Q&A: Dry Vagina During Sex – What Can I Do?

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QUESTION: My girlfriend’s vagina gets very dry during intercourse. I have to use a lot of lubricant in order to have sex with her and then it get dries again after 10 minutes. She is not taking any medication or birth pill. Sometime it is so dry that it damages the condom. In foreplay she is wet for a few minutes, but then she gets dry when we have sex. Any ideas?

Women’s bodies vary in their degrees of wetness and dryness during sexual activity.

Vaginal Lubrication

Generally speaking, women’s vaginas tend to become more wet thanks to natural vaginal lubrication when they are feeling relaxed, comfortable and sexually aroused. As a result, a woman may find that she becomes more wet during foreplay and engaging in sex play that feels good, pleasurable and arousing to her.

Talking About Sex

I wonder if the two of you are able to talk about sex and share what feels good to each of you. If not, you both may find it helpful, and find that it enhances your sexual intimacy to talk to each other about your likes and dislikes.

It is also important to talk about sex in ways that make sure you both want to be sexual with each other in this way, and that you both are feeling emotionally and physically comfortable with your choice to have sex with each other.

Sometimes women and men are worried that if they don’t have sex with their partner, that their partner will become mad or want to break up with them. Are you sure that your girlfriend feels comfortable about her decision to have sex with you in this way?

Birth Control, Lubricant and Condoms

What about birth control? You mentioned that you are using condoms, so I am guessing that you two do not want to become pregnant right now. However, you also mentioned that sometimes the condom is damaged because the friction is high with sex.

You feel like this is because her vagina is dry – and that may be true. But it is also true that condoms themselves can make sex feel more dry – even when a woman’s vagina is fairly wet. Although you add water-based lubricant, many people find that because water-based lubricant absorbs quickly into the body that they need to reapply if often, especially if sex goes on for a long time.

Perhaps using a silicone-based lubricant, which tends to last longer, would be helpful for making sex more comfortable and pleasurable, and reducing the risk of condom damage.

I mention this too because if your girlfriend is worried about becoming pregnant, she may not feel very relaxed or comfortable and this can impair her ability to lubricate.

In short, please consider talking more with each other about your feelings about being sexual with each other, about what feels good and what doesn’t, as well as consider talking about birth control and perhaps using a lubricant that lasts longer during sex.

Comfortable, pleasurable sex is usually possible, but it takes communication between two partners.

Dr. Debby Herbenick (M.P.H., Ph.D.)

is a sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, Associate Director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University and author of several books including Sex Made Easy and Because It Feels Good: A Woman's Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction.
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