10% off £25 OR 15% off £35

000000s
Code:EXTRA
 

10% off £25 OR 15% off £35

000000s

Code:EXTRA

🏷️ Buy 1 Get 1 Free☀️ Summer ShopOffersOffers HubBuy one get one 1/2 priceSave up to 1/2 PriceBuy 1 Get 1 Free25% off Online Only OfferOutletFree gift with purchase1/2 Price2 for £50Short DatedBuy 6 for £15 Mix & MatchVitamins & SupplementsVitamins & Supplements HubVitamins & Supplements Shop AllCBDShop all CBDCBD OilCBD CapsulesCBD SprayCBD GummiesCollagen & SilicaHair, Skin & NailsShop all Hair, Skin & NailsHair GrowthFunctional MushroomsVitaminsShop all VitaminsMultivitaminsVitamin AVitamin BVitamin CVitamin DVitamin EVitamin KVitamin DrinksMineralsShop all MineralsMagnesiumIronZincCalciumSeleniumChromiumSupplementsShop all SupplementsFibre SupplementsAcidophilus & Friendly BacteriaPeppermint OilGrapeseed ExtractLecithinCollagen & SilicaOmega & Fish OilsPlant Sourced SupplementsSuperfood SupplementsArnicaApple CiderRaspberry KetonesAloe VeraChondroitin & MSMCo Enzyme Q10Evening Primrose OilGarlicGinkgo BilobaGlucosamineGlucomannanSeaweed, Kelps and Aquaceuticals5 HTPSaw palmettoCharcoalWomen's HealthShop all Women's HealthMenopauseMenstrual SupportUrinary Tract HealthPregnancy & ConceptionMen's HealthShop all Men's HealthProstate HealthChildren's HealthConditionShop all ConditionWater RetentionAllergy & Hay Fever CareAnxiety SupportBone & Muscle HealthMuscle Support & Joint PainBrain & Memory SupportWomen's HealthMen's HealthChildren's HealthPain ReliefCold & Immune SupportFatigueDigestive HealthHair, Skin & NailsHeart & CirculationLiver CareMood SupportSexual HealthSleep & RelaxationStress ReliefVisionHerbal & Licensed RemediesShop all Herbal & Licensed RemediesValerianSt John's WortRescue RemedyAgnus CastusAshwagandhaEchinaceaMilk ThistleDevil's ClawGinseng & GuaranaBlack CohoshHomeopathic & Flower RemediesShop all Homeopathic & Flower RemediesRescue RemedyTissue SaltsFlower RemediesHomeopathic RemediesAt-Home TestsVegan Vitamins & SupplementsBuy one get one 1/2 priceBuy 1 Get 1 FreeSave up to 1/2 PriceHolland & BarrettVitabioticsSolgarWeledaNew NordicBioglanBetterYouNatures AidGrass & Co.Nature's WayDairy FreeGluten FreeSesame Seed FreeCelery FreeCereal FreeCrustaceans FreeEgg FreeFish FreeKiwi FreeLupin FreeNew inFood & DrinkFood & Drink HubFood & Drink Shop AllVegan FoodHoney, Jams & SpreadsShop all Honey, Jams & SpreadsJams & ChutneysManuka HoneyHoneyNut ButtersSpreadsPateTeas, Coffee & Hot BeveragesShop all Teas, Coffee & Hot BeveragesCoffee & Coffee SubstitutesMushroom DrinksTeasSuperfood TeasMatcha & Green TeaSleep & Relaxation TeaDried Fruit, Nuts & SeedsShop all Dried Fruit, Nuts & SeedsDried FruitNutsSeedsMixesSuperfoodsShop all SuperfoodsSuperfood