Finally, we’re bringing you very public answers to some of your most private questions. When sexual and vaginal health concerns arise, OB/GYN and nationally known women’s health expert Dr. Jessica Shepherd wants to ensure you have the answers you need to feel at ease. As the founder of Her Viewpoint, an online women’s health forum, she uses this outlet to focus on addressing taboo topics in a comfortable setting. Prepare to take notes!
Q: How can you treat vaginal dryness and tenderness?
A: Vaginal dryness can be due to a lot of things. Some women secrete vaginally in different amounts, and some women just don’t secrete as much as others, and that’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with that. As a society we tend to think that if you don’t have a lot of lubrication in the vagina, naturally, that something’s wrong with somebody, but it’s not.
There are some ways to enhance that and to really have fun and find help with vaginal lubricants, with different types, like ones that are water-based and ones that are silicone-based. The ones that are silicone-based tend to last longer, so those are helpful. Other ways are to use things such as coconut oil. Olive oil can be used as well.
Also be mindful that if someone is menopausal, meaning that they’ve gone through it, they will experience vaginal dryness because of the decrease in estrogen. This is something they should definitely talk to their doctor about. Doctors can recommend something called estrogen therapy. It can be in a pill form or a cream form and can be applied directly to the vagina. These are some of the ways to enhance vaginal lubrication and dryness.
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