This post was written as part of a paid partnership between RedheadedPatti.com and K-Y. While I received payment for this post, all of the content, thoughts, and opinions are my own.
There’s no escaping the fact that as we go through life, our bodies change. Not only that but our social, family, and emotional lives also evolve as the year’s pass. As a result, there are times when sex is a fabulous, loud, wet, satisfying, unabandoned, swinging from the light-fittings act and other times it’s more of an “I would have rather had a cup of tea and a slice of cheesecake” occasion.
The reasons for this can be many but one of the most misunderstood barriers to sexual enjoyment is vaginal dryness. It is not, as many people assume an older woman problem, a lack of natural sexual lubrication can affect us all, at any age and at any stage of life. Nor is it always a sign you’re just not into the sex. It is a common misconception the lack of vaginal moisture equals a lack of ability of arousal and this is just not true.
So, perhaps we need to look at lubricants through a different lens and see them not as a solution to an embarrassing issue with our bodies and instead recognise them for the friction-reducing, fun inducing, use them at any time, tubes of fabulous slipperiness they actually are.
Don’t just take my word for it, other women have discovered how lubricants can contribute to better sex.
In 2013 a study called “Women’s perceptions about lubricant use and vaginal wetness during sexual activities” was published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine. The study found that:
“lubricant use was associated with higher ratings of sexual pleasure and satisfaction in both solo masturbation and partnered sexual activities. More than 9 out of 10 women in the study agreed or strongly agreed that lube made sex feel “more comfortable,” “more pleasurable,” and simply “better.”
Why Do Women Experience Vaginal Dryness?
There are many possible reasons for vaginal dryness. Those I’m not going to talk about today, or address include not wanting to have sex at all, not being sufficiently aroused and not wanting to perform a particular sex act. These are reasons which can be addressed through open and honest communications with your partner.
Instead, I’m going to talk about those times when you are wanting to have sex, but for some reason, you are not as wet as you would like to be.
Dryness As Part Of The Regular Menstrual / Hormonal Cycle
Moisture in your cervix and vagina and can vary naturally during your menstrual cycle. When your body is preparing you for pregnancy it raises the levels of estrogen which, among other things, lubricates your vagina ready for a penis to slide comfortably inside. This moisture is also, rather cleverly just the right consistency and chemical composition to help the sperm reach, and fertilize the egg.
In the week before your period, your estrogen levels start to drop and as a consequence so do the natural moisture levels in your vaginal because our bodies have still not received the memo that we like to enjoy sex for reasons other than reproduction.
I added “Hormonal” to the heading for a particular reason. There are plenty of women who have their functioning ovaries but for one reason or another do not have periods. In this case, you may still experience all of the peripheral symptoms including a reduction in moisture at certain times of the month
In addition, any woman who does not have ovaries or has had them surgically removed will tend to experience dryness due to low estrogen.
When I had my hysterectomy, my surgeon also removed my fallopian tubes but left behind my healthy ovaries so I did not experience a sudden and early menopause (thank you Dr.) After I had recovered from the surgery and my doc had said it was safe to have sex I thought it would be wonderful. No more exhaustion from heavy periods, no more worrying about my irregular cycle throwing me an unexpected period in the middle of sex, and best of all no more chance of pregnancy.
It was surprisingly liberating to be able to have all of the sex without all of the worries about creating another little mini-me.
It took me a few months to get used to the fact that I still had mood swings, sore, tender boobs and all of the other menstrual symptoms, it was just that there was no uterus for my body to prepare for pregnancy each month.
As a result, K-Y® JELLY personal lubricant was an excellent choice to enjoy all of the sex, without all of the friction.
Postnatal And Breastfeeding Dryness
It might be that you have a new baby, you’re exhausted all of the time and when you do feel like a little bit of sauciness you discover that, despite the fact, your mind is into it, your body is having trouble keeping up. And a dry va-jay-jay does not make for a good sexy time.
This happens for many women after childbirth, or while they are breastfeeding and vaginal dryness at this time of life can be caused by your body’s lower levels of estrogen.
So, what do you do about it?
Assuming that you want to have sex but you’re just not as slippery down below as you would like to be, a vaginal lubricant like K-Y Jelly can be a fabulous solution for dryness. It is suitable for daily use, should you be up for that much sex, and it’s fragrance-free, water-soluble formula means it is less likely to cause any irritation. It is also easy to wash off after you have gotten off, as well as being compatible for use with latex condoms. Although you should be careful because it is not compatible with condoms made of materials other than latex.
Alternatively, K-Y Naturals intimate gel for extra moisture has a luxurious feel while being unscented, which is an important concern for some.
Oh, AND K-Y is the number one brand recommended by doctors, so as soon as your doctor has given you the green light following the birth and confirmed that it safe for you to use a lubricant, you’re good to go*.
Dryness As A Side Effect Of Some Medications
It’s a little known fact that some medications can, in a few women, cause vaginal dryness as a side effect. These classes of drugs include:
- Some antihistamines and decongestants -“dry out the mucous membrane including those in the vaginal tissue”
- A number of antidepressants, as well as some sedatives and treatments for insomnia.
- Certain types of cancer drugs, as well as chemotherapy, can cause vaginal dryness because they affect estrogen levels
- Beta-blockers can reduce the flow of blood to the sexual organs and as a consequence cause vaginal dryness.