PowdersMaca PowderGoji BerriesBaobabMoringa PowderFlaxseedSpirulinaChia SeedsSnacksShop all SnacksProtein BarsLow Calorie SnacksChocolate, Cakes & BiscuitsCrisps & ChipsSavoury SnacksSweet SnacksSnack BarsFlapjacksPopcornFood CupboardShop all Food CupboardHoney, Jams & SpreadsBreakfast CerealsSuperfoodsApple Cider VinegarCondiments & SaucesTinned FoodsRice, Pasta, Pulses & GrainsBreakfast CerealsShop all Breakfast CerealsCereals, Bran & FlakesGranolaMuesliOats & PorridgeBreakfast BarsDrinks & JuicesShop all Drinks & JuicesNatural Energy DrinksKombuchaJuicesSoft DrinksWaterAlcohol Free DrinksCookingShop all CookingCooking IngredientsApple Cider VinegarCondiments & SaucesSoya & Meat AlternativeSoup & Ready MealsRice, Pasta, Pulses & GrainsHerbs, Spices & SeasoningGravy & StockHome BakingShop all Home BakingBaking MixesBreadFlourSweeteners & Sugar AlternativesEgg SubstitutesDairy AlternativesShop all Dairy AlternativesOat, Rice & Hemp DrinksSoya DrinksNut DrinksCoconut DrinksNutritionally Complete FoodBuy one get one 1/2 priceSave up to 1/2 Price25% off Online Only OfferHolland & BarrettNaturyaHeath & HeatherPukkaGrenadeMeridianTwiningsBionaNakdHuelGluten FreeDairy FreeEgg FreeWheat FreeMilk FreeMustard FreeCelery FreeFish FreeSulphites FreeCrustaceans FreeNew inSports NutritionSports Nutrition HubSports Nutrition Shop AllProteinShop all ProteinClear ProteinWhey ProteinMass GainersVegan ProteinDiet ProteinCaseinSports SupplementsShop all Sports SupplementsTestosteroneSports CollagenBars, Drinks & SnacksShop all Bars, Drinks & SnacksEnergy BarsProtein BarsProtein ShakesProtein SnacksNutritionally Complete FoodMeal Replacement ShakesPre Workout & EnergyShop all Pre Workout & EnergyPre WorkoutAmino Energy PowdersIntra WorkoutKetoPost WorkoutAmino AcidsShop all Amino AcidsAmino Energy PowdersBCAAL-LysineGlutamineCarnitineArginineCreatineShop all CreatineCreatine PowderCreatine CapsulesRehydrationShop all RehydrationElectrolytesEnergy GelsVegan Sports NutritionShop all Vegan Sports NutritionVegan ProteinVegan Protein BarsVegan Pre Workout & EnergyVegan Amino AcidsVegan CreatineSports AccessoriesShop all Sports AccessoriesBottles & ShakersFitness EquipmentFitness GoalShop all Fitness GoalRecoveryMuscle & StrengthLean MuscleEnergy & EnduranceDiet & Weight LossSave up to 1/2 PriceBuy one get one 1/2 price2 for £50Optimum NutritionPE NutritionUSNApplied NutritionGrenadePhDSiSFoodspringHuelYfoodDairy FreeGluten FreeSugar FreeSoya FreeCelery FreeCereal FreeCrustaceans FreeEgg FreeFish FreeKiwi FreeNew inBeautyBeauty HubNatural Beauty Shop AllAromatherapy & HomeShop all Aromatherapy & HomePure Essential OilsBlended Essential OilsBase & Carrier OilsHolisticSkincareShop