Why is my vagina wet?

The vagina is a mucous membrane, which means that the skin and tissue of a healthy vagina are always moist. Many factors can affect how much fluid the vagina produces.
Typically, the inside of the vagina feels slightly wet. Hormonal swings, fertility status, and arousal can change the amount, consistency, and color of a person's vaginal fluids. The vagina may feel very wet during arousal, while menopause can cause vaginal dryness.
Vaginal fluids are essential for keeping the vagina healthy and for making sexual activity comfortable. However some people feel anxiety about their vaginal fluids. Knowing what the fluids are, their function, and what is normal can help ease a person's worries.

What causes vaginal wetness?

a woman in bed wondering why is my vagina wet
Vaginal wetness may come from the Bartholin glands or the cervix.
Most forms of vaginal wetness come from one of two places:
  • Bartholin glands
  • the cervix
Bartholin glands are two small, pea-sized glands located just inside the vagina. They help lubricate the vagina to prevent excessive dryness. They also produce moisture when a female feels aroused, and during sexual activity.
The cervix produces mucus throughout a person's menstrual cycle. As ovulation approaches, the cervix produces more fluid. This fertile cervical mucus can help sperm travel to the egg, increasing the odds of pregnancy.
The most common causes of vaginal wetness include:

Everyday vaginal fluids

A normal, healthy vagina is slightly moist. On average, healthy females produce 1–4 milliliters (ml) of vaginal fluid in a day. According to Dr. Jen Gunter, an obstetrician-gynecologist, a very large, thick streak of vaginal fluid contains about 1 ml.
The amount of discharge a healthy person secretes may change from day-to-day, and both Bartholin glands and the cervix produce various fluids that can change over time. As ovulation approaches, a person might notice more vaginal wetness since the cervix increases fluid production at this time.

Arousal

When a female feels sexually aroused, the Bartholin glands produce more fluid. This fluid helps lubricate the vagina during sexual activity, decreasing the risk of painful friction and injuries. Some people notice that their vagina becomes lubricated during sex even if they do not feel aroused.
The lubrication typically lingers even after a person finishes having sex or no longer feels aroused. It is normal for the vagina to feel wet for an hour or two after sex or arousal.
As females age, they may notice an increase in vaginal dryness. After menopause, the body produces less estrogen, making it more difficult to keep the vagina lubricated. The walls of the vagina also become thinner, which can make vaginal dryness painful.

Hormonal changes

Higher estrogen levels can increase vaginal wetness by causing the Bartholin glands to produce more fluid. People on hormone treatments, such as those taking hormone replacement therapy, may notice an increase in vaginal wetness.
Some people use vaginal estrogen to increase vaginal wetness. A 2018 study found that this practice is no more effective than using traditional lubricants. So for people who prefer to avoid estrogen treatments, vaginal lubricants may work just as well.

Infections

When vaginal fluid changes or a person produces significantly more vaginal fluid than normal, it may be a sign of an infection.
A yeast infection causes thick, white, cottage cheese-like discharge. The vagina may itch, burn, or feel very sore and dry, and sex can be very painful.
A yeast infection is a fungal infection. In most cases, over-the-counter (OTC) antifungal yeast infection medicine can treat it. Antibiotics will not help and may even make the infection worse.
Bacterial vaginosis is a bacterial imbalance of the vagina. Some people have no symptoms, but others notice itching or burning. The vagina may produce a white, gray, or yellow fluid that smells fishy. The smell is sometimes worse after sex.
Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that may cause a yellowish or greenish discharge. Sometimes the discharge looks bubbly and may smell bad, especially after a menstrual period. The vagina sometimes itches or burns.
Sometimes, the Bartholin glands become obstructed and can form painful cysts. A person who has a tender, painful swelling just inside the vagina may have a Bartholin gland cyst. Many go away on their own, but if the cyst grows large or does not heal, a doctor can drain it.

What is the fluid?

Vaginal fluid has many components, including:
  • Water: Vaginal fluid is more than 90% water.
  • Salts: Vaginal fluid is about 1% salts, including sodium chloride, calcium, and phosphate.
  • Organic compounds: This includes amino acids, lipids, and glycogen.
  • Old cells: The cells that line the vagina, uterus, and cervix regularly slough off and leave the body through the vaginal fluid.
  • Antibodies: The vaginal fluid may contain antibodies that reduce the risk of some infections.
Vaginal fluid can appear a range of colors, including creamy, pink, yellowish, and gray. These colors have different meanings.

