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Yes Yes Intro Kit – Ideal For Trialling Lubricant
When wondering what lubricant you need its often a maze to understand whether you would prefer an applicator, gel or even what type of formula. This intro kit is great to help you try a variety of formats to work out what is right for you.
The kit contains:
YES WB water based natural lubricant – certified organic
- 50ml / 1.7fl oz tube
- 7ml / 0.38fl oz sachet
- 5ml / 0.17fl oz pre-filled applicator
YES OB plant-oil based natural lubricant – certified organic
- 40ml / 1.4fl oz tube
- 7ml / 0.38fl oz sachet
- 5ml / 0.17fl oz pre-filled applicator – New & different formulation to YES OB 40ml and 7ml product
Compared to buying these products separately its a great saving and a way to learn about what you are keen to use going forward. The pack contains information on how to use the different products and because they are small samples they are easy to pop into a handbag or makeup bag.
Lavina from Yes yes shares some insight into vaginal dryness and why lubricants help
What is vaginal dryness?
We reached out to the experts at The YES YES Company to tell us more about vaginal dryness. They create and manufacture woman-friendly lubricants and moisturisers that are highly effective, certified organic*, and free of all known skin irritants – so we figured they’d be able to share a thought or two about intimate symptoms…
* by The Soil Association
We reached out to the experts at The YES YES Company to tell us more about vaginal dryness. Founded by women, for women, they create and manufacture lubricants and moisturisers that are highly effective, certified organic*, and free of all known skin irritants – making them top/true experts in intimate health…
* by The Soil Association
We believe that it’s important to convey that vaginal dryness is not only a symptom of menopause. It is true that surveys from The British Menopause Society, its patient arm Women’s Health Concern, and Menopause Matters have found that up to 94% of post-menopausal women experience vaginal dryness, but it is also prevalent among women of all ages.
What causes vaginal dryness?
The most frequent cause is the fluctuation of hormone levels and in particular oestrogen depletion or hormone imbalance. This can occur during pregnancy, after childbirth, whilst taking the contraceptive pill or anti-depressants, or as a result of stress and anxiety. Women with diabetes or Sjögren’s Syndrome, a condition which causes the drying of all mucosal tissue including the vagina may also experience severe vaginal dryness.
Medical professionals are still debating the most appropriate term for menopausal vaginal dryness and it can also be referred to as VVA, Vulvovaginal Atrophy, Atrophic Vaginitis, Urogenital Atrophy or GSM, Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause. Each of these terms has relevance because:
- Dryness can affect the vulva as well as the vagina.
- Atrophy describes the thinning and inflammation of the vaginal and vulval tissues.
- Atrophic changes also affect the urethra and bladder lining because they contain oestrogen receptors. Consequently, urinary symptoms such as urgency, frequency and an increase in urinary tract infections often accompany the more typical dryness of the vagina and vulva.
Vaginal biome and pH levels
The vagina has a dynamic and fragile ecosystem continuously influencing vaginal health and relying on the presence of ‘friendly’ bacteria, the most common of which are Lactobacilli
In reproductive-aged women this natural process is stimulated by oestrogen, initiating the release of glycogen from the walls of the vagina, which is then metabolized by Lactobacilli to produce lactic acid, thus maintaining an acid environment between pH3.8 and 4.5
Increased vulnerability to UTIs
During and after menopause, oestrogen levels fall. This, in turn, results in a fall of vaginal glycogen and consequently lactobacilli numbers decrease causing vaginal pH to rise and become more alkaline. This alkaline environment renders the vagina more vulnerable to bacterial vaginosis and thrush and the lower urinary tract more susceptible to infection.
Diagnosis of vaginal dryness
Although vaginal dryness is one of the most common symptoms of menopause, it is under- reported and under treated. Articles in medical journals have acknowledged that greater education about vaginal dryness and the range of available treatments is essential to encourage more women to seek help for this condition.
Vaginal dryness will sometimes be self-diagnosed due to:
- painful sex
- inflammation of the vagina and/or vulva.
The first time a woman may notice that things have changed might be when having a smear test for cervical cancer screening, but more often it is a slow realisation that her body is changing. For women who have had a hysterectomy with the removal of the ovaries or those who have had cancer treatment leading to a medically or surgical induced menopause, the change will be sudden and often unexpected.
An internal examination, if considered necessary, will reveal pale and fragile tissue with a lack of the normal mucosal ridges and minimum lubrication due to decreased vaginal blood flow.
How to treat vaginal dryness
The 2015 NICE Guideline on the Diagnosis and Treatment of Menopause has a section on urogenital atrophy. The first-line non-hormonal treatment recommends vaginal lubricants and moisturisers. Doctors are advised that lubricants and moisturisers can be used alone or in combination with vaginal oestrogen.
If lubricants and moisturisers do not offer sufficient relief from the symptoms of vaginal dryness, then vaginal oestrogen can be prescribed in the form of pessaries, creams or a ring which is inserted into the vagina.
NICE recommends that doctors explain to patients that vaginal dryness is a long-term condition and symptoms will return if treatment with hormonal or non-hormonal products is discontinued.
Lubricants and moisturisers
What is the difference between a lubricant and a vaginal moisturiser?
- A lubricant is applied specifically to provide additional lubrication for sex, either for comfort or to enhance pleasure. Lubricants are available as water-based, oil-based or silicone.
- A vaginal moisturiser is applied on a regular basis to rehydrate dry vaginal tissue. Not all women who use a vaginal moisturiser will necessarily be sexually active. Some women can experience excruciating pain simply walking and sitting as a result of vaginal atrophy. Products claiming to relieve vaginal dryness rather than simply lubricate, must be registered as Class IIa Medical Devices. They should have a CE mark on the packaging with an accompanying number.
Not all vaginal lubricants and moisturisers are created equally
In 2015 Dr David Edwards and Mr Nick Panay authored a review article published in Climacteric, the journal of the International Menopause Society;
This paper demonstrates the importance of formulation in relation to ingredients which can cause damage to vaginal tissue, leading to irritation, and clearly indicates that some products are not balanced to the correct pH for optimal vaginal health. The list of vaginal moisturisers and lubricants includes those available on prescription and those that are readily available over the counter.
How to choose a vagina-friendly product
When choosing a vaginal lubricant or moisturiser, it’s a good idea to look out for:
- Gynaecologist recommended
- pH balanced
- Natural, or better still, certified organic
Try avoid ingredients like glycerine, glycols, mineral oil or silicone based formulations; all of which can be irritating to sensitive vaginal tissue, especially during and after menopause when the tissue is thin and fragile.
Mr Nick Panay BSc MBBS MRCOG MFSRH – Director of the West London Menopause and PMS Centre – explains why it’s well worth trying a high-quality natural vaginal lubricant or moisturiser if vaginal dryness is impacting on your life.
“In my capacity as a Consultant Gynaecologist with a special interest in premature menopause, I see many women suffering from menopausal vaginal atrophy, whose symptoms can be significantly eased through the use of an appropriate vaginal moisturiser / lubricant.”