Hi Aunt Vadge,
All of the time I have had sex/ masturbated, I have had a normally thick consistency of fluids. However, in the past two months, I have noticed a decrease in this consistency, and it makes it a little harder to do things without lubrication, which beforehand, I could do no problem.
I have also noticed a rough interior wall of my vagina; is this a symptom of the thinner fluids? While this isn’t a necessarily huge problem, it is strange, and I want to make sure nothing is happening that shouldn’t be.
Do women’s consistency of self-lubrication change over the years? Does this mean I will have to start using lubrication? What do you think?
Country: United States
Dear Extremely Curious
Changes in vaginal fluids do happen over time due to age and related cellular changes. It may be that you are exiting your juicy teenage years as hormones stabilise, but it could be something else, like a recent change in diet. Dairy, for example, is known to cause your body to produce more mucous, which can mean your vagina produces more fluids than when you take dairy out of your diet. The change may be actually making your vagina more normal, and returning it to its natural state, which may be less slimy.
Hormonal changes during your cycle also change the consistency of your vaginal fluids, so if you are not on hormonal birth control, as you ovulate, you will notice your cervical fluids are more slimy and slippery, while just after your period, they may stop completely or become more dusty and thin. This is all perfectly normal.
The inside of the vagina is made up of what’s known as rugae, which are muscular folds. Some of this can feel a little rough when you touch it, if a slimy coating is not on it, as you’ve noticed. The reduction/thinning of fluids could be why you can feel this more now.
Think about the things you have done recently that contribute to how your body functions: going on or off birth control, dietary changes, lifestyle changes (exercise, etc.). It could provide the clues you are looking for. Don’t forget that your body is one big ecosystem, and each part of it contributes to the other, in ways we can’t see and often don’t connect. One such way may be if you have started exercising, your oestrogen levels may have decreased, since exercise lowers oestrogen levels. A healthy vagina is almost completely dependent on the action of oestrogen in the cells to keep it juicy and well.
Sometimes thinning vaginal fluids can indicate an infection or a change in microflora, so it may be worth going to get a swab taken. I understand that in the USA, just whipping off to the doctor isn’t as easy or cheap/free as in many other countries, so in the meantime, you can do a couple of things to try to nail down the reason for the change.
- Increase ferments in your diet in case the change is due to a microbial imbalance. If you think you could have an STI, please go and get checked. If you have any pain, bleeding, or infection-like symptoms, see a doctor for not sexually-transmitted infection checks.
- Write a diary of everything that has changed just before and since your vagina started to change.
It’s ok to use lube – many people do. Don’t forget that a turned-on vagina is a wet vagina, so you should be ensuring your vagina is juicy and hot before trying to stick anything in it.