If you are experiencing vaginal dryness as a side-effect of your medications then lubricants such as K-Y® SENSUAL SILK®may be the answer. A light, long-lasting water-based lubricant, this luxuriously light, non-sticky or greasy formula feels irresistibly soft and sexy on your skin. Discover the seductively silky smooth sensation of K-Y SENSUAL SILK personal lubricant and enhance the pleasure of intimacy.
*Disclaimer: It is important to consult your physician prior to using any K-Y® products while pregnant or breastfeeding – please speak with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.
Perimenopause And Menopause
Many women mistakenly believe that the changes to their body as they wind down from the reproductive years is called the menopause. However, menopause is when you have not had a period for an entire year and the time leading up to that is called perimenopause.
The reason why many women experience vaginal dryness at this time is due to our old friend estrogen or rather a lack of it.
During perimenopause, estrogen levels can fluctuate a great deal. This means one week your vagina may be like a lush tropical lagoon with a waterfall enthusiastically pouring into it and the next it’s more like a sad little garden water feature with barely a trickle of moisture.
Other Possible Reasons For Vaginal Dryness
Some of the many other possible reasons for vagina dryness can include:
- Smoking affects blood flow to all areas of the body. As a result, the reduced blood flow and cause vaginal dryness as well as other arousal issues.
- Dehydration can, unsurprisingly, cause vaginal dryness.
- The use of hormone-based birth control – Another cause where estrogen is the culprit.
- Some auto-immune conditions.
A Little Discussed And Completely Unscientific Reason For Vaginal Dryness
Once you have them there’s no going back, you’ll always be a parent whether they are 30 weeks or 30 years old and much as you love them these little, and then not so little, bundles of joy can be real passion killers.
I’ve already touched on the early days of parenthood and the very real physiological reasons why women may experience vaginal dryness.
can will continue to disrupt your sex life, long after the breastfeeding has ended or the diapers have been grown out of.
Smaller kids can wander into your room at inopportune moments or you may find yourself having to tell them that those noises they heard were just the sounds of a special game that only grown-ups can play.
Teenagers are aware of exactly what’s going on but they spend too much time out with their friends, being morose in their rooms, or listening to music loud enough to cover up any noises to care.
But the real passion killers? Adult kids.
Nothing can put a dampener on your sex life quite like living in a home with adult children. They stay up late, spend far more time at home and have an annoying habit of coming into the front room just when you and your other half are necking like a couple of teenagers on the sofa.
Now I’m approaching the menopause AND am sans uterus there is definitely no chance of having baby number six, which is especially liberating, No risk of pregnancy should equal ALL THE SEX but we have two sons in their twenties at home and while one half of me wants them to stay here forever, the other half wants them to leave, even if it’s only for a few days, so their dad I I can get our freak on as much as we like.
Having two adult sons at home means:
- No getting naked in the house in case they walk in.
- Having to remember to keep something handy to cover up with because if you’re topless or trying to indulge in some other partially clothed pleasure-seeking you can guarantee a son will wander into the room at the most inopportune time and ruin the ambiance.
- Keeping the bolts on the bed well tightened and oiled in case the tell-tale rhythmic squeak gives you away.
- Washing any toys by hand because you can’t put them in the dishwasher any more in case one of the “kids” suddenly decides to clear up after themselves.
- Covering up the forced air vents because one son tells you “Noise carries through those vents. You know. At night. I hear things I don’t want to” to which the other son adds ”Why do you think I’ve slept with headphones on for the last eight years?”
- Turning your face at the crucial moment so you can bury it in a cushion or pillow to keep the screaming volume down.
- Being generally unable to get down to it whenever and wherever the mood takes you.
If you can’t force the kids to move out and leave you to enjoy as much sex as you like then there is always K-Y® Jelly. It’s perfect for using when our sons go out to grab some take-out and my husband and I find ourselves with an unexpected twenty-minute window in which to get down and dirty. A quick application in and on and around you both means you can skip a little of the foreplay and enjoy some sex in all its loud, screaming, bed banging, fabulous glory.
Having said that, the flushed face and big grin is a bit of a give-away when the kids return but then if they don’t like it, a home of their own is always an option.
K-Y® Warming Jelly is also an excellent option if you want to indulge in some all-over massage or give an extra little heat to the proceedings. Because it’s water-based it can easily be washed off you and any toys you might use as well as being compatible with latex condoms and toys.
The Last Word
So, if you only take away a few thoughts from this, let them be:
- Lubricants aren’t just for dryness, they’re also excellent for adding an extra dimension to your horizontal tango.
- There are many causes of vaginal dryness and most of them have nothing to do with age.
- Women may not be primed for their best lubrication nearly 2/3rds of the month.* *based on characteristic and volume of cervical lubrication at baseline for a normal 28-day menstrual cycle” ”For two-thirds of the menstrual cycle, we do not experience the optimal lubrication for sex.
- Our emotional, sexual, and physical needs change through our various life stages and this is entirely normal.
Oh, And One LAST, LAST Word
K-Y Canada wants you to pamper yourself with an awesome contest. You could WIN 1 of 4 $1,000 Spa Gift Cards! It’s easy, just enter at www.mykycontest.ca/ymc. Contest ends Dec 31, 2019.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by K-Y. In exchange for this post, I have received perks in the form of compensation and products. All opinions on this blog are my own.