When to see a doctor

a woman explains her symtoms to a doctor
If a person experiences vaginal discharge that smells bad, they should talk to their doctor.
Vaginal wetness that causes no other symptoms is not usually a problem. Vaginal fluid is a sign of a healthy vagina and a sign that the body is working well.
Some symptoms that warrant a trip to the doctor include:
  • vaginal dryness that lasts more than a few days
  • vaginal discharge that smells bad
  • itching, burning, or other vaginal pain
  • a change in the vaginal discharge after sex with a new partner
  • swelling in the vagina
  • changes in vaginal fluid associated with a new medication, such as birth control or estrogen replacement therapy
  • unexplained vaginal pain or sensitivity
  • Summary

    Many people worry about their vaginal fluids for a variety of reasons. However, vaginal wetness is normal and healthy. It supports fertility, makes sexual activity more comfortable, and can prevent vaginal pain.
    Vaginal wetness in the absence of other symptoms is normal. People who worry they produce too much vaginal fluid may not be aware of how much fluid the body produces. When in doubt, see a doctor midwife who can offer reassurance and assess whether there is an underlying issue in need of treatment.

  • sources:medicalnewstoday

Menopause symptom may trigger brain fog in breast cancer survivors

A new study suggests that night sweats could have a negative impact on cognitive function in women who sleep for longer periods and who have a history of breast cancer.
middle aged breast cancer survivor speaking to doctor
New research suggests that night sweats can impact cognition in menopausal women who have had breast cancer.
Lead study author John Bark and colleagues from the University of Illinois at Chicago have recently presented their findings at The North American Menopause Society Annual Meeting, in Chicago.
Menopause is a natural milestone in a woman's life, marking the transition from childbearing years into middle age.
For many, symptoms of menopause can be striking and have severe effects on health. It has now emerged that one symptom of this change could be contributing to cognitive decline in some women.

What is brain fog?

During menopause, many women experience night sweats and hot flashes, known as vasomotor symptoms.
For most, these symptoms cause transitory physical discomfort, but a new study links them with some cognitive dysfunction, known as brain fog.
Brain fog is a term that can encompass reduced cognition, difficulty with concentrating and multitasking, and challenges related to memory. These and other manifestations can be severe enough to interrupt daily life.
Previously, researchers believed that longer sleep duration was beneficial to cognitive function in women going through menopause, whether or not they experienced vasomotor symptoms.
New research, however, suggests that women who experience frequent night sweats are more vulnerable to cognitive dysfunction.
The team found that longer periods of sleep were associated with increased night sweats, which, in turn, may have an impact on cognitive function. The new research shows that this association is present in women who have received a breast cancer diagnosis in the past.

Results of the study

These results build on the outcome of previous studies that have demonstrated an association between daytime hot flashes and a negative effect on memory performance.
Historically, studies on vasomotor symptoms and brain fog have focused on women who had not received a breast cancer diagnosis. The present study extended the hypothesis to those with a history of the disease.
The aim of the study was to examine how vasomotor symptoms and the amount of sleep relate to cognition among women who are going through menopause and who have had breast cancer.
The team focused on a subset of data from a study that assessed a treatment for vasomotor symptoms of menopause. The initial analysis included data from 33 participants who had taken part in the study and who also had a history of breast cancer.
The researchers asked the participants to undergo testing of cognitive function, as well as skin conductance assessments of physical vasomotor symptoms and sleep monitoring.
Throughout the cohort, women experiencing more frequent night sweats were more likely to sleep for longer periods.
In addition, the association between night sweats and total sleep time was such that the effect on cognition depended on the frequency of the night sweats.

The more frequent the night sweats, the lower the cognitive performance. Specifically, this had a negative effect on attention span, working memory, and executive function.
There are limitations to the study. For example, the cohort was very small. In addition, this study has not elucidated whether the effects of menopause result in long term cognitive decline after the transition ends.
There is also a lack of molecular data to substantiate the results, and the biological mechanism behind any association between night sweats and reduced cognition remains unclear.

How can longer sleep increase brain fog?

