How to Fix Dryness From Birth Control: A Guide on Vaginal Health
Vaginal dryness is a topic that many women are hesitant to talk about. But did you know it’s more common than you think? It can happen due to various reasons, including the use of hormonal birth control pills.
The good news is that there are ways to alleviate this uncomfortable symptom and improve your vaginal health. If you’re experiencing dryness from birth control pills, this guide will explore the causes of vaginal dryness and provide effective tips and solutions on how to fix dryness from birth control.
We’re here to help you regain your comfort and confidence.
Common Issues With Birth Control
Before discussing vaginal dryness as a side effect of birth control pills, knowing what’s “normal” when taking the pill (or other similar forms of birth control) is helpful.
Apart from vaginal dryness, women on birth control may experience:
- Mood swings
- Weight gain
- Irregular bleeding patterns
These side effects are often caused by hormonal changes in the body due to using birth control.
It’s important to note that not all side effects are considered normal. Discussing these symptoms with your healthcare provider is crucial if you’re experiencing extreme mood swings, prolonged or heavy bleeding, or severe headaches. They may recommend a different type of birth control or additional treatments to help alleviate your symptoms.
Moreover, it’s essential to understand that every person’s body reacts differently to birth control. What may be normal for one person could be abnormal for another. Always trust your instincts and seek medical advice if you’re unsure about any changes in your body.
Does Birth Control Cause Vaginal Dryness?
Yes, it can.
Hormonal birth control methods such as the pill, patch, ring, and shot all work by suppressing ovulation. This means they reduce the levels of estrogen and progesterone in the body. These hormones are responsible for vaginal lubrication, and when their levels decrease, the vagina may become dry and irritated.
Moreover, some specific types of hormonal birth control, such as progestin-only methods like the mini-pill, have been linked to vaginal dryness more frequently than combined hormonal methods. It’s worth noting that the severity of dryness may vary depending on:
- Your body
- Your age
- The duration of use
Dealing with vaginal dryness can be uncomfortable and can even lead to painful intercourse. However, there are things you can do to help prevent it. Using water-based lubricants during sex, staying hydrated, and engaging in activities stimulating blood flow to the vaginal area, such as yoga or pelvic floor exercises, can all help relieve symptoms.
However, those aren’t your only options.
How to Fix Dryness From Birth Control
So, what are your options when experiencing vaginal dryness? Speaking with a doctor can help rule out other causes, like hormonal imbalances or health conditions. Speaking with a professional also allows you to explore other birth control methods.
However, in the meantime, here are some helpful tips for how to fix dryness from birth control.
Use a Personal Lubricant
A personal lubricant is one of the easiest ways to alleviate vaginal dryness. Lubricants are a great solution that can make sex more comfortable and enjoyable. Vaginal lubricants come in many different types, including:
When choosing a lubricant, choose one free of fragrances, parabens, and glycerin, which can irritate vaginal tissues.
Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking enough water is essential for maintaining proper vaginal health. Dehydration can contribute to vaginal dryness and other health problems. Make sure you drink at least eight glasses of water daily, depending on your activity level and personal needs.
Try a Vaginal Moisturizer
Vaginal moisturizers are non-hormonal products that can help keep the vagina hydrated. They are designed to be applied directly inside the vagina and provide long-lasting moisture. Similar to finding a lubricant, look for a moisturizer free from fragrances and parabens and does not contain estrogen.
Consider Changing Your Birth Control Method
If you’re experiencing chronic vaginal dryness as a side effect of your birth control method, consider switching to a different method. At the very least, ask your doctor about switching to low-dose birth control to see if that helps alleviate vaginal dryness and other symptoms.
If that doesn’t work, some women find that using a non-hormonal birth control method, such as condoms, is a helpful solution to dryness caused by hormonal birth control. You can also talk to your healthcare provider about alternative hormonal birth control options that may be less likely to cause vaginal dryness.
Different Birth Control Methods
Many non-hormonal birth control options are available that do not cause vaginal dryness. Here are some alternatives that you might want to consider.
Condoms are an effective and widely used form of birth control that does not cause vaginal dryness (unless you have an allergy to latex or other components found in condoms). Condoms come in many shapes, sizes, and materials, including latex, polyurethane, and lambskin.
This is a small, T-shaped device that is inserted into the uterus. It releases copper, which acts as a spermicide and prevents pregnancy. It’s a hormone-free option that does not cause vaginal dryness, but it is uncomfortable and slightly painful to have inserted.
A diaphragm is a reusable, dome-shaped silicone or latex cup inside the vagina and covers the cervix. It acts as a physical barrier that prevents sperm from entering the uterus. Diaphragms can be used with a spermicidal gel or cream for added protection.
Fertility Awareness Methods
Fertility awareness methods involve tracking a woman’s menstrual cycle to determine the fertile days she is most likely to conceive. This includes the Basal Body Temperature, Calendar, and Symptothermal Method.
Speak with a UroGYN
We understand how frustrating it is to experience vaginal dryness from birth control. But you don’t have to suffer in silence! Our UroGYN specialists are equipped to provide effective treatments that can alleviate the discomfort, such as hormonal therapy or vaginal moisturizers.
Contact us today to speak with our healthcare team and learn how to fix dryness from birth control to improve your vaginal health and overall well-being.