An AH!YES® Guide: Understanding and treating vaginal dryness

An AH!YES® Guide: Understanding and treating vaginal dryness

Understanding & Treatment

Symptoms &

Finding relief


Understanding Vaginal Dryness and Finding Relief

Many women (as much as 90% of post-menopausal women!) experience vaginal dryness. Many are searching for a natural remedy for vaginal dryness, and others seek medical intervention to find relief. Finding a relief for vaginal dryness means first understanding exactly what it is and why it can occur. Vaginal dryness is a common and it can happen at any time in a woman’s life. It is sometimes referred to as vaginal atrophy, or atrophic vaginitis, these are slightly different conditions that can include vaginal dryness as a symptom.   While vaginal dryness is very common during perimenopause and menopause, it is not limited to midlife.

Vaginal dryness can cause itching, burning, dryness and pain during sex or day-to-day life. It can significantly affect a woman’s quality of life, and some may struggle with sex and intimacy as a result. The great news is vaginal dryness can be easily managed and is not something anyone should have to suffer with. 

How many women experience vaginal dryness?

17% of women experience vaginal dryness. Up to 90% of postmenopausal women experience vaginal or vulval dryness. 25% will receive adequate therapy

How to increase vaginal moistuiser naturally

How to increase vaginal moisture naturally


No one should experience the uncomfortable (and sometimes debilitating) effects of vaginal dryness. For many of us, embarrassment is the barrier to finding relief. Others might be at a loss as to where to go for help or how to begin caring for their intimate health. There are many contributing factors to the problem of vaginal dryness which are explored further down this page. Treatment will depend on the cause of the problem. If you have spoken to your doctor and ruled out any potential infection or underlying conditions, you may wish to manage vaginal dryness with a moisturizer or lubricant. 


Vaginal moisturizers


Natural vaginal moisturizers such as AH! YES® VM can be used daily to manage symptoms of dryness. Vaginal moisturizers usually come as a topical gel to apply externally to the vulva and vaginal opening or internally to the vagina. Vaginal moisturizers can also come in single-use applicators. Most vaginal moisturizers last up to three days and are effective at providing fast and natural relief from symptoms of dryness, irritation and discomfort. 


AH!YES vaginal moisturizer

Personal lubricants

If vaginal dryness is causing you pain during sex or penetration, it’s time to reach for a lubricant. There are three main types of lubes – water-based, oil-based and silicone-based, explained below.


Water-based lubricants

Water-based lubricants are formulated with water as the main ingredient. They tend to feel the most natural and work quickly to ease vaginal dryness and discomfort. Water-based lubricants such as AH! YES® WB work quickly to rehydrate the delicate tissues of the vagina and provide relief from uncomfortable effects of vaginal dryness.  


Oil-based lubricants

Oil-based lubricants are usually more long-lasting than the alternatives and they are also water resistant. Plant oil-based lubricants can be deeply nourishing and can also help to alleviate symptoms of dryness. We believe the best oil-based lubes are plant oil-based and made with natural oils such as coconut oil, shea butter, or almond oil. AH! YES® OB is deeply nourishing and soothing for dry tissues. Oil-based and water-based lubricants can also be used together for maximum hydration and protection.  
AH! YES® COCO personal lubricant contains nourishing coconut oil and comes only in applicator form. It is designed to respect the vagina with certified organic ingredients and contains no glycerin, hormones, parabens, or gluten. 


Silicone-based lubricants

Silicone-based lubes are often hailed as a ‘natural’ option that lasts longer than water-based alternatives. Silicone lubricants are not absorbed or broken down by our body, so they do provide long-lasting lubrication, which often needs to be washed off after use for comfort and skin health. They cannot rehydrate dry tissues as they contain no water. They can, however, make a seal over the skin, so whilst they can lock in moisture, they can also lock in dirt and bacteria.


Other treatments

If the cause of vaginal dryness is hormonal (such as menopause), your doctor may offer you Hormone Therapy, also called Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) or Estrogen Therapy.


If vaginal moisturizers, lubricants, and Hormone Therapy do not improve your condition, your doctor may prescribe vaginal estrogen. Vaginal estrogen is prescribed for Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause (GSM), which refers to a range of symptoms, including vaginal and vulval dryness, bladder symptoms, and painful sex.


It is available in pessaries, applied with an applicator, ovules, creams, or a ring. It can be used alongside vaginal moisturizers and lubricants or on its own. Women who have had Estrogen Receptor Positive Breast Cancer (ER) should talk to their oncologist about the possibility of using vaginal estrogen. 