all SkincarePremium SkincareFace CareBody CareSun CareTanning & BronzingEye CareLip CareFoot CareHand & Nail CareSkin AilmentsSkin OilsCBD BeautySun CareShop all Sun CareSun Lotion SPFAfter SunHair Skin & NailsWashing & BathingShop all Washing & BathingShampoo & ConditionerBathing AccessoriesShower Gel & Body WashDeodorantDentalHand WashSoapBath Soak & OilBody ScrubBath Bombs & SaltsFeminine CareIncontinence SupportHair CareShop all Hair CareShampoo & ConditionerHair ColouringHair MasksHair Oil & SerumHair Spray, Gel & MousseHair AccessoriesMother & BabyShop all Mother & BabyBaby Skincare & ToiletriesElectrical WellnessSexual WellnessSave up to 1/2 PriceBuy 1 Get 1 FreeBuy one get one 1/2 priceDr OrganicFaith in NatureWeledaNaturtintTisserandSukinMiaromaQ+AEthiqueSo EcoAlcohol FreeParfum FreeParaben FreeSLS FreePalm Oil FreeGluten FreeCelery FreeCereal FreeCrustaceans FreeEgg FreeNew inCBDWeight ManagementWeight Management HubWeight Management Shop AllFat Burners, Binders & Appetite SuppressantsShop all Fat Burners, Binders & Appetite SuppressantsFat BurnersFat BindersAppetite SuppressantsSlimming TabletsShakes & Weight Management ShotsShop all Shakes & Weight Management ShotsMeal Replacement ShakesDiet ProteinDiet Food & DrinkShop all Diet Food & DrinkDiet FoodLow Calorie SnacksSlimming TeaExercise SupportShop all Exercise SupportFitness EquipmentMeal Replacement ShakesDiet ProteinProtein BarsSave up to 1/2 PriceBuy one get one 1/2 price2 for £50Optimum NutritionGrenadeHolland & BarrettUSNPhDEat WaterPulsinNatures AidNew NordicSlimExpertSugar FreeDairy FreeGluten FreeWheat FreeNew inVeganHealth & WellnessShop all Health & WellnessJoints Bones & MusclesGut HealthHair Skin & NailsStress AnxietySleep & RelaxationBuy one get one 1/2 priceBuy 1 Get 1 FreeSave up to 1/2 PriceHolland & BarrettWeledaVitabioticsDr OrganicSolgarNaturtintOptimum NutritionNew NordicHeath & HeatherBioglanDairy FreeGluten FreeParaben FreeSLS FreeAlcohol FreeParfum FreeSugar FreeWheat FreeSoya FreeEgg FreeNew inShop for your WellnessWomen's HealthMenstrual HealthMenopauseSkincareJoints, Bones & MusclesGut HealthHair, Skin & NailsImmunitySleep & RelaxationFood & DietChildren's HealthStress ReliefHealthy HeartEnergyLow Mood & DepressionConcentration & AlertnessEye HealthSexual HealthLearn about WellnessWomen's HealthPeriods & Cycle HealthMenopauseJoints, Bones & MusclesImmunityGut HealthFood & DietSports & FitnessSleep & RelaxationHair Skin & NailsAll articlesHealthFood & nutritionGut healthImmunityJoints, bones & musclesWomen's healthWellnessHair & skinMental wellbeingSeasonalSleep & relaxationSports nutritionRecipesAll recipesGluten freeLow sugarVeganDairy freePodcast

