Vaginal lubrication begins during the excitement stage of sexual arousal before erection of clitoris and vasocongestion (swelling) of the major and minor labia.
Women can have vaginal lubrication all through their reproductive life - from puberty to menopause; though time required to start vaginal lubrication may increase with age, and frequency of sexual intercourse.
Vaginal Lubrication also depends on the level of estrogen in the body. The vaginal mucosa is probably more sensitive to variations in estrogen levels than the uterine endometrium.
Inadequate vaginal lubrication is also a deterrent to male sexual function. In a study of couples who visited doctors with the primary complaint of male sexual dysfunction (from premature ejaculation, impotence, to acute cases of spinal cord injury and neurological damage with impotence, low sexual interest levels) were treated with a supplemental lubricant for vaginal dryness, a high number (60%) of couples were satisfied with the results.
Are you unhappy when having sex?
Lack of Intimacy or fear or anxiety may also be a cause of vaginal dryness. This may happen due to other reasons for example pregnancy; women sometimes don't like to indulge in sex during pregnancy, especially if they had any unwarranted abortion or premature labour before. The patient needs to be assured that as long as the membranes are intact and there has been no third trimester bleeding, coitus need not be avoided.
Latex Condoms, Spermicidal Jellies and Medicated Douches may cause irritation in vaginal region and can be may cause lubrication failure. In these cases, lubricating capacity returns with elimination of the irritant. Sometimes changing the brand of condoms helps.
Excessive Levels of Estrogen is one of the factors associated with inadequate lubrication. This may happen due to ovarian failure, due to stress or anxiety as well as by organic factors, may decrease circulating.
Are you feeling pain in vaginal or pelvic region?
Women experiencing repeated dyspareunia (pelvic pain during intercourse) and vaginismus (tightness of vagina) fail to lubricate with foreplay or during sex. This happens due to psychological anticipation of pain.
Lack of vaginal lubrication is a problem for women who have infrequent intercourse or have intercourse after a long time period, regardless of their age. Longer periods of genital stimulation before intercourse help in this case, and this lubrication returns to normal after sometime.
Many non-orgasmic females have only minimal lubrication in response to sexual arousal. If sexual arousal and excitement are negated by anxiety due to performance failure, adequate vasocongestion and vaginal lubrication does not occur.
Is your partner suffering from Premature Ejaculation?
A common cause of vaginal dryness is present in some women whose partners have premature ejaculation or impotence problems. The frustration of not getting sexually satisfied leads to failure to be aroused.
Post-hysterectomy, vaginal lubrication may decrease. This is primarily due to depression and lowered self-esteem because of loss of reproductive capacity.
Immediately after birth of child, the sensitivity of the genital organs is reduced. Thus it takes longer for lubrication to occur and the overall quantity will be reduced. This is usually the primary cause of avoidance of sex immediately after child-birth.
In lactating mothers, estrogen levels may further lower vaginal lubrication. Vaginal dryness persists as long as lactation period continues.
Women with spinal cord injuries or neurological diseases for eg. Multiple sclerosis experience little or no lubrication during the excitement or plateau phases of sexual arousal, depending on the level of her neurological injury. Supplemental sources of lubrication may help in these cases.
It may be a clinical sign of advanced diabetes, if having been diagnosed with diabetes earlier, as neurological reflex changes decrease vaginal lubrication.
Drug side-effects can induce Vaginal Dryness.
The drugs of types - Tranquilizers, Thaizides, Spironolactone, Narcotics, Nicotine, Alcohol and Sedatives can induce Vaginal Dryness.
Smoking is often cited as a reason of Vaginal Dryness. Quitting Smoking may help in this case.