Related blogs

Blog: Natural remedies to ease vaginal dryness in sjrogens syndrome

Blog: Natural remedies to ease vaginal dryness in sjorgen's syndrome

Blog: Why can't i get wet? The truth about vaginal dryness

Blog: Why can't I get wet? The truth about vaginal dryness

Blog: Does AH!YES water-based help vaginal dryness?

Blog: Does AH!YES water-based help vaginal dryness?


Intercourse dryness

Use for intercourse

Painful intercourse

Use before and during


Intermittent vaginal atrophy

Use for comfort and


Vaginal atrophy

Use daily initially, then every 3

days as symptoms impove

Itching, burning from the


As needed to alleviate itching

and burning

Atrophic Vaginitis 

Use daily initially, then every 3

days as symptoms impove

Short-term bouts of

Vaginal dryness

Use for comfort and intercourse

Long-term requirements for

Vaginal moituizer 

Use daily initially, then every 3

days as symptoms impove

Persistent, long term Dyspareunia 

Use daily initially, then every 3

days as symptoms impove

Choose AH! YES® to treat vaginal dryness naturally

Many women with sensitive skin may experience adverse reactions to the ingredients in glycerine/glycol based lubricants, but can use all AH!YES® products with confidence due to their guaranteed pure, natural and gentle ingredients. All YES® products are formulated with ingredients that have proven track records as skin foods, so you can trust that your delicate tissues will be treated tenderly.



  • All AH! YES® products are formulated with ingredients that have proven track records as skin foods, so you can trust that your delicate tissues will be treated tenderly.


  • All AH! YES® products are free from all known skin irritants: certified organic and pH-matched to the vagina.




  • AH! YES® WB & AH! YES® VM are both suitable for use as an intimate moisturizer and sexual lubricant.


  • AH! YES® WB & AH! YES® VM are both pH balanced to restore and maintain the typical, slightly acidic, vaginal environment. This ensures you retain your natural protection against thrush.


  • AH! YES® WB & AH! YES® VM are both hormone, paraben and glycerin free.


AH!YES® recommended by healthcare professionals

  • AH! YES® WB & VM are recommended by a wide range of healthcare professionals.


Symptoms and causes of vaginal dryness

Symptoms & causes of vaginal dryness

Symptoms & causes of vaginal dryness

Symptoms of Vaginal Dryness

  • Dryness, burning, stinging, swelling, chaffing, and bleeding are common symptoms
  • Discomfort due to inflammation of the vulva
  • Pain during sex – this is also called dyspareunia
  • Infection and discharge may be experienced. The normal vaginal mucus, acidity, and tissue elasticity protect again vaginal and urinary tract infections. When these are reduced, so are the natural defences, and infection meets less resistance. If you feel you have an infection like bacterial vaginosis, it is important to see a doctor.
  • A vicious cycle of itching and scratching can occur weakening the skin around the vulva and causing inflammation.


Causes of Vaginal Dryness

Hormonal factors

  • Menopause and perimenopause
  • Post menstruation
  • Pregnancy
  • Childbirth
  • Breastfeeding

Medical factors

  • Autoimmune conditions such as Sjögren’s syndrome.
  • This disorder affects the moisture-producing glands in the vagina and commonly causes vaginal dryness.
  • Treatments for cancer, such as chemotherapy, hormone therapy and radiation therapy
  • Medications such as anti-depressants or antihistamines such as hay fever remedies
  • Taking hormone treatments such hormonal contraceptives can affect estrogen production
  • Hysterectomy (removal of your womb and ovaries)  
  • Diabetes


Lifestyle factors

  • Use of harsh soaps or douches in the vulval area
  • Smoking or alcohol use
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Tampon use
  • Emotional stress


Vulva vs vagina: what's the difference between the vulva and the vagina?

Vulva vs vagina: what's the difference between the vulva and the vagina?

Vulva vs vagina: anatomy of the vulva

The vulva refers to the external part of a woman's genitals. It comprises various organs that are often misunderstood, including the mons pubis (a fatty tissue over the pubic bones), labia majora (outer lips), labia minora (inner lips), clitoris, urethra, and the opening of the vagina. 


On the other hand, the vagina is the internal part of a woman's genitals. It is a muscular canal that extends from the cervix (the opening of the womb) to the vaginal opening. Both the vagina and the vulva contain moist mucous membranes. These mucous membranes line various parts of our bodies, such as the mouth, nose, eyes, vagina, tip of the penis, and gastrointestinal tract. 

It's important to note that vulval tissue is a combination of normal skin and mucous membranes, making it suitable for gentle cleansing with pH-balanced products designed for the vagina. 


