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As the chilly winds blow, winter may be hard on your skin, making it dry, rough and more prone to itching. Some women also express complain of dry vagina during this time of year. This condition is known as winter vagina. Winter vagina is the term used to describe the dry or dehydrated vaginal skin that develops as a result of a number of conditions, such as cold temperature, low humidity levels and the use of heating inside the room.
Health Shots spoke to Dr Shalini Vijay, senior consultant obstetrician, and gynaecologist, at Motherhood Hospitals, Lullanagar, about winter vagina and its causes.
Can winter season cause vaginal dryness?
According to Dr Vijay, “The dry winter can deprive the body greatly of moisture, causing skin cracking and dehydration. As a result, the vagina may also dry out.” That’s the reason a majority of women will encounter issues such as vaginal irritation, redness, itching, and pain. A dry vagina, however, can also result from a number of other factors, such as a decrease of estrogen in the body, particularly after menopause, after childbirth, or even after undergoing radiotherapy.
Vaginal dryness is unpleasant and can cause painful intercourse. It is better to take utmost care of the vagina when the temperature outside drops suddenly.
How to protect vagina from dryness?
Here are 7 tips suggested by Dr Vijay to help you avoid vaginal dryness during winter season:
1. Take a warm shower
Take a warm shower instead of opting for a very hot shower. The hotter the water is, the more oil and moisture gets removed from your skin. Additionally, a long shower can also take a toll on your vaginal health by causing skin dryness.
Also read: Vaginal itching can increase in winter. Find some relief using these tips
2. Avoid scented products
The vagina is a self-cleaning organ, so you don’t need products to clean it. In fact, using scented soaps, bath products, and lotions can increase dryness so try to stay away from these products and use only water to maintain hygiene down there.
3. Maintain menstrual hygiene
Change your pad, tampon or menstrual cup on time. By doing this, you can prevent allergies and infections, which are the main causes of vaginal dryness and itching. Additionally, every time you use the bathroom, wash your vagina.
4. Wear cotton underwear
Wear undergarments of a breathable material like cotton. Make sure to wear loose-fitting clothes. Do not opt for heavy, synthetic, and unbreathable fabrics that can further make you uncomfortable.
Also read: Can a winter vagina affect your sex life? Experts weigh in
5. Use a vaginal moisturiser
You may use lubricants and vaginal moisturiser to deal with a dry vagina. They can temporarily hydrate your dry skin and lessen friction. You can choose a water-based, oil-based, or silicone-based moisturiser because they are all safe and effective at preventing dryness.
6. Limit sugar intake
Do not overindulge in fatty or sugary foods and alcohol as these foods can wreak havoc on vaginal health and lead to dryness. Dr Vijay says, “Consuming excessive amounts of sugar increases your risk of getting bacterial vaginosis (BV) and vaginal yeast infections.”
7. Eat more probiotic
Probiotics have many benefits for your vaginal health. It can support both your gut and vaginal health and can keep all your vaginal problems at bay.