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Did you know that 50% of post-menopausal women experience vaginal dryness, and 17% of women aged 18-50 experience problems with vaginal dryness during sex? In this episode, Jen delves into the causes for vaginal dryness like menopause, insufficient arousal, disconnection with your partner, stress, worry and overwork and what you can do to bring back the juicy life.

Did you enjoy the podcast today? Please let me know by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts. Every month I draw one lucky reviewer to have a free one-hour consultation with me. Also, remember to subscribe wherever you’re tuning in from so that you always catch the next episode.

SHOWNOTES

Did you know that 50% of post-menopausal women experience vaginal dryness, and 17% of women aged 18-50 experience problems with vaginal dryness during sex?

What can cause vaginal dryness before menopause?

Let’s look at the mechanics for a second. During sexual excitement, the Bartholin’s glands (two glands at the entrance of the vagina) produce extra moisture to aid sexual intercourse. 

With this in mind, many women may experience vaginal dryness during sex because they are not sexually aroused. This is often caused by insufficient foreplay or psychological reasons such as stress. Even gentle friction can cause pain and discomfort.

Other reasons for vaginal dryness before menopause can be linked to hygiene products such as feminine sprays and harsh soaps, swimming pool and hot tub chemicals and some washing powders. 

Natural lubrication produced by glands at the neck of the womb (the cervix) keeps the vagina supple and moist. The moisture moves slowly down through the vagina, keeping it clean and removing dead cells. 

The vaginal moisture is slightly acidic, keeping the area healthy, preventing infections such as thrush.

What causes vaginal dryness through menopause?

Without estrogen production, the skin and support tissues of the lips (vulva) and vagina become thinner and less elastic, and the vagina can become dry. It’s also normal to feel a range of emotions, including anxiety, sadness, or loss, while going through menopause.

The implications of vaginal dryness

Vaginal dryness can affect everyday life, whether women are sexually active or not. This can have a detrimental effect on your quality of life.

Painful intercourse can then have a knock-on effect contributing to a loss of sexual desire. Not only that, but dryness can often cause pain during other times – in many cases, vaginal dryness does not only cause pain during sex. It can make it uncomfortable to sit, stand, exercise, urinate or even work.

There can also be an emotional impact; vaginal dryness can make women feel different. Changes to the body can be difficult to accept, and pain and discomfort caused by the condition can lead to a loss of self-confidence and sexual confidence.

The good news is, though, that if you lose interest in sex during this time, your desire and arousal often comes back with the relief of symptoms.

Think you’re experiencing vaginal dryness?

If you think you may be experiencing vaginal dryness, here are the things to look out for:

  • Do you experience pain, irritation, burning or dryness during sex?
  • Do you experience bleeding or spotting during or after sex?
  • When you go for your smear, has it become more difficult or uncomfortable?
  • Has the appearance of your vagina changed? 

On a side note, watch Goop Episode 3 – The Pleasure is Ours (on Netflix). 

Medical thinking on dealing with vaginal dryness

The medical field will often prescribe a low dose of vaginal estrogen cream, tablet or ring, to reinvigorate vaginal tissues. 

Even if you’re using systemic hormone therapy pills or patches, your doctor might recommend a low-dose vaginal estrogen treatment if vaginal dryness and related symptoms persist.

The only issue is that your body isn’t meant to have estrogen at this age.

Simple ways in which to lubricate a dry vagina

  • Lubricants – these are similar to natural lubrication and should be applied to the area around the lips (vulva), and vagina just before sexual intercourse takes place (there is one from natural kiwifruit vine extract)
  • Vaginal moisturisers – Jojoba oil
  • Take more time during sexual intercourse giving the Bartholin’s gland time to produce the maximum amount of lubrication before sexual intercourse.
  • Reconnect with your partner

How to support yourself with nutrition

You need to make sure you are getting your Omegas. You’ve no doubt heard plenty about Omega 3 fatty acids, those essential fats our bodies can’t make on their own that are key to brain and heart health. You get your Omega 3s from oily fish or flaxseeds. 

