Stress and emotional disturbances play a big role when it comes to vaginal dryness.
Stress Factors Are Plenty
We often think of vaginal dryness in relation to menopause, but young women are by no means immune to the condition. Vaginal dryness can be encountered at any stage in life. While menopausal women mainly experience symptoms due to naturally declining oestrogen levels, younger women should have plenty of tissue-plumping/-moisturising oestrogens circulating. Or do they?
Stress can be just as bad for oestrogen activity, and who isn’t stressed in this day and age? Juggling young children, household, demanding jobs, relationships and so on is a huge feat! Nigel Latta showcases this in his 2018 series Mind Over Money: in an experiment, he outsourced everything a stay-at-home mum does to find out her work’s worth. The result: if we got paid for our work, this would equal a staggering $140.000 per annum! And who’d say that a $140.000 job isn’t a high-pressure, high-stress responsibility!
Of course, there isn’t just family-related stress. Psychological and emotional stress has many facets. What’s more, a woman might have suffered past or current sexual abuse, psychological or emotional trauma, depression, confusion over sexual preference, relationship uncertainty, fatigue … the list goes on.
Stress & Vaginal Dryness
So how does stress relate to vaginal dryness? In a nutshell, stress causes excess release of cortisol, which then interferes with the production of other important hormones like oestrogen. Besides, oestrogen receptors fail to respond normally to any oestrogen that is produced. Both lowered oestrogen levels and/or cell receptor function result in vaginal dryness.
And there are further key hormones which are affected: when hormones are balanced, pregnenolone can be converted into progesterone and DHEA which, in turn, convert into oestrogen. However, in a stressed woman, the conversion of pregnenolone is inhibited. This results in a decrease in DHEA and, down the line, oestrogen.
Chronic stress also goes hand in hand with low libido, which results in a lack of natural lubrication and thus dyspareunia (painful sex).
Finding Relief from Stress-Related Vaginal Dryness
Stress reduction is all-important for women suffering from vaginal dryness. Simple techniques include deep breathing, meditation, a nature walk and yoga classes. But you might have to go deeper. It is vital to seek professional counselling for psychological or emotional stress/anxieties and abuse to establish a good emotional life with strong support levels from family and/or friends.
On a physical level, YES personal lubricants are the answer. Apart from the fact that no woman should ever put up with painful sex, enduring this (or even just the prospect) will create even more stress, pushing you into a vicious cycle. YES WB helps to make intercourse enjoyable again, and if you are not relying on condoms you might want to try YES OB Plant Oil-Based Vanilla.
Vanilla essential oil is a known aphrodisiac, stimulating the secretion of hormones promoting sexual arousal. Vanillin hydroxybenzaldehyde (a component of vanilla essential oil) is an effective antidepressant and mood lifter, and it also has relaxing and calming effects on the brain and nerves, providing relief from anxiety, anger and restlessness. All these amazing benefits make it a great choice for helping to alleviate stress.