The researchers found that, unlike night sweats, daytime hot flashes did not increase brain fog.
The authors suggest that women who experience night sweats during menopause may be more vulnerable to prefrontal cortex deficits, such as decreased attention and executive function.
It is now possible that vasomotor symptoms, and night sweats in particular, could become a modifiable risk factor for cognitive decline during menopause in women who have had breast cancer.
sources:medicalnewstoday

I feel that I am extremely nervous this year. I will suddenly feel overwhelmed by school, the prospect of college, or something in the news (particularly school shootings) and my stomach will feel sick and I can’t stop shaking. What should I do?

Sometimes people think that teenagers don’t have much to be worried or anxious about. However, as you have pointed out there are many important challenges that teens face. There are also a lot of worrisome events that are happening in our world. It makes sense that you feel nervous, and to be fair, everyone feels worried and anxious from time to time. In fact, it is healthy and normal to experience these feelings. Worry can signal to us that something is off, or unsafe at times. Worry can also be an important motivator—if we didn’t have some level of nervousness about a test, we might not try to study at all.

Like all things though, our worry can be harmful or even prevent us from being able to complete chores, schoolwork or get in the way of our relationships. When we start experiencing physical symptoms such as stomachaches, shaking, sweaty palms or trouble with breathing, it is a sign that we are too stressed and overly anxious. At this point it’s important to reach out for support and talk about what you may be thinking or experiencing. Talk to a parent(s) or another trusted adult about getting connected to a therapist or counselor who can help you learn how to cope and address your concerns. You should also tell your health care provider that you have been having these feelings. They can help you figure out other options to help get your feelings and physical symptoms under control so you can feel better.

'Viagra' for women: Types, how they work, and side effects

What to know about 'Viagra' for females


Sildenafil (Viagra) treats erectile dysfunction in males. In the United States, two drugs have been approved to treat low libido in females. Some people call these medications "Viagra for women."

Low sex drive, also known as hypoactive sexual desire, affects about 10% of females.
Some females take Viagra, off-label, to treat low sexual desire. Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved two drugs, flibanserin (Addyi) and bremelanotide (Vyleesi), to address this issue.

Drugs that treat low sex drive have different effects in females and males.
This article describes the FDA-approved medications, including how these drugs work and possible side effects. It also explores alternative treatments.

What types are there?

The FDA has approved two drugs to address low sexual desire in women:

Vyleesi

 two women who have taken Viagra for women to try and improve their sex life.
There are drugs available to treat low sex drive in women.
A person injects this medication, which researchers developed to increase sexual desire in females who are premenopausal.
Just as a male takes Viagra before having sex, a female injects Vyleesi in the stomach or thigh at least 45 minutes before sex.
The effects can last for up to 24 hours. People should not use the drug more than eight times per month.

Addyi

Like Vyleesi, Addyi treats low sexual desire in premenopausal females, but Addyi comes in pill form. The person takes this drug daily, even if they do not intend to have sex that day.
It can take up to 8 weeks to see increases in sexual desire, though some people experience the effects much sooner.

Drugs not approved by the FDA

Some females address low sexual desire using drugs that the FDA has not approved for this purpose. In certain circumstances, these medications may help. They include:

Viagra

Some females use Viagra, on an off-label basis, to treat low sexual desire. This was especially common before Addyi and Vyleesi became available.
In males, Viagra increases blood flow to the penis, allowing them to get and sustain erections. Females also experience increased blood flow to the genitals during arousal, so in theory, Viagra could have a similar effect.
Few studies have tested this theory. One small 2008 study did find that Viagra might help address low libido in females when the issue results from taking certain antidepressants: selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors.

Other drugs

A number of other medications may boost low sexual desire by targeting the cause. For example, when low libido results from trauma or anxiety, anti-anxiety medications may help.
The FDA has only approved Vyleesi and Addyi to treat low sexual desire in premenopausal females. In people who are going through or who have gone through menopauseestrogen replacement therapy may help increase low libido.
Also, some research suggests that adding testosterone to estrogen therapy may have this effect.

How do they work?

Researchers do not know how Addyi works, but findings indicate that it changes the brain's serotonin system. When a low sex drive is linked with serotonin levels in the brain, Addyi may be particularly effective.
Also, Addyi indirectly effects dopamine, a neurotransmitter related to pleasure and motivation.
Researchers are likewise unsure how Vyleesi works in the body. They know that it effects melanocortin receptors, but the link with increased sexual desire remains unclear.
The FDA reports two placebo-controlled trials that have shown statistically significant increases in sexual desire and arousal among females who used Vyleesi.
However, the researchers found that Vyleesi did not increase the number of sexually satisfying experiences. This suggests that increasing levels of desire alone will not change a person's sense of the quality of sex.

