Vaginal dryness is a problem that plagues women of all ages, not just those going through menopause. While menopause does give us a fairly good explanation for vaginal dryness (a lack of estrogen), what can cause it if you’re younger? And explanation or not– what’s the solution?

In younger women, the cause of vaginal dryness can be one (or two) of a few different things. If you’re a new mom, your natural estrogen levels are lower, especially if you’re breastfeeding. This can cause vaginal dryness similar to that of menopause. But don’t worry– your estrogen should come back after some time. New medications can also cause vaginal dryness. Depo-provera, an injection we use for birth control, is known to have this side effect. Other medications, such as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors– like zoloft, lexapro, paxil, and the like) can negatively impact sex drive, which can, in turn, impact lubrication. If the vaginal dryness seems to be recent, I usually ask patients if they can correlate this problem with starting or stopping any other medicine. If they can, that may be the culprit. That being said, any medications you are taking should not be stopped without consulting the prescribing provider first (!!!).

Ok, ok, so what can be done about this? If you’re going through menopause, consult your OB/GYN about the possibility of hormone replacement therapy. If you prefer to avoid hormones, there are some non-hormonal medication options as well. Keep in mind, however, that these are often not covered by insurance, so be prepared for a larger price tag. A cheaper option? Coconut oil! Seriously? Seriously. Any of you younger girls still reading this? Good, because coconut oil is what I would recommend for you, too! Just head over to your nearest grocery store and get a container of organic coconut oil, usually found in the baking isle. It can be used as a moisturizer (on and in the vagina after a bath or shower, or whenever you normally apply body lotion) or as a lubricant during intercourse. Vitamin E oil can work great for this as well.  But beware, these lubricants are oil-based, meaning they can breakdown the latex in condoms. If you’re using a condom (which, you always should with any new partner), a water or silicone-based lubricant (like Uberlube) is advised.

As always, this blog and my posts are not medical advise, and should not be taken as such. For any problems or concerns I always recommend seeing your healthcare provider for personalized care. They will know what’s best for you.

Thanks for reading!