Unlike the outer skin, mucous membranes lack a protective layer, which means they are more susceptible to damage, irritation, and dryness caused by synthetic chemicals. This is why it's crucial to pay attention to the ingredients used in products related to intimate health. 


Osmolality (Smart-moisture release)

Osmolality (Smart-moisture release)

Osmolality - As defined by AH!YES®

image of osmolality


Most lubricants and vaginal moisturizers containing glycerin are hyper-osmotic, which means they can pull water out of already dry tissues and potentially damage them. On the other hand, strongly hypo-osmotic lubricants push water into dry cells and can cause more irritation. 


Vaginal moisturizers should be iso-osmotic with vaginal tissues, meaning they only rehydrate the tissues that need it. They gently replenish dry vaginal tissues without forcing or pulling excessive water into them. Iso-osmotic moisturizers are designed to release hydration as the body requires it over the course of 1 to 3 days. AH! YES® VM (Vaginal Moisturizer) prioritizes osmolality in its formulation, ensuring it only releases moisture where and when your body needs it. It adheres gently to the vaginal walls, so you won't constantly feel wet, and it won't harm your delicate vaginal tissues. 


When it comes to lubricants used for sex, they need to release hydration more rapidly. Ideally, a perfect lubricant would be hypo to iso-osmotic, providing rapid water release to facilitate intercourse.  


Read more about vaginal moisturizers here

Therefore in our view:


  • A perfect vaginal lubricant’s osmolality would be hypo to iso-osmotic, meaning its concentration would be similar to the tissues it is applied.
  • A perfect vaginal moisturizer’s osmolality would be iso-osmotic, meaning it would have identical osmotic pressure to vaginal tissues.
  • A vaginal moisturizer needs to be present in the vagina for extended periods, like 1-2 days, and should release water as needed.
  • A perfect sperm friendly lubricant’s osmolality would be iso-osmotic with semen, which is slightly higher than typical human tissues.


How to balance vaginal pH:


You may be familiar with the concept of the gut microbiome, but what often goes unnoticed or isn't well understood is the vaginal microbiome. The vaginal microbiome is a complex micro-ecosystem that plays a vital role in maintaining vaginal health and protecting against infections. 


The dominant players in the vaginal microbiome are Lactobacilli, a type of beneficial bacteria that produce lactic acid and other compounds with antimicrobial properties. When we have an infection, the presence of Lactobacilli decreases significantly.

These bacteria act as the first line of defense against pathogens and infections. When the healthy balance of the vaginal microbiome is disrupted, it can have implications for our intimate health.


What are lactobacilli?

So, what exactly are Lactobacilli? They are responsible for producing lactic acid, which helps maintain the vaginal pH below 4.5. The acidic environment created by Lactobacilli makes it unfavorable for potential pathogens that thrive in alkaline conditions. If the vaginal pH rises above 5, we become more susceptible to infections. Lactobacilli inhibit the growth of harmful microorganisms and help combat sexually transmitted infections such as Candida albicans (Thrush), Chlamydia, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and Gardnerella vaginalis. 


Several factors can affect the presence and abundance of Lactobacilli in the vagina. These factors include vaginal dryness, antibiotic use, hormonal changes, sexual activity, hygiene practices like douching or using harsh soaps in the vaginal area, underlying medical conditions, and stress. 

Continue reading to learn more about the significance of vaginal pH in maintaining intimate health. 


Continue reading to learn more about the significance of vaginal pH in maintaining intimate health.


A typical healthy vaginal pH is pH 4

Vaginal pH

pH is a measure of how acidic or alkaline a water-based environment is. It's represented on a scale from zero to 14, with pH 7 being neutral, neither acidic nor alkaline. If a pH is below 7, the liquid is considered acidic, while a pH above 7 indicates alkalinity. 


Understanding pH levels is important because they play a role in various bodily functions. They can help our bodies fight infections, support digestion, and even eliminate harmful bacteria. The pH levels of different parts of our body vary. For example, the vaginal pH is typically acidic, around pH 4, while the rectal pH is neutral at pH 7.0. Semen, on the other hand, has a slightly alkaline pH of around 7.0-8.5. 


The natural acidic pH of the vagina creates an optimal environment that helps protect against infections like Bacterial Vaginosis, thrush outbreaks and UTI's. Maintaining a healthy vaginal pH is crucial for safeguarding your intimate health. Several factors can disrupt vaginal pH levels, such as douching, using harsh soaps in the vaginal area, taking antibiotics, and using certain lubricants.


To maintain healthy pH levels and avoid irritation, infections, and uncomfortable symptoms, it's important to use products that are pH-balanced specifically for the vagina. 


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