I don’t know about you, but my hair, skin, and nails change with the seasons. In the summer, my hair is a fuzzy frizzball. And in the winter months, my skin gets so dry there isn’t enough moisturizer to keep it from getting thirsty.
I’ve talked to women who say they swear they molt in the fall and their hair starts falling out. I know people who shed some skin during the colder months and are constantly trying to combat their flakes. Dandruff can get worse in the winter, and can we talk about our dry, cracked feet? Mine are terrible in the summer unless I coat them with Vaseline and wear socks all the time (which I will never do).
With all these changes happening to our bodies because of the weather, it only makes sense that our vaginas are affected too. No, I’m not talking about the fact it’s cold outside so you are staying in, not going on dates, or you and your partner fall asleep as soon as you put the kids to bed because it gets dark before dinnertime. I mean, that’s a legit thing and the vag can feel deprived of lovin’ but that’s not what we are addressing here.
Scary Mommy spoke with Dr. Jackie Walters, award-winning OB/GYN, philanthropist, women’s health advocate, Bravo TV-Star and author, via email. The term “winter vagina” seems to be trending lately, and people have questions. Dr. Jackie confirmed that winter vagina is an actual thing — not a myth — and there are things you can do about it.
Dr. Jackie confirms that, just like any other body part, the vagina can be depleted of moisture once the temperatures drop. This can lead to being uncomfortable, itchy, and feeling blah in your special place.
If you are experiencing a winter vag, there’s nothing wrong with you. But it is unpleasant, and there are things you can do about it.
Dr. Jackie said, “While it is true that warmer temperatures can impact vaginal health due to sweating and swimming, colder temperatures do not directly impact vaginal health. For those concerned about their vaginal health as seasons change, I tell my patients to use a vaginal probiotic supplement. It works to keep lactobacillus, yeast, and vaginal flora in balance.” She recommends RepHresh Pro-B.
I’d also like to add a product I swear by: Revival by Lark. It’s a nourishing serum that keeps your lady parts hydrated and moisturized. I’m a woman in my mid-forties and using a swipe of this a day has helped the delicate skin in my area for years now. It literally takes a few seconds to apply in the morning after a shower, or at night before bed and I no longer have to worry about my skin down there.
If your winter vagina is getting in the way of intimacy, you don’t have to put up with it. No one wants to be uncomfortable during sex. If you are, it might be a simple fix.
Dr. Jackie also adds, “If you are experiencing dryness that is impacting your sexual pleasure, lubrication helps to reduce friction and enhance pleasure, however, some products can alter the pH. I recommend if using a lubricant, use a pH balanced product. Also if you need a little bit of lubricant, then water-based is advised.”
Glamour UK reports our vaginas have a huge micro ecosystem containing billions of microbes: “A healthy vaginal microbiome is dominated by Lactobacillus, which is basically a ‘good’ kind of bacteria.”
The things we do in the winter, like taking longer, hotter showers, hot baths, having the heat blasting on us in the car, and the general reduced moisture in the air, can have an effect on our vaginal microbiome.
Some other tips on keeping the winter vag calm, according to Anne Henderson, Canasten‘s Gynecologist: Don’t clean your vagina obsessively. Showering more than once a day can be disruptive to your pH, and be hard on the delicate skin. Also, if you are really itchy in your private area, call a health professional. Don’t write it off as a winter vagina and assume it will go away; your body may be trying to tell you something, so listen up.
There are lots of reasons for vaginal dryness, and the winter months can be one of those reasons. Take extra care with your vag this winter just like you slather extra lotion on the rest of your body — it deserves attention too, after all.