WINTER VAGINA. Is it a thing?
Let's take a closer look
As the temperatures dips lower, you may be hearing talks of winter vagina and things you need to do to remedy the condition. Let us assure you, winter vagina is not a thing.
What is “winter vagina”?
The term first "winter vagina" originated in an article from a UK newspaper that claimed that vaginas can dry out in cold weather. The rationale was that the colder, drier winter weather sucks the moisture from our bodies, leaving our skin dehydrated. On top of that, many people have the heating on or take hotte- than-normal baths during the winter, both of which can further dry out the skin, including your vagina.
The vagina is completely self-cleaning and can take care of itself. Thanks to the balanced microbiome that exists in the vagina, it’s self-regulating and self-lubricating. The pH levels protect against infections and the healthy bacteria keep the vagina clean by way of natural vaginal secretions or discharge.
However, while you don’t have to worry about winter vagina, many people experience vaginal dryness. The difference is that vaginal dryness isn’t attributed to external factors such as heating or weather but rather internal ones like low estrogen levels, medication side effects, or even yeast infections. Vaginal dryness can happen all year round, not just in winter.
Vaginal dryness symptoms
- Burning sensation
- Soreness or itching
- Discomfort during sex
- The need to pee more frequently
- Recurring UTIs (urinary tract infections)
- Pain or discomfort during sexual intercourse
- Light bleeding after intercourse
- Abnormal discharge
What causes vaginal dryness?
The main factor of vaginal dryness is lower levels of estrogen which might be due to:
- Menopause and perimenopause
- Surgical removal of the ovaries
- Severe depression and stress
While vaginal dryness is a very common condition for many, it’s more likely to affect those who are going through or have already been through menopause, due to the declining estrogen levels. Douching and using irritating products with artificial or synthetic ingredients can also cause vaginal dryness.
Vaginal dryness treatments
If you think you’re experiencing vaginal dryness, always consult your doctor about treatment. If you’re on medication or hormonal birth control, they might discuss alternatives with you. Or to combat declining estrogen levels, potential treatment options may include vaginal moisturizers like Replens, Lubrin, Sylk, and vitamin E vaginal suppositories, or lubricants. In other cases, your doctor might suggest a vaginal estrogen cream or tablet or estrogen (and progesterone) therapy.
If you feel turned on but you’re not wet: spending more time on foreplay and talking with your partner about what works for you can be some ways to increase your natural lubrication. As well as using lube during sexual activity or masturbation.
In short, winter vagina is not a thing. Yes, it’s possible for the skin on your vulva to get a little dry during the winter, especially if you have dry skin in general but a regular routine of cleanser, toner, and moisturizer that uses natural ingredients will help keep your skin happy and hydrated.