Vaginal sensitivity

Any sort of sensitivity and discomfort in the vaginal area can make us very uncomfortable and nervous, feeling that something is not quite right down there.
Vaginal sensitivity manifests as pain or sensitivity to touch in the intimate area, especially during intercourse. These symptoms can also be accompanied by a few other discomforts including changes in discharge, itching, burning, swelling, redness, etc.

The most common causes of sensitivity and pain are irritation, infection and dryness. The treatment differs depending on the cause.

  • Imbalance in vaginal flora. The vagina is covered by millions of good microbes, making up the vaginal flora. Once this delicate balance is disturbed and the good bacteria are reduced in numbers, yeast or harmful bacteria start to grow uncontrollably, causing itching and irritation. If you can’t resist the urge and start scratching the area, you could easily damage the skin and cause further irritation, swelling and pain. If you often suffer from yeast infections, try using a vaginal product that contains prebiotics. Prebiotic vaginal gels stimulate the growth of good bacteria and help rebalance the vaginal flora.
  • Vaginal dryness. Penetration without sufficient lubrication can damage the vaginal walls and other tissues in the intimate region, causing inflammation and pain. Dryness can be caused by hormonal changes during menopause, pregnancy, while breastfeeding or when using birth control. Allow enough time for foreplay so that the natural lubrication is stimulated. If you are suffering from vaginal dryness, try using a vaginal moisturizer or a lubricant. A moisturizer will provide you with a dryness-free feeling for several days and it can be used on everyday basis, while lubricants are intended to be used prior to having intercourse and will only provide relief for a short amount of time.
  • Menopause. When the estrogen levels drop, vaginal tissue loses its thickness, elasticity and natural lubrication. The result are thin walls that create a sandpaper-like feeling during penetration and can be easily damaged. This condition is called vaginal atrophy and it usually results in a loss of libido, since sex is uncomfortable and painful. As for vaginal dryness, the solution is in vaginal moisturizers and lubricants.
  • Irritation. Products that contain harsh chemicals, strong detergents, plain soap, fragrances, colorants or preservatives, can irritate the intimate region, cause swelling, soreness, burning and pain. Avoid these kind of products and choose products that are specially designed to be used around the intimate area. These include intimate washes based on natural ingredients that contain mild detergents and won’t disturb vaginal pH value.
  • Some STDs could also cause sensitivity and pain in the pelvic region. In case you suspect you might have an STD, it is strongly advised to visit your gynaecologist.

If you are experiencing pain and sensitivity, try applying a cold compress to cause a quick relief and reduce irritation. Keep in mind that in order to get rid of pain and sensitivity, the main cause of discomfort needs to be resolved. If the sensitivity persists, visit your health care provider so that you can get appropriate treatment.

Related: Vaginal pain Vaginal redness