Vaginal Dryness: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Vaginal dryness is a common condition that affects many women, Vaginal dryness is more common in women during and after menopause, but it does affect younger women too. Here we explore the causes, symptoms, and available treatments for this uncomfortable symptom.

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What Is Vaginal Dryness?

Vaginal dryness is when the normal moisture is missing from your vagina. Often, the vaginal lining is lubricated with fluid, which helps keep it thick and elastic. However, when estrogen levels decline, as is common during menopause, the vaginal walls can become thin and dry. This condition is known as vaginal atrophy1.

Causes of Vaginal Dryness

  1. Menopause: Estrogen levels naturally decrease as you age or during menopause. This hormonal change leads to thinner and less elastic skin and tissues in the vulva and vagina, resulting in dryness.
  2. Breastfeeding and Childbirth: Hormonal fluctuations during breastfeeding can also contribute to vaginal dryness.
  3. Medications: Certain medications, including anti-estrogen drugs, antidepressants, and antihistamines, may cause dryness.
  4. Cancer Treatments: Chemotherapy and hormone therapy can impact vaginal moisture.
  5. Diabetes: Poorly controlled diabetes can affect vaginal health.
  6. Sjogren’s Syndrome: An autoimmune disorder that causes dryness throughout the body can also lead to vaginal dryness.
  7. Not Being Sexually Aroused: Lack of arousal can result in vaginal dryness.
  8. Hygiene Products: Using scented or perfumed soaps, sprays, or washes around or in the vagina can contribute to dryness.


  • Pain or discomfort during sexual intercourse.
  • Discomfort and irritation in the vaginal area.

Vaginal dryness can be uncomfortable and impact on your daily life and sex life if not treated properly.

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Treatment Options

  1. Lubricants and Moisturizers: quality body-safe lubricants can provide relief during intercourse. Here are some we recommend here.
  2. Estrogen Therapy: For postmenopausal individuals, local estrogen treatments (creams, rings, or tablets) can help restore vaginal moisture.
  3. Avoid Irritants: Steer clear of scented products and harsh soaps.
  4. Stay Hydrated: Proper hydration supports overall vaginal health.
  5. Foreplay and Arousal: Engage in sufficient foreplay to enhance natural lubrication.
  6. Pelvic Floor Exercises: Strengthening the pelvic floor muscles can improve vaginal health. Check out our favourite body-safe pelvic floor strengtheners here.
Remember, if you experience persistent vaginal dryness, consult a healthcare provider. They can recommend personalized treatments based on the underlying cause and severity of your symptoms.


This article was compiled by our resident expert and scientist, Ami Reid, CEO of The Quiet Achiever. The Quiet Achiever is New Zealand's only women owned and operated sexual wellness store that sells only 100% body-safe toys and tools to women and couples. You can shop their products or learn more here or by following the link below:

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