Who could benefit?

Vyleesi and Addyi treat premenopausal hypoactive sexual desire disorder, which is the medical term for low libido in females who have not gone through menopause.
There is no "normal" number of sexual thoughts or experiences. Also, there is no cutoff point at which sexual desire becomes clinically low. What defines low libido is that a person is distressed by what they consider a lack of interest in sex.
This means that the people who may benefit from "Viagra for women" are females who feel that their sex drives are low and who want to have more sex.
This may include people who:
  • take medications that affect sexual desire
  • experience sexual boredom
  • suddenly feel less interested in sex
  • Side effects

    • sleep issues — especially sleepiness, which can be serious, and difficulty falling asleep
    • dry mouth
    • nausea
    • dizziness
    • low blood pressure, which may cause fainting when the person stands
    • The most common side effects of Vyleesi are:
      • nausea
      • flushing and hot flashes
      • skin irritation or a rash at the injection site
      • headaches
      • vomiting
      • a cough
      • fatigue
      • dizziness
      • nasal congestion
      • darkening of the skin, resulting in dark spots called hyperpigmentation
      • high blood pressure
      • a decreased heart rate
      • tingling
      • As with any drugs, it is also possible to have an allergic reaction to these medications.
      • Alternative methods

        a man and woman talking to a couples therapist
        Couples can try speaking to a sex therapist about any necessary reconciliation of sexual desires.
        Sexual desire is complex, and the cause of low libido may not be something that medication can address. Trauma, unsatisfying sex, or boredom can each reduce desire.
        Some research suggests that long term, monogamous relationships may lead to a reduction in desire among females. A 2017 study that included male and female participants found that — among females only — being in a relationship for longer than 1 year correlated with a decrease in sexual desire.
        The same study pointed to a number of other factors that can reduce libido, including:
        • feeling pressure to conform to social norms of sex, including religious mandates
        • ever having had a sexually transmitted infection, or STI
        • not feeling emotionally connected with a partner during sex
        • having a partner with a history of sexual difficulties
        • having trouble talking about sex
        • not sharing sexual interests with a partner
        When low sexual desire results from any — or a combination — of these factors, medication may not be effective.
        Some alternatives to medication, depending on the cause of low libido and a person's preference, could include:
        • sex therapy with a partner to support discussion and any necessary reconciliation of sexual desires
        • individual therapy to address any trauma or negative feelings about sex
        • open communication with a partner about sexual desires
        • changing the structure of a relationship, such as by trying polyamory
        • reducing any boredom by exploring new sexual fantasies, toys, and techniques, for example
        Heterosexual norms may also be problematic for some females. While a sexual partner may believe that sex is the same thing as intercourse, other types of sex may enhance a female's pleasure.
        Research consistently shows that most females need or prefer clitoral stimulation to have an orgasm. Prioritizing this form of stimulation, such as with oral sex or manual stimulation during intercourse, can make sex more pleasurable for some females, and this may increase their libido.
      • Summary

        Low sexual desire is a complex issue. There are many possible causes — including hormonal shifts, relationship challenges, and issues with brain chemistry — and one person may experience a combination of these factors.
        A person may benefit from discussing any sexual concerns with a knowledgeable and compassionate healthcare provider.
        Low sexual desire is treatable, though medication cannot treat all causes. If taking medication does not increase libido, a person should explore other options and any underlying issues with a healthcare provider.

Period stopping and starting: Causes and when to see a doctor

What causes a period to start and stop?




Some people may experience periods that start as they expect, then stop and start again. Occasional irregularities in the menstrual cycle are not unusual and can be due to lifestyle factors and hormones fluctuations. In some cases, irregular periods can be a sign of hormone imbalances or an underlying health condition.

A period typically lasts for 5 days but can range from 2–7 days. An individual's menstrual flow is usually heaviest during the first 2 days of their period.
Read on to find out more about irregular periods, what can cause them, and when to see a doctor.

