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The vagina is a very delicate part of your body. A simple mistake can take a toll on its health. Experiencing infection, itching and burning sensation are some of the common problems that your vagina may have. However, if you’re feeling pain down there during the sex, it can be something big. It could actually mean that you may be experiencing vaginal dehydration.
HealthShots spoke to Dr Surabhi Siddhartha, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospital Kharghar, Mumbai, to discuss this vaginal condition.
She says, “One may have a dehydrated vagina. In fact, dehydration tends to disturb the balance of good yeast and bacteria present in the vaginal microbiome. And, the disruption of bacteria can even invite yeast infections.”
Douching is a practice that can lead to dehydration of the vagina. In fact, using perfumed or chemical based soaps down there can also make your vagina dehydrated.
“Hormonal fluctuations when a woman is in the postnatal stages, breastfeeding, or going through chemotherapy and radiotherapy can also lead to the dehydration of the vagina,” says Dr Siddhartha.
Contraceptives have some side effects and it affects women differently. Some women experience dehydrated vagina due to contraceptives.
Smoking is not only harmful to the lungs but also causes vaginal problems such as vaginal dryness.
Stress and anxiety are also some of the causes of a dehydrated vagina. This happens because stress leads to hormonal imbalance which can cause changes to pH balance, leading to vaginal dryness.
“Having your ovaries surgically removed will also lead to vaginal dryness,” says Dr Siddhartha.
Irritants like perfumed soaps, feminine hygiene products with a lot of fragrances and chemicals can also lead to a dehydrated vagina.
Estrogen is a hormone that is present in small amounts but plays a big role in maintaining your health. It helps to maintain vaginal lubricants, elasticity, and thickness. However, low estrogen levels can cause dryness and inflammation in your vagina. Along with it, menopause too leads to a dehydrated vagina.
According to Dr Siddhartha, these tips will help you maintain the pH balance of the vagina and cure the dehydrated vaginal condition.
Hormonal replacement therapy helps to increase estrogen levels. Vaginal dryness is commonly seen in menopausal women who have low levels of estrogen.
Opt for water-based lubricants to keep the vagina hydrated.
Use a suitable moisturizer for the vagina only after consulting the expert.
Clean your vagina with plain water instead of using any chemical products or soaps down there, avoid douching.
Remember that if your vulva feels dry and irritated, it is essential to speak to a doctor as to what might be causing dryness and irritation.
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