I love being a woman. I really do. I'm reminded of this, every time I read, research or revisit something about us that is so intricately designed that I can't help but smile. And yes, vaginal lubrication is on the list. Aside from the fact that it helps to make sexual intercourse so much more pleasurable (because the wetter we are, the less friction and/or pain that we feel), when the glands in our cervix and vaginal walls produce lubricant, it also helps to keep our genitalia from tearing or experiencing some other type of injury.
While it should go on record that on the wetness tip, there is cervical fluid (it's what switches up based on where we are on our cycles), vaginal sweat (which comes from the sweat glands) and white secretion (which is what many think comes out when we squirt), when it comes to actual lubrication and what we need to keep us "wet enough", it's cervical fluid — a fluid that's made up of carbohydrates, proteins, and amino acids — that's most essential. When this isn't flowing as consistently or as much as you're used to, it's usually a sign that one (or more) of the following seven things are happening. Are you ready to learn more about what those things actually are?
I will be the first person to say that water is boring. The way I tend to describe it is, it's like drinking wet air. That doesn't change the fact that we all need it — every part of us too. For instance, did you know that one telling sign that you very well could be dehydrated is if your vagina isn't producing enough lubrication? This doesn't just mean your actual vagina (the internal canal that goes all the way up to your cervix) but your vulva (your labia which consists of your outer and inner lips) too. When that happens, it could lead to vaginal irritation which could eventually trigger a vaginal infection. So, if you can't remember the last time that you had 6-8 glasses of water in a day, let this be your inspiration. A wet vagina is a healthy vagina and water certainly helps to make it all possible.
2. Hormonal Imbalance
This point right here is a bit of a doozy because all kinds of things can play a role in your hormones being a bit off kilter including your period, pregnancy, perimenopause (the years that lead into menopause) and menopause itself. The reason why is because estrogen plays a really big role in how much lubrication your vagina produces. This means that when this particular hormone level is low, it can result in your walls feeling dry, thinning out or becoming inflamed.
What this all boils down to overall is you should be proactive about keeping your hormones balanced. You can do this by first seeing your doctor if you sense that things are a bit "off". Also, there are things that you can do at home including consuming more protein, exercising, keeping your stress levels down (more on that in a bit), drinking green tea (it helps to keep your insulin levels intact which ultimately can keep your hormones balanced out) and getting a good night's rest — not some of the time…all of the time.
3. Poor Diet
Having a poor diet affects everything about us. No doubt about that. That said, did you know that in order for your vagina to remain "moisturized", you need to consume less salt, sugar, alcohol, soy and fried foods because all of these are linked to dehydration? Instead, check out the article that I wrote a while back entitled "These Foods Will Give Your Skin & Hair The Moisture They Crave". Also, foods that contain a lot of water (like watermelon, strawberries, cantaloupe, zucchini and lettuce) and foods that are high in fatty acids (like raw pumpkin, tuna, spinach, flaxseeds and Brussels Sprouts) can help you to get those juices flowing too.
When you've got a vaginal infection, it can literally infect the mucous lining of your vagina and that can lead to dryness as well. Which infections can cause this to happen the most? From what I've read and researched, it's bacterial and yeast infections that top the list. Surprisingly enough, an STD doesn't typically lead to women not producing enough lubrication. Either way, if you're experiencing burning, itching, irritation, change in discharge or yes, vaginal dryness and none of the other things on this list seem to check out, make an appointment to see your doctor. There could be an infection lurking around that you didn't know was happening.
Remember how I talked about estrogen a little while ago? Well, another indication that yours may be lower than it should is if you are feeling signs of being depressed — anxiety, a low libido, sleeplessness, constant fatigue, helplessness, irritability, excessive crying, overeating or undereating, constant negativity and/or suicidal thoughts. The reason why low estrogen is tied into all of this is because, when estrogen is flowing well throughout your system, it helps to trigger the production of serotonin which helps to keep you in a positive mood. That's why, if you sense that you may be depressed, it's a good idea to not only speak with a reputable counselor/therapist but to get your hormone levels checked too. Sometimes, a little bit of hormone therapy can get things back to where they're supposed to be — from head to toe.
6. Wack Ass Foreplay
A couple of years ago, GQ published an article that made me chuckle a bit. The title was "This Is How Long Sex Should Last (From a Woman's Point of View)". The reason why I found it to be so humorous is because, once again, it's a reminder that there is entertainment culture and then there is real life. While I have shared before that it typically takes us somewhere between 20-25 minutes to climax while it only takes guys (on average) a whopping five minutes (chile), what the article stated (according to some polls) is most women only need (and even want) 11 minutes of foreplay and 10 minutes of intercourse — contrary to all of those R&B songs about having sex all night long.
Listen, I believe I've still got a good three rounds in me (I think…LOL); however, I've had past sex partners who seemed to go on and on FOREVER and all it did was lead to soreness. So no, I don't think most of us want to have sex for hours on end. At the same time, a guy who sucks at foreplay is someone who can definitely cause your vagina to not be very impressed — and a great sign that "she's" not is if she remains dry. Barely damp even. Moral to the story? A great lover is gonna make you more than moist. You can take that to the bank every time.
The older I get, the less I allow stressful people, places, things and ideas infiltrate my space. I refuse to choose to let things wreck my physical health and peace of mind. You shouldn't either because, aside from a billion other things that stress has a tendency to do, one that goes oftentimes overlooked is it can — yep, you guessed it — result in your vagina not getting as wet as it should. How? Well, when you're mentally or emotionally anxious, upset or tense, that can affect your blood circulation and that can hinder vaginal lubrication. Why would you let someone or something dry out your vagina when you can prevent it? For the sake of your health and well-being, please do (prevent it), sis.
To learn more about all things vaginal health and wellness, check out the xoNecole Women's Health section here.
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