How to help vaginal dryness during sex and the menopause

2 legs at the end of the bed
Menopause comes with a whole load of symptoms, but in this article we're focusing on vaginal dryness and how it can impact your sex life. Learn more here.

Vaginal dryness is a common symptom of menopause, but why does it happen? And are there any ways to try and manage it? We answer these questions and provide you with advice on how to feel a little more sexy, below.

Skip to: Intro | Causes | Libido | Managing dryness

A quick intro to menopause

Menopause is when your body experiences a lot of changes due to a shift in your hormones, which causes your periods to stop. It generally happens between ages 45 to 55, but of course this can vary.1  

Not sure about the difference between menopause and perimenopause? Essentially, perimenopause is the run up to your periods stopping – so you’ll likely experience the symptoms of menopause but may still have periods. You officially reach menopause once you haven’t had a period for over 12 months.

What causes vaginal dryness during menopause?

What causes vaginal dryness during menopause?

Many people experience vaginal dryness as a symptom of menopause, but why does this happen? It’s the drop in oestrogen that causes it. This hormonal shift can affect how much discharge or vaginal fluid you have, as there’s a reduction in glands that produce it.2 Additionally, oestrogen makes the lining of the vagina thicker and more elastic, as well as stimulating glycogen which encourages bacteria that protects against infections.3  

How does vaginal dryness impact sex with your partner?

Intimacy is super important for any romantic relationship, but without the right help, vaginal dryness may have an impact on your sex life. For example, the NHS lists the following ways that it could make you feel like you want to have less sex:2  

This may also have a knock-on effect on your mental health, so it’s important to check in with yourself and seek support if you feel like you need it.

How does menopause impact your libido?

As well as physical symptoms like dryness, some women feel like their libido dives off a cliff when they’re going through menopause. It’s probably down to a combination of things, like a decrease in testosterone and oestrogen, the discomfort that comes with vaginal dryness, having a reduced sex drive due to the change in hormone levels, having night sweats that can affect your energy levels and desire for sex, as well as emotional changes that don’t leave you in the right headspace to get intimate.4

And how can you overcome it?

You may not fancy getting jiggy with it all the time, but thankfully you can still enjoy sex during and after menopause. Here’s how:  

  • Be open: Communication is super important. Whether your sex life isn’t satisfying you, you’re finding it painful or, you just don’t fancy doing it at all, talk to your partner and see if you can work through it together.
  • Speak to a sex counsellor: They’ll assist you in getting to the nub of your sexual problems and find other ways to be intimate if penetrative sex is painful. Be tactile: Forget getting sexual, sometimes we can go days without even touching our partner. A quick hug or a cuddle on the couch goes a long way.  
  • Solo sex: Lock the door, switch off your phone and spend some time getting to know your changing body. It might surprise you! 
  • Pelvic floor: When your oestrogen levels drop, your pelvic muscles can become weaker, leading to less powerful orgasms. Pelvic floor exercises help to tone them, the NHS Squeezy app shows you how. 
  • And relaaaaax: If you’re feeling stressed and anxious, you’re unlikely to be thinking sexy thoughts. Taking time to relax every day can help you get in the mood. 
  • Ditch the hang-ups: As we get older, we tend to accept who we are more than we did when we were younger. So, ditch the insecurities about your changing body – it’s what you do with it that counts! 
How to manage vaginal dryness

Vaginal dryness is uncomfortable, so why put up with it. Thankfully, there are some things you can try to help ease some of the discomfort. These include:2  

  • Water-based lubricant – remember, lube is your friend. So when things are heating up in the bedroom, try using some water-based lubricant to help make things more comfortable.
  • Keep it simple – when it comes to washing yourself, try to avoid using scented or perfumed products around your vagina.
  • Don’t forget about foreplay – it might not be the best idea to dive right into sex, so try to do some foreplay to help you to feel more aroused.
  • Omega-3 – it may also be worth considering supplements like omega-3 (or simply eating more omega-3 rich foods) to try and increase your natural lubrication.5,6,7,8
  • Speak to your GP – if you’re menopausal and you’re experiencing vaginal dryness, they may give you topical vaginal oestrogen products or hormone replacement therapy (HRT) patches or medication.

The final say

The final say

Our final message is this, sex should be pleasurable whether you’re going through menopause or not. Using the advice above and seeking medical help may be able to improve your symptoms and let you enjoy getting intimate again.

Think you might be experiencing vaginal atrophy? You can learn more about what vaginal atrophy is and how to manage it in our guide.

Related Articles

  • Visa
  • MasterCard
  • PayPal
  • AmericanExpress
  • ApplePay
  • ClearPay
  • AliPay
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
Copyright © Holland & Barrett Retail Limited, 2024. All rights reserved. hollandandbarrett.com is a trading name of Holland & Barrett Retail Limited,. Registered office: Samuel Ryder House, Barling Way, Nuneaton, Warwickshire CV10 7RH. Registered in England: company no. 2758955. Registered VAT no. 211727395.