You may even have heard of Omega 6 in poultry, eggs, sunflower or walnut oils, or Omega 9 fatty acids found in avocados, pecans and cashews.

One you may not have heard a lot about is Omega 7 fatty acids. These occur in high quantities in sea buckthorn oil, which is from a shrub that grows in sandy coasts. The sea buckthorn seeds, and orange berries contain a wide range of essential nutrients, most notably Omega 7 fatty acids, along with Omega 3s, beta-carotene and polyphenols. The nutrients found in sea buckthorn oil are essential to the health of the body’s mucous membranes like the vulva.

How to support yourself with exercise

Physical exercise also plays an important role on this. Do yoga; yoga is great for bringing circulation to the area. Also, make sure you are doing your pelvic floor exercises to get the blood flowing to those vaginal tissues – this is important to keep things from drying and losing elasticity.

Be wary of stress

When you’re stressed or anxious, the body produces a whole heap of chemicals in response, such as adrenaline and cortisol. Stress can have a big impact on our bodies, so make sure you are finding ways to regulate your stress.

Don’t underestimate the emotional impact

This topic isn’t a popular one, probably because there haven’t been many studies done on the matter, at least not ones that are made available to the public. But we can’t escape that our bodies and minds are connected. What’s going on in our heads will somehow make its way down to affect what’s going on between our legs.

The #1 things couples fight about is not about money or in-laws or sex. According to American researcher Dr. John Gottman, found most arguments in relationships are about a failure to connect emotionally.

How to reconnect with your partner

We have an emotional bank account that needs to be filled. Every time you and your partner turn towards each other, you make a deposit into what Dr. John Gottman calls the Emotional Bank Account. 

Every connected moment in your relationship builds up a savings of love that can be used during hard times. If a couple has more positive deposits than negative, they are less likely to distrust each other during hard times. 

But if their Emotional Bank Account is in debt of disconnection, then trust and intimacy erode away. When we don’t get relief by reconnecting to loved ones, this can put us in a hyper-aroused emotional state. This, in turn, can cause our stress levels to heighten due to elevated cortisol

When your body knows you’re not dealing with life, it will turn off your ability to have kids. Stress and the lack of connection dampens libido faster than anything.

In Dr. John Gottman’s research, he identified an important dynamic that healthy and emotionally intelligent couples exercise: turning toward one another. 

Turning toward is a subtle or brief positive exchange that helps to deepen a couple’s emotional connection.

Bids are attempts to connect using affection, support, humour, or attention. These interactions can be verbal or nonverbal. A person may be aware or unaware of the use of a bid, which may look like any of the following:

  • A gentle touch
  • A hug or kiss
  • A smile
  • A kind remark
  • Listening
  • A playful gesture
  • A word of encouragement
  • Sharing a news event
  • Saying “I love you”
  • Hold their hand
  • Send them a text right now

You know how you feel if you receive this from your partner.

We live busy and hectic lives; it is understandable how we can lose track of letting a loved one know how much we appreciate them.


The more you put in, the greater your love will grow. Having a substantial savings account can help in challenging times. Don’t wait for the other person to go first, give what you want to receive.

I encourage you to read the 5 love languages book, in it you’ll learn the five different languages:

  • Words of Affirmation
  • Acts of Service 
  • Receiving Gifts 
  • Quality Time
  • Physical Touch

Helpful Links

Healthy Life Hacks

So, the healthy life hacks I want to leave you with today are: 

  1. Do the 5 Love Languages test with your partner
  2. Set an alarm to remind you to give love in the way they need to receive it
  3. Speak from your heart and ask your partner to slow down during sex so that you are sufficiently aroused

Did you enjoy the podcast today? Please let me know by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts. Every month I draw one lucky reviewer to have a free one-hour consultation with me. Also, remember to subscribe wherever you’re tuning in from so that you always catch the next episode.

Are you looking for more great resources? Get a free copy of my Feed Your Body ebook here and be sure to explore my blog while you are there.