• Tuesday, February 07, 2023

HEALTH

Winter vagina: What is it and should you be worried?

By: Kimberly Rodrigues

Now with the temperature dropping, you may now have to worry about a seasonal genital concern.

A midwife has warned that the change in temperature can supposedly be problematic for your private parts and can cause a ‘winter vagina’ which can be bad news for your sex life.

Mary Burke, a former NHS midwife and senior clinical nurse previously shared the reasons why this happens, the Mirror reports.

She is quoted as saying, “Dry autumn and winter air depletes moisture from our bodies, leaving our skin dehydrated and cracked, and our sinuses parched.”

She adds, “And while it’s an issue few will want to discuss openly, our vaginas can enter ‘drought mode’ during this time, too.

“When we spend a lot of time in air-conditioned rooms, or with the heating on, we’re living in air which carries very little moisture.”

However, experts disagree. According to the NHS vaginal dryness is caused by a drop in estrogen levels and the weather outside has no effect on the vagina.

Agreeing, Dr Jen Gunter also reportedly said that vaginal dryness has nothing to do with the temperature outside, rather it’s caused by low estrogen levels, certain medications, and thrush, which is a yeast infection.

She reportedly said, “Vaginas function quite well in all seasons. The vagina maintains a steady temperature because it is inside your body and human body temperature only rises with the outside temperature when someone is suffering from heat stroke.”

However, vaginal dryness is reportedly a seriously debilitating condition and women cite that it can be embarrassing and make sex unbearably painful, thereby impacting sex life.

But fortunately, there are ways of treating this condition.

Information on the NHS website states that one should try self-help options first, such as lubricants or vaginal moisturisers, failing which one should book an appointment with the GP.

Midwife Mary suggests simple lifestyle changes like eating more green vegetables, avoiding the use of harsh soaps, exercising, avoiding stress, and purchasing a humidifier (to add moisture to the air) to effectively help manage this condition.

While vaginal dryness is reportedly a very common problem, it mostly affects women who are going through menopause or those who have already experienced menopause – the end of the menstrual cycle.

Other factors for experiencing vaginal dryness include some medicines, diabetes, breastfeeding, or childbirth.

While debunking a ‘summer vagina,’ in a previous report in Metro, Dr Gunter explains, “The vagina cannot dry out because of the heat. Vaginal dryness or the sensation of vaginal dryness (because those are two different things) can be the result of low estrogen, be a medication side effect, and even be from a yeast infection.”

Thus, just as hot temperature won’t dry out your vagina, cold weather won’t have an impact either, she said. So, beware, if you’re experiencing vaginal dryness this winter, it could be due to factors besides the weather.

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