Insufficient vaginal moistening (lubrication)


Vaginal moistening = lubrication


Inadequate lubrication means inadequate moistening of the female sexual organs during sexual intercourse.
This can have both physical and psychological causes. For some women it is a permanent condition, while other women only have problems with lubrication for a limited period of time. Since poor lubrication can lead to pain during sexual intercourse and thus limit the quality of life of those affected, therapeutic measures may be necessary. Commercially available lubricant gel is a quick help.

If you are generally suffering from vaginal dryness, we recommend our website: Vaginal dryness - you should know that!

Causes of insufficient lubrication

The causes of poor lubrication can be physical as well as psychological:

  • The lubrication is usually increased by sexual arousal. If there is a lack of pleasure, there is no increased moistening. This can be a fundamental disinterest in sexual contact.
    Various drugs can suppress pleasure and thus also the lubrication. One group of drugs that triggers this are the antihypertensive drugs. The birth control pill can also reduce desire.
  • Other physical causes can be changes in the hormonal balance. With the menopause, many women experience less pleasure and vaginal dryness.
  • Some chronic conditions can also lead to a dry vagina. These include high blood pressure, diabetes and multiple sclerosis. Cancer therapies such as surgical removal of the ovaries or hormone withdrawal treatment are also possible causes.
  • Alcohol can also dampen the libido and thus the lubrication.
  • Persistent stress can also be a cause. Psychological causes can be, for example, the onset of depression with a loss of libido or pressure to perform. Traumatic events or problems in the partnership can also affect the lubrication. After giving birth, women often have less sexual interest and thus less lubrication.

Other accompanying symptoms

The most common accompanying symptom of poor lubrication is also a cause.
This is the loss of libido, which is often due to stress, mental illness or drug side effects. The dry vagina often leads to pain and irritation of the mucous membrane during intercourse, which is often a symptom that leads to a visit to the gynecologist.
Since in many women dryness occurs not only during sexual intercourse, but is also a permanent condition, vaginal infections are more common. These include particularly fungal infections with Candida Albicans, but some bacterial infections (bacterial vaginal disease) are also possible.
Other symptoms are related to the underlying disease. With causes such as stress and depression, there is often a general lack of drive and joylessness. Sleep disorders are also common. In the case of drug-induced insufficient lubrication, the other symptoms are very specific for certain active ingredients and are difficult to generalize. Diabetes patients can also have eye problems, kidney diseases and vascular diseases, especially in the later stages.
For those affected by the menopause, further symptoms are possible due to the hormone deficiency. Symptoms of menopause include hot flashes, difficulty sleeping, and mood swings. The accompanying symptoms can therefore be very different depending on the cause and are not equally pronounced in every person affected.

As infections can occur more frequently as part of insufficient vaginal humidification, you may also be interested in the following: Symptoms of vaginal thrush

How can one increase the lubrication?

Increasing the body's own lubrication is only possible by eliminating or treating the cause.
In the case of mental illness, just knowing about the illness can be helpful. A quiet, private environment can help. Drug treatment can also alleviate the symptoms. In the case of stress, the lubrication usually increases on its own as the permanent stress subsides. If medication is the cause of the lack of lubrication, the medication can be changed. Simply omitting the medication should not be done without consulting the family doctor, as this is often an important therapy for serious illnesses. These include especially blood pressure and diabetes drugs.
The lack of libido and lubrication after having a child is completely natural and will improve on its own after a few weeks. In menopausal women, who often suffer from vaginal dryness and irritated mucous membranes, an ointment containing estradiol can help protect the mucous membrane and increase its lubrication. If the cause of the lubrication cannot be treated or improved, those affected can resort to lubricating gel so that the mucous membrane is not irritated during sexual intercourse.


One way to compensate for the lack of natural lubrication is to use lubricants. Lubricants come in many different types.
Many lubricants with different smells or oils can be found on the open market and on the Internet. However, these are not recommended, especially if the mucous membrane is already irritated. In drugstores and pharmacies, lubricants without perfume and other additives are available, which irritate the mucous membrane significantly less.
If you are unsure which lubricant is best for you, your gynecologist can be your point of contact. In the event of incompatibility, the respective lubricant should no longer be used. This also applies to an intolerance of the partner to the lubricant.


The diagnosis is usually based purely on the anamnesis, i.e. the questioning by the doctor, since most women only have insufficient lubrication during sexual intercourse. Frequent infections with fungi or bacteria and redness or irritation of the mucous membrane can, however, indicate insufficient lubrication even on physical examination. Many women only go to the doctor if they have long-lasting difficulties, as it is still a subject of shame for many women.

When do we speak of a lubrication disorder?

The term disorder is associated with the fact that the person concerned develops psychological strain and seeks help. Initially, this can also be an attempt at therapy with fungicides or ointments. A disorder cannot be defined with certain amounts of fluid, but rather with the fact that there are subjective restrictions in everyday life or in sexual life. Regardless of clinical definitions, these sufferers are in need of treatment.

Our next topic might also be of interest to you: Burning sensation during or after intercourse

Forecast of vaginal dryness

The prognosis of vaginal dryness depends on the cause. While menopausal women often have permanent symptoms from the onset of symptoms, because the body lacks hormones, other causes can lead to short intervals between disturbances.
This is usually only a short period of time after pregnancy and symptoms resolve on their own. In depression, the inadequate lubrication often occurs in the same waves of illness as the depression itself. An exact prediction about the healing can therefore not be made.