By Mayo Clinic Staff

Reduced estrogen levels are the main cause of vaginal dryness. Estrogen is a hormone that helps keep vaginal tissue healthy by maintaining normal vaginal lubrication, tissue elasticity and acidity. Other causes of vaginal dryness include certain medical conditions or hygiene practices.

Estrogen levels can fall for a number of reasons:

  1. Breast-feeding
  2. Childbirth
  3. Cigarette smoking
  4. Effects on your ovaries from cancer therapy
  5. Immune disorders
  6. Menopause
  7. Perimenopause (the transition time before menopause)
  8. Oophorectomy (ovary removal surgery)
  9. Use of anti-estrogen medication

Other causes of vaginal dryness include:

  1. Douching
  2. Sjogren's syndrome
  3. Use of allergy and cold medications

Causes shown here are commonly associated with this symptom. Work with your doctor or other health care professional for an accurate diagnosis.

From Mayo Clinic to your inbox

Sign up for free and stay up to date on research advancements, health tips, current health topics, and expertise on managing health. Click here for an email preview.

To provide you with the most relevant and helpful information, and understand which information is beneficial, we may combine your email and website usage information with other information we have about you. If you are a Mayo Clinic patient, this could include protected health information. If we combine this information with your protected health information, we will treat all of that information as protected health information and will only use or disclose that information as set forth in our notice of privacy practices. You may opt-out of email communications at any time by clicking on the unsubscribe link in the e-mail.

Feb. 01, 2023