‘Winter vagina’: Fact or fiction?

‘Winter vagina’: Fact or fiction?

With World Menopause Day fast approaching, the topic is on everyone’s lips. The symptoms are being widely discussed, from headaches and hot flashes to breast tenderness and vaginal dryness.

The latter can actually affect women of all ages, causing serious discomfort during sex. This is a year-round problem for many, but some are suggesting that the cold weather can exacerbate the issue – coining the term ‘winter vagina’.

However, there is nothing to suggest that the cold weather or central heating impacts your intimate area, so if you’re experiencing painful dryness during sex, don’t just attribute it to the changing seasons.

This narrative can delay women from seeking help and prevent a healthy, mutually enjoyable sex life from blossoming. Instead, know that you’re likely experiencing vaginal dryness, or atrophy as it’s otherwise known, due to changes in your hormone levels (decrease in oestrogen production) or from a lack of arousal.

Luckily, no matter the cause, dryness is generally easy to treat or combat. Rather than blaming the frosty air or moisture-sucking central heating, there are a few simple steps that can bring the spark back into the bedroom.

#1 – Lube

Simple, yet extremely effective. This product can be a lifesaver for women of every age. There is no shame in using extra lubrication to give your sex life the boost it needs. It will increase pleasure for both parties and help ease any discomfort.

Just ensure you do your research. Lube can be oil, silicone or water based, natural or flavoured – they all have their benefits for different things, for example oil-based isn’t great when paired with a condom. You know your vagina and sex life better than anyone, so consider what would work for you. It might be that you need to experiment with a few before finding the best match.

#2 – Avoid irritating products

Those with good vaginal knowledge will know that this part of the body is self-cleaning, so directly applying products should be avoided at all costs, but particularly with anyone who is suffering with dryness down there.

Scented soaps, bath products and lotions can increase dryness and irritate an already sensitive area. Steer clear of these products and you should hopefully start to experience some improvement.

#3 – Take your time

When dryness comes into play, foreplay becomes all the more important. Whereas once you may have been able to dive straight in, vaginal dryness triggered by the menopause can prevent this and we must take a little more care when having sex.

Wait until you are really aroused before starting any penetrative sex, as this will likely make the experience all the more comfortable and prevent any unwanted friction. Pair this pre-amble with your newfound lube and you’ll start to remember why sex was so enjoyable in the first place.

15 October 2021
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