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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Vaginal Dryness
      Category : Health Centers > Reproductive System

Vaginal Dryness

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

Vaginal dryness is a lack of natural lubrication in the vagina.

What is going on in the body?

Changes in the vagina occur in response to a woman's hormonal cycle. Estrogen causes the vagina to thicken. Blood vessels bring nutrients and oxygen to the vagina. These maintain vaginal flexibility and health. The amount of mucus and vaginal secretions produced is influenced by many factors. These factors include:

  • bacteria and viruses
  • blood vessels and nerves
  • exercise and sweating
  • female hormones
  • irritants, such as feminine hygiene products
  • sexual arousal
  • stress
  • What are the causes and risks of the condition?

    Vaginal dryness is often caused by changes in the level of female hormones. Situations that alter these levels include:

  • breastfeeding
  • low-dose oral contraceptives
  • menopause
  • Diseases and conditions that may cause vaginal dryness include:

  • cancer of the pelvic organs, such as uterine cancer
  • depression
  • diabetes
  • high blood pressure, with or without medication side effects
  • multiple sclerosis, a degenerative nerve disorder
  • uterine prolapse, a condition in which the uterus drops down into the vagina
  • Other factors that may cause vaginal dryness include:

  • allergic reaction to latex in condoms
  • damage from childbirth
  • inadequate foreplay
  • irritation from feminine hygiene products or tampons
  • medication or drug side effects
  • previous pelvic or abdominal surgery
  • psychological issues, such as past or current sexual abuse


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    Vaginal Dryness: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: Eva Martin, MD
    Reviewer: Carlos Herrera, MD
    Date Reviewed: 05/14/01

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