Did your heart feel like it skipped a beat when you first realized that you’re carrying a precious life inside you? Finding out you’re pregnant has to be one of the most exciting feelings in the world!
But there’s another side to the coin.
Your body will experience changes, such as vaginal dryness, that are often brushed off and overlooked. But when you take care of yourself, you’re also taking care of your baby.
In this blog, we’ll talk about vaginal dryness during pregnancy—one of the least talked about aspects of childbearing. It’s important you know that there are several ways to counter this.
Stick around and we’ll tell you how to do it safely and naturally.
Who is More Prone to Vaginal Dryness?
Although it’s more common for menopausal women to experience vaginal dryness (also called vaginal atrophy), it’s also possible to experience this condition during their childbearing years especially if you:
• Smoke cigarettes
• Experience depression & chronic stress
• Have an immune system disorder such as Sjögren syndrome
• Do vigorous exercises
• Had a hysterectomy
• Underwent cancer treatments
Vaginal atrophy comes with dry, itchy skin in the vaginal area as well as pain and discomfort during sex. But why can this affect you when you’re pregnant? Or perhaps the better question is…
Vaginal Dryness During Pregnancy: Should you be concerned?
While it can be uncomfortable and bothersome, vaginal dryness alone won’t affect your baby. But that doesn’t mean it’s negligible, especially when it’s accompanied by other symptoms like:
1. Vaginal Itching
usually, imbalanced pH levels during pregnancy and hormonal changes can cause itching and redness in the vagina.
2. Vaginal Discharge
this can be milky and sticky in texture and appearance when estrogen levels drop.
3. Burning Sensation or Aching
if you’re experiencing this along with the above mentioned signs, consult your doctor right away to address or rule out serious health conditions such as Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs).
Vaginal dryness is more rampant in the first and third trimesters of pregnancy as your hormones fluctuate. However, while it’s vital to treat the dryness and keep the vagina clean and healthy, watch out for other symptoms of a weak pelvic floor that may indicate you have a Pelvic Floor Dysfunction (pregnant or not):
• Urinary and Fecal Incontinence
• Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP)
• Painful Sex
• Vaginal Flatulence (Queefing)
• A Frequent Urge To Pee
• Frequent Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
What Causes Vaginal Dryness During Pregnancy?
In most cases, vaginal dryness comes from lower estrogen levels, which normally decreases as you age. This means less moisture in your vaginal walls that serves as a natural lubricant.
But aging is just one of the many culprits of vaginal dryness. Sometimes, it occurs because of:
as mentioned above, your body will undergo sudden hormonal changes; including low estrogen level that may not just affect your vagina’s wetness, but also other parts of your body and even your libido (sexual desire).
your body produces prolactin to produce more milk afterbirth which at the same time disrupts estrogen production influencing vaginal atrophy.
some medicines have side effects that reduce moisture in your body resulting in allergic reactions, autoimmune disorders, and UTIs, among others.
low water intake can cause vaginal dryness and may pose some serious issues especially when you’re pregnant.
douching, laundry detergents, soaps, and other scented feminine products applied directly to the vagina may cause or worsen vaginal dryness. Rather than taking a chance on these methods, try Vaginal Steaming instead.
6. Vaginal Infections
one of the side effects of bacterial vaginosis and Group B Streps (GBS), for example, is vaginal dryness. If you’re suspecting you have one, seek immediate medical care as it may increase your risk for premature birth and low birthweight.
7. Others – Cigarette smoking, tampons, and condoms may also cause vaginal dryness.
When Does the Dryness Disappear Post Pregnancy?
In one study, 43% of women still experience vaginal dryness 6 months postpartum. Hormonal changes and the increase in prolactin your body needs to breastfeed are the main reasons this happens.
But what else could this possibly mean?
Simply put, vaginal atrophy can be an indication that the tissue in your vagina has become thinner, less elastic, and more susceptible to injuries. This may make sex less pleasurable, painful and may be accompanied by bleeding if not addressed. But surely, there are numerous ways to prevent and recover from this condition!
Helpful Tips to Prevent or Treat Vaginal Dryness (safe for pregnant women)
Here are some natural ways you can prevent or alleviate vaginal dryness:
1. Be extra gentle to your vagina
Avoid using perfumed soaps, scented lotions, bubble baths, and any liquid solutions for douching.
2. Stay hydrated
-Drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your vagina lubricated (Mucus is 90% water).
3. Use lubricant or moisturizer safe for pregnancy
Your doctor may prescribe a lubricant, moisturizer, and estrogen or non-hormonal cream to counteract the dryness.
4. Make sure you’re not too dry for sex
Use a water-based lubricant (that’s permitted by your OB-GYN) before sexual intercourse.
5. Apply Vitamin E
Apply Vitamin E oil or an expert-approved moisturizer in the vaginal area to keep it moist.
6. Maintain Proper Hygiene
Keep your vaginal area clean by washing with water, and then pat it dry with a clean towel or air dry completely before putting on your underwear.
7. Choose the Right Undergarments
Wear loose, soft, and absorbent cotton underwear to decrease your chances of vaginal itching and soreness.
What about Kegels? Or Pessaries?
BIG NO, NO.
If vaginal dryness is one of the symptoms you have as a result of a compromised pelvic floor, don’t rush into doing Kegels like Thi. She did Kegels twice a day for a full month as advised by 3 different OBGYN’s and 1 doctor but saw no improvements in her condition. When it got worse, the next options she was given included either a pessary or surgery.
Luckily, she discovered our Pelvic Floor Dysfunction Program (formerly called the No Kegels System) before using these options. Now, she’s making massive progress in only a short amount of time! Discover more stories of women who have conquered pelvic floor dysfunctions here.
How Vaginal Atrophy (Vaginal Dryness) is Connected to the Your Pelvic Floor Health
It’s easy to address dryness. In fact, there are numerous creams to keep your vagina moisturized and relieved from all the discomfort you’re feeling. But the question remains: is dryness really the problem? Because if it’s not, then all these products are only band-aid solutions to a much larger issue.
Let’s stop beating around the bush — vaginal atrophy is often a sign of a weak pelvic floor that can disrupt your sexual life and day-to-day activities if it remains untreated. But when it comes to your Pelvic Floor Health, there is a lot more at stake: your childbearing plans, hobbies, and even your quality of life.
Watch This Video To Learn About The Importance of Your Fascia in Healing Birth Injuries
Don’t Let Vaginal Dryness Get in The Way to Living Your Best Life!
Here at MoonRise, we don’t recommend overnight or one-size-fits-all solutions, because we know they don’t work. Rather, we stand behind the holistic approach — a gradual and steady routine that will benefit your overall well-being in the long run.
With the Pelvic Floor Dysfunction Program, you’re not limited to only one healing method for vaginal dryness or for any other type of pelvic floor issue. You have numerous options and also get access to one-on-one coaching with our world-class health practitioners.
Even more, you will have a community of women dedicated to your healing.