Is “Winter Vagina” Really A Thing?

To put it mildly, not all experts are convinced this is a real problem.

It's an inevitable consequence of the passage of time: a new season starts, and with it comes more bad advice about vaginas.

Now the temperature’s dropping, it’s time to have a new seasonal genital concern: winter vagina. A former midwife warned that vaginas enter "drought mode" as the temperature drops, becoming drier during the colder months and potentially even affecting your sex life, according to The Mirror.

The reasons why this happens: central heating systems used to warm the indoors suck the moisture from the air — and from our skin. 

According to media, this kind of vaginal dryness has a negative effect on sexual pleasure, so this would be quite a serious symptom to put up with every Christmas.

But wait, what to gynecologists think about it? Is “winter vagina” a real thing at all? Or is it just a catchy new condition created by media? We’ve done some research. Keep on reading to find out the answer.

How our body works

If it has never even remotely crossed your mind that the health of your vagina is at the whim of the sun, rain, wind or cold, you wouldn’t be the only one.

To put it mildly, not all experts are convinced this is a real problem.

Dr. Jen Gunter, a Canadian gynecologist who now lives in the U.S., and who has a passion for debunking bad science — especially when it's about women's health, has debunked the myth of “winter vagina” immediately.

She notes that it’s pretty tricky for winter weather to impact the vagina, which is inside your body and underneath clothes unless you were to go ahead and shove ice up there (not a good idea).

The vagina is a self-cleaning, self-regulating haven that pretty much takes care of itself. You don’t need to warm it or cool it – it’s already at its optimal temperature. That happens thanks to the vagina’s internal ecosystem, not the outside environment.

The vagina maintains a steady temperature, and human body temperature only rises with the outside temperature when someone is suffering from heat stroke.

The only way you could temporarily dry out your vagina from the heat would be aiming a hairdryer inside. (And, for the love of everything that is holy, DON‘T do that!)

The gynecologist’s advice generally boils down to common sense and checking sources. People without training who tell you what to do with your vagina aren't worth listening to, she says. An industry that depends on women hating their anatomy is probably just making stuff up.

A matter of concern

So, the ambient temperature has zero impact on the vaginal ecosystem. Women are not animals that have body temperatures that changes with the temperature around them. The vagina maintains moisture because it is constantly producing discharge.

Winter vagina or summer vagina isn’t a thing, but women can experience vaginal dryness or the sensation of vagina dryness (because those are two different things).

Many experts have been quick to point out that vaginal dryness is caused primarily by hormones, certain medications, and some medical conditions. Those feelings can be the result of low estrogen, be a medication side effect, and even be from a yeast infection, doctors warn.

While the outside air is not going to contribute to or cause vaginal dryness, the fact we may be drinking less water in the winter could potentially make us more susceptible to becoming more dehydrated overall – and leading to a weaker immune system, which makes it easier for us to get an infection.

Whatever the weather, most women will experience vaginal dryness at some point in their lives. And it can cause irritation, a burning sensation and itchiness that make it difficult for you to go about your daily life. It can also get in the way of you enjoying sex, as the lack of lubrication can lead to difficulty becoming aroused and/or reaching orgasm.

It can also put you at an increased risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs) like cystitis, which can also be triggered by sex. Understandably, all this can put a dampener on your sex drive and doesn’t exactly add to your quality of life.

And although vaginal dryness is more common during the menopause, it can occur at any age and in any season, but the important point is – you don’t have to suffer with it.

Vaginal dryness is a serious issue, and if you’re struggling with it, it is important to chat to your doctor – not wait for winter to blow over.

If the whole notion of "winter vagina" has helped raise awareness about what actually causes vaginal dryness, hopefully, what we can take away from it is that there is no reason why anyone should have to put up with it when it can be so easily remedied with a vaginal moisturizer.

In short: no need to panic about “winter vagina”. Fret not this winter — your vagina won’t dry out as the temperatures dip. The colder months don’t mean you’re doomed to a sex-free existence of a sad state of vaginal affairs.

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