By Valentine Njoroge for MumsVillage
THIS WEEK I ANSWERED A QUESTION ABOUT VAGINAL DRYNESS IN ONE OF MY ASK VALENTINE VIDEOS, BUT I WAS NOT ABLE TO COVER ALL THE CAUSES.
So leading up to menopause, our female bodies start to shut down our reproductive system. The levels of hormones that run this system and its two major monthly events – ovulation and menstruation – are re-calibrated, as is testosterone. This has an impact on everything in a woman’s body from her brain, to her heart, metabolism, digestion, energy levels, mood, sex drive and even body temperature. Her skin, hair and bone density are also affected. Seriously when I say everything, I mean every single thing.
The time leading up to menopause is called peri-menopause and it can last up to 10 years. However a woman is not said to be menopausal until she has gone a full 12 months without a single monthly period. For us black women, that happens at about 50 years of age (on average).
I talk about peri-menopause in the attached video, because of the lady’s age.
HOWEVER THERE ARE OTHER CAUSES OF VAGINAL DRYNESS.
- A decrease in estrogen levels during breastfeeding can cause vaginal dryness.
- Frequent yeast infections are another cause of vaginal dryness. Our bodies have yeast in them at all times. Our digestive tract and our vaginas exist with a balance of good bacteria and yeast. A tip in the pH (acidity levels) or taking some antibiotics can result in an increased level of yeast. Typically this is easily treated. If you have more than 2 yeast infections in a year, you should get a doctor to check you and figure out what is happening.
- Medications that dry up your mucus membranes – cold or allergy medications for example – can have an overall drying effect. If you…