Vaginaltrockenheit, Scheidentrockenheit

(Not) a dry affair – protect your vagina!

By Susan Reznik (text) & Silja Elsener (illustration)

Well, have you already experienced it? It burns, itches and causes pain during sex. Really uncool thing! There is a widespread misconception that only women during menopause are affected by vaginal dryness due to hormonal changes. But in fact, many women suffer from vaginal dryness at some point or for a long period of time in their lives, regardless of menopause.

Not only is vaginal dryness annoying, uncomfortable and even painful, but unfortunately it is also a perfect breeding ground for inflammation, fungi and infections. This is because the dryness can cause small cracks in the skin, which provide space for nasty intruders.

The symptoms of vaginal dryness are oppressive and what makes it difficult is that there are various factors behind their cause. The most common are stress, hormonal contraceptive methods such as birth control pills or menstrual products such as tampons.


The tampon problem

Without discussion: The invention of the tampon as we know it today was a revolutionary thing. It gives us at the same time freedom and leakage protection during our period. Unfortunately, tampons not only absorb period blood, but also everyday vaginal secretions, better known as discharge. Anyone who has a vagina knows that when it is healthy, it is always a little moist. You can imagine this moisture as a kind of protective film that ensures that pathogens and germs do not stick to our mucous membranes. If it is dry down there, this protective effect is no longer possible. But this is super important for our mucous membrane in the intimate area. Daily discharge brings dead cells and bacteria to the door of our vulva. Basically a bouncer who protects us from unwanted guests in our sensitive party zone.

The soft tampon solution

If you don't like pads or can't get used to the cup, soft tampons are a great alternative.Due to their spongy texture, soft tampons reliably absorb period blood. A nice side effect is that they are suitable for sports, swimming and even sex. Unfortunately, conventional tampons, whether soft or not, often contain chemicals such as bleach residue or even glyphosate. Yes, exactly: the agent used in conventional agriculture to combat weeds and pests. Researchers at the Argentine University in La Plata found in a study that 85% of conventional tampons are affected by this. Not exactly something we want to put into our bodies.

We at Period. have further developed conventional soft tampons, resulting in our PONTAMS®: Sustainable and reusable soft tampons made from 100% plant flour, which are used slightly moistened. This means that the soft tampon doesn't dry you out at all, but is super easy to insert and remove. In addition, the plant-based base promotes probiotic microorganisms and at the same time inhibits unwanted guests such as bacteria and fungi. Since the soft tampons only consist of plant flour and water, they are even compostable.


Vaginale Trockenheit – Soft-Tampons PONTAMS

And here are more tips to prevent vaginal dryness:

  • Our vagina is a master of self-cleaning. Nowhere on our body do we have as many glands as in the intimate area. These produce secretion in the walls of our vagina, i.e. the discharge that washes away unwanted things. Soaps and shower gels can mess up the pH of our vagina. This is slightly acidic and lies between 3.8 and 4.4 However, our skin has a pH value between 4.7 and 5.75. This means that shower gels and soaps are not suitable for cleaning your vagina. Simply wash your inner vulva lips with lukewarm water. That's enough. Really.
  • Tight underpants and trousers made of synthetic materials that are too tight make our intimate areas sweat. This increases the risk of bacteria. That's why it's better to choose airy cotton underpants.
  • And yes, we know, it doesn't sound super inspiring, but in fact, as with many things, a balanced lifestyle, a healthy diet, regular exercise and relaxation in everyday life help to stay in better balance down there.
  • If vaginal dryness persists for a long time: It is better to have too much gyno than too little. They can give you specific creams to combat vaginal dryness. You can also talk to the specialist about whether you should change your contraception.

Disclaimer: Why is the vagina never mentioned in the entire text?

The term vagina as a term for the female sexual organ can be traced back to the medieval word for the sword sheath. So a case made of solid material with a slot in which the sword is stored. Well, language is power. We find that our vagina is anything but a passive organ that serves primarily as a container for male swords. It protects us, it gives us desire and joy, it can give birth to life, it is strong and active!

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