Recently, Mary Burke, a former midwife NHS (National health service UK) and the head nurse at the clinic of plastic and aesthetic surgery of London, made a statement. According to experts, in winter, the dry air affects not only the skin, but… the vagina: that winter, the genitals become the “drought mode”. We asked gynecologists whether this is so and if we should worry.
Midwife Mary Burke in connection with the lowering temperature warned women that “drought” may spread to every area of the body, causing the effect of “winter of the vagina”. According to Burke, a large amount of time in heated rooms decreases the amount of moisture in the air. And dryness that we experience, often spreading to every inch of our body, including the vagina.
She encouraged the women to keep the vagina moist and healthy during the winter months thanks to the simple rules.
• Drink Apple juice is rich in phytoestrogens, which can eliminate hormone imbalance (what causes vaginal dryness).
• Eat spinach, cabbage and broccoli. They contain nutrients that prevent dryness and improve circulation.
• Eat watermelon — it contains citrulline, which relaxes blood vessels, promoting blood circulation and blood flow to the genitals.
• Drink coconut water — it contains lauric acid which fights the harmful bacteria (they can cause vaginal infections).
• Sweet potatoes — beta-carotene, which is also contained in carrots, is converted in the body into vitamin A. It affects the health of the vagina.
• Not to worry — stress causes reduction of estrogen in women, which can dry the skin.
• Use a humidifier, as Central heating dries the air.
• Don’t forget about exercise — it is proven that sport improves blood circulation and reduces stress.
• Do not use scented Soaps and bubble baths — they irritate the sensitive skin of the vagina and alter its pH.
However, other experts do not agree that the winter season somehow affects the vagina. Gynecologist from San Francisco Jen Gunter, the one who had previously denied the need for vaginal jade eggs, vaginal steaming (Hello, Gwyneth Paltrow) and the use of crushed mud for the treatment of menstrual cramps, says that “winter’s vagina” is not what we should worry.
Doctor of medical Sciences has made it his mission to debunk the myth about the new odd diagnosis, and quite funny way. She wrote a post which suggested that if winter somehow affected your vagina, then no one in Canada would not engage in sex from December to March. She also noted that the hydration of the vagina has nothing to do with the external environment:
The vagina largely takes care of itself. You don’t need to heat or cool it — he’s already the optimum temperature. You don’t even need to clean it, the vagina does it itself. The same goes for hydration — it occurs due to the internal ecosystem of the vagina, not the external environment.
Vaginal dryness can be a result of low levels of estrogen, side effect of certain medications (birth control pills, antihistamines, antidepressants, diuretics — they can negatively affect the level of secretion in the vagina) and can even be a result of infection.
Ambient temperature and a wet bathing suit do not affect the vaginal ecosystem. The only way to temporarily dry vagina is to send the dryer inside. And for God’s sake don’t do this! The vagina maintains a constant temperature, because it is inside your body. Women have no poikilothermia (condition of the body when the temperature of the body varies within wide limits depending on the ambient temperature).
Lyubov Vinogradova, obstetrician-gynecologist, reproductologist, PhD clinic CIDC
Vaginal dryness is a condition of the mucous membrane, in which it loses its usual elasticity, normal smoothness, and the ability to release of natural lubrication. The squamous epithelium of the vagina consists of four layers: basal, parabasal, intermediate and superficial. The intermediate layer of the vaginal epithelium rich in glycogen. Langerhans cells in the epithelium of the vagina are derived from the bone marrow. They provide a local immune response.
The expert noted that to her for advice often come patients of different ages with complaints of dryness in the vagina. Its functioning is affected: the condition of a hormonal background, the absence of any inflammatory processes, infectious diseases, regularity of sexual activity (to name just a few).
The main and most frequent reason is hypoestrogenic (estrogen deficiency in the body). It may be due to the menopause, when physiologically reduced number of estrogen, the mucosa and the dermis becomes thinner and can appear feel dry and sometimes cracks in the region of the entrance to the vagina. The dryness can bother women after childbirth, especially during lactation.
In those days, when the body lays down extra load in the form of experiences, excessive anxiety, also possible changes of the vaginal biocenosis. All this directly leads to dryness in intimate areas.
In addition, the effects of potent drugs, renal dialysis or chemotherapy also affect the state of the mucosa. Increased sensitivity towards personal hygiene — pads or toilet facilities. In their selection preference should be given to hypoallergenic variants without dyes and aromatic substances,
— said Lyubov Vinogradova.
At risk and women who smoke. As you know, this habit slows down the blood circulation. Reducing the flow of blood to systems and organs inevitably leads to atrophic changes. It is important to note that Smoking women experience menopause faster and hormone replacement therapy in this case has the desired effect, and in most cases is contraindicated in Smoking.
As well as heat has no effect on your vagina, and the cold weather is not expected to have any impact. In fact, vaginal dryness is a serious problem, and if you struggle with it, it is important to talk to your doctor, not wait until winter is over. Today there are many effective ways of its treatment (for example, the use of laser technology in conjunction with the PRP), the main thing — to find out the cause.