As mentioned earlier, menopause is a common cause. "The majority of menopausal women experience vaginal dryness," Minkin told mbg. This happens due to a decrease in the amount of estrogen in the tissues that line the vagina. "Instead of being nice, plump, juicy, glycogen-filled tissue, the lining becomes thin, the tissue becomes dry, and the glycogen disappears," she explains.
This can cause general discomfort and pain during sex, and it can also cause itching, burning, and bleeding, Minkin says.
How to Manage It:
Using an over-the-counter vaginal moisturizer can help. This is different from lubricant, which is used during sex to add moisture and increase pleasure.
"Moisturizers are meant to be given into the vagina continuously, up to three times a week – sex or no sex," she says. "They cling to the wall of the vagina, so to speak, and regain moisture to make you more comfortable." Because they share the same estrogen receptors, the vulva can become dry even during menopause. In that case, you can also use moisturizers externally, suggests Minkin.