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Experts reveal how to manage if you are suffering from ‘winter vagina’

With temperatures beginning to drop as the winter months approach, it’s not just your lips and skin that may start to feel dry.

Women often experience ‘winter vaginas’ due to the dry, cold air causing their genitals to enter ‘drought mode’, according to experts.

Speaking to FEMAIL, health professionals revealed how vaginal dryness can be exacerbated in the winter period, and it can make intercourse unbearably painful.

Stephanie Taylor, Intimate Health Expert of Kegel8, explained: ‘Winter vagina refers to the female genitalia going into drought mode in the colder months, with cold weather being suggested as something that exacerbates the issue of vaginal dryness. Apparently a lack of moisture in the air is to blame.’

Meanwhile Nutritional Therapists Claire Floss said: ‘Just like the gut, the vagina has a delicate microbial ecosystem, known as the microbiome. 

Speaking to FEMAIL, experts revealed how women may suffer from ‘winter vaginas’ due to the dry, cold air of the cooler months (stock image) 

‘Some of our beloved winter habits such as taking hot baths, wearing heavy clothing, and even the dry air from cranking up the central heating can upset the vaginal microbiome, creating the perfect environment for a ‘winter vagina’.

Meanwhile Claire revealed there are several ways to put your intimate health at the top of the agenda this winter, including microwaving your underwear and ditching baths for showers. 

Take a shower

Claire advised women lean towards showering more during the winter, explaining: ‘Baths are a winter staple; however, did you know that baths can also be sneaky culprits for disrupting the vagina’s natural pH? 

‘If you’re having a bath, use unscented natural bath products and if you want to add in something that is naturally anti-bacterial pop in a few drops of organic lavender essential oil.’

Meanwhile Stephanie agreed, explaining: ‘Those with good vaginal knowledge will know that this part of the body is self-cleaning, so directly applying products should be avoided at all costs, but particularly with anyone who is suffering with dryness down there.

‘Scented soaps, bath products and lotions can increase dryness and irritate an already sensitive area. 

‘Steer clear of these products and you should hopefully start to experience some improvement.’

Go ‘au naturelle’

While it may be tempting to wrap up warm for the winter months, experts said it could be exacerbating vaginal dryness.

Claire explained: ‘Wearing tights, heavy clothing and synthetic underwear in winter can increase the likelihood of vaginal infections as they encourage a warm, moist environment which yeasts and bad bacteria love.

‘Swap heavy, synthetic and unbreathable fabrics for cotton and even consider giving your vagina some ‘time off’ by scheduling in some underwear-free time (perhaps overnight).’

Consider microwaving your underwear

As unusual as it might sound, microwaving your underwear could help your intimate areas healthy over the winter period. 

Claire explained: ‘If persistent yeast infections are your biggest winter burden, it’s possible that your laundering is not ridding your undies of yeasts or bacteria.

‘To combat this, try ironing the gusset of your knickers. 

‘You can even pop freshly laundered, damp cotton undies in the microwave for a minute or two to banish lurking pathogens.’ 

Don’t over-indulge 

Diet can also have an impact on vaginal health, and with Christmas providing an opportunity to over-indulge, it can become a problem for your intimate area. 

HEATWAVES GIVE MEN ‘SUMMER PENISES’ 

The heatwave of 2018 gave men ‘summer penises’, it has been claimed. 

One man asked users of an online forum if anyone else’s genitals grew during the summer months.

Many men were quick to respond that soaring temperatures caused their penises to appear larger, their erections better and made them into ‘showers instead of growers’.

Doctors confirmed ‘summer penises’ did exist, with one saying sweating and drinking more water makes male sexual organs appear ‘bloated’.

Dr Dudley Danoff, author of The Ultimate Guide to Male Sexual Health, said hot temperatures cause blood vessels to widen and penises to ‘swell’, adding: ‘There’s a reason people don’t take honeymoons to the North Pole’.

Writing on Reddit, one user asked others if they experienced ‘bigger d**** in summer and smaller in winter’. He questioned whether heat improves blood flow to the sexual organ.

Many users responded to his post, claiming penises enlarge during hot temperatures as ‘part of your body trying to regulate ideal temperatures’.

Another said this only happened to his testicles, with warm weather causing them to ‘get to my knee’.

Urologist Dr Jamin Brahmbhatt, from The PUR Clinic, Florida, argued men’s penises always remain the same size, regardless of the weather, but added blood vessels near the organs’ surface may contract to maintain heat.

Dr Dunoff claimed hot weather may cause blood vessels to ‘fill to the max’ with blood, making erect penises appear larger.

He told MEL Magazine: ‘There’s a reason why a hot tub is attractive for romance.’

Claire revealed: ‘Winter is the party season and life’s too short to cut out sugar and alcohol from your diet completely!

‘Just remember to be mindful of over-indulging on fatty or sugary foods and alcohol as your diet can wreak havoc on your vaginal health. 

‘Sugary foods can feed bacteria or yeast, increasing your chances of bacterial vaginosis, UTI’s and thrush.’

Consider a probiotic supplement

If all else fails, the experts suggested seeking out a supplement to help maintain vaginal health. 

Claire said: ‘Probiotic supplements can be fantastic ways to support both your gut and vaginal health this winter. 

‘Make sure you pick a probiotic which contains bacteria strains proven to reach the vagina alive like Optibac Probiotics ‘For Women’. 

Experts previously revealed how women can keep their vaginas moist and health during the winter months by adapting their diet.

Mary Burke said women should drink apple juice, which is rich in  phytoestrogens, which can reverse the hormonal imbalance that causes vaginal dryness.

Meanwhile she also recommended eating greens – spinach, kale and broccoli contain nutrients that prevent dryness and boost circulation – sweet potato, and watermelon, which contains the compound citrulline, which relaxes the body’s blood vessels to promote circulation and blood flow to the genitals. 

However, other experts disagree over whether ‘winter vaginas’ are real.

Dr Jen Gunter has previously rubbished the concept of ‘summer vaginas’ – that a woman’s genitals become drier during the hot months.

‘Vaginas function quite well in all seasons,’ she wrote.

‘The vagina maintains a steady temperature because it is inside your body and human body temperature only rises with the outside temperature when someone is suffering from heat stroke.’ 

The NHS states the menopause, breastfeeding, childbirth, lack of arousal before sex, certain contraceptives and cancer treatments can all cause vaginal dryness.

It recommends women use a lubricant or vaginal moisturiser, as well as taking more time to become aroused before having sex.

In severe cases, vaginal oestrogen may be required if dryness is caused by the menopause. Hormone replacement therapy may also help.  

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk