Experiencing vaginal dryness and all the symptoms that come with it — including soreness, itching, and painful sex — is a discomfort many of us are familiar with. And frustratingly, it can have a detrimental effect on everything from sleep to relationships.
It can happen for many different reasons (more on this below), and while it’s commonly linked to menopause, it affects people of all ages. It’s estimated that around 17% of women under the age of 50 and over half of women over the age of 51 who have reached menopause have experienced vaginal dryness at some point in their lives.
Thankfully, vaginal dryness can often be easily explained, and there’s plenty you can do to help relieve your symptoms and get back to enjoying life again. Here, obstetrician and gynecologist (OB-GYN) Dr. Sara Twogood explains what causes vaginal dryness, what you can do to ease your discomfort, and when you should speak to your health care professional.