbirth, breast feeding, cigarette smoking, some medications (like anti-estrogen drugs used to treat cancer) and douching. Douching refers to the practice of cleaning the vagina with a ‘cleansing’ fluid. For more on this topic, please click on this link: https://chatwithdrketch.com/…/daily-health-tips-what-is-dou…/
Other very common causes of vaginal dryness include a lack of foreplay during sexual intercourse, feelings of guilt, relationship issues, allergy etc
Treatment depends on cause. If it’s due to low estrogen, the focus would be on replacing this either through Hormone Replacement therapy or through the insertion of estrogen pessaries (tablets, cream or ring) into the vagina) should help. If due to rushed foreplay, there should be a conscious effort to slow down allow enough time for foreplay and sometimes, discussion with the partner may be helpful. Avoid heavily perfumed products like sanitary towels, tissues etc which may lead to irritation of the vagina and subsequent dryness etc.
I hope this helps.
Have a good night, y’all 😀