What does it mean?

a woman with a headache because here Period keeps starting and stopping
It is not unusual for a person to have irregularities in their menstrual cycle.
The menstrual cycle is typically 28 days but can vary between 21–35 days. An irregular menstrual cycle is one that is shorter or longer than usual or involves a lighter or heavier flow.
Menstrual irregularities may also involve light bleeding or "spotting" between periods.
Irregular periods are common, with 14–25% of people experiencing irregular menstrual cycles. They may also experience uncomfortable symptoms, such as menstrual cramps.

Why might it happen?

Each person will have a slightly different menstrual cycle and period. Mild variations in flow, duration, and symptoms are usually nothing to worry about.
Menstrual blood consists of blood and tissue from the lining of the uterus. This lining is the endometrium.
The role of the endometrium is to receive and nourish a fertilized egg. As the person's cycle progresses, the endometrium grows thicker. If an egg is not fertilized, the endometrium sheds away. The menstrual blood and tissue then pass through the cervix and out of the vagina.
Sometimes, menstrual tissue can block the cervix, preventing or limiting blood and tissue from leaving the body. This blockage may create a pause in a person's period. Once the blockage clears, the period will resume as normal.
Periods can also change from month to month due to:
  • stress
  • over exercising
  • taking certain medications
  • being unwell
  • poor nutrition
  • sudden changes in weight
  • being underweight
  • using hormonal birth control
  • Changes in hormone levels

    a woman looking out the window and wondering if pcos is associated with diabetes
    Hormone levels may affect menstrual flow.
    Hormone levels change throughout a period, and this may affect menstrual flow.
    At the beginning of a period, levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone drop. This provides a signal for the endometrium to begin shedding, and for the period to start.
    Towards the end of the period, estrogen levels begin to rise again. Increasing estrogen levels cause the menstrual tissue to thicken. This hormonal change can affect the menstrual flow.

    Conditions that may cause irregular periods

    Certain medical conditions can cause hormone imbalances that may interrupt or interfere with menstruation. The following conditions may result in irregular periods:

    Polycystic ovary syndrome

    Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is an imbalance of hormones that affects the ovaries and ovulation.
    The exact cause of PCOS is unknown. However, high levels of male hormones such as androgens and testosterone may play a role.
    Females who have PCOS may experience an irregular menstrual cycle. They may also miss periods, or find that their periods stop altogether.
  • Other symptoms of PCOS include:
    • acne, which may be on the face, back, or chest
    • thinning hair, loss of hair, or baldness
    • excess facial hair
    • weight gain
    • difficulty losing weight
    • darker areas of skin around the neck, groin, and under the breasts
    • skin tags around the armpits or neck
    Lifestyle factors can help a person manage PCOS and balance their hormone levels. Examples include:
    • losing excess weight
    • eating a healthy diet
    • taking regular exercise
    Certain medications can also help to balance hormone levels and reduce symptoms of PCOS.
  • Endometriosis

    Endometriosis happens when the endometrium grows outside of the uterus.
    Endometriosis may affect menstrual flow and can cause painful symptoms during periods. A person may also experience spotting between periods.
    Endometriosis may occur as a result of menstrual tissue passing through the fallopian tube and into other parts of the body. Other causes may include:
    • genetics
    • high estrogen levels
    • problems with the immune system
    Symptoms of endometriosis can include:
    Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relief medication may help to relieve mild symptoms of endometriosis. Hormonal birth control may help to manage the symptoms.
    Other types of hormone medication may be necessary for people who are trying to become pregnant.
    In severe cases, a person may require surgery to treat their endometriosis.
  • When to see a doctor

    a doctor and a female patient having a discussion.
    A person should talk to their doctor if they have severe cramps during their period.
    Occasional irregular periods are common, particularly for adolescents who have recently had their first period.
    Certain lifestyle factors, such as stress, diet, and exercise, can also affect a person's menstrual cycle.
    People should see their doctor or gynecologist if they notice any of the following:
    • their period frequently lasts longer than 8 days or less than 2 days
    • they do not have their period for 3 months, despite not being pregnant
    • their periods are less than 21 days apart or more than 35 days apart
    People should also see a doctor if they experience any of the following symptoms:
    • severe cramps or other pain during a period
    • bleeding in between periods
    • much heavier bleeding than usual, or excessive bleeding needing a change of sanitary products every hour
    • much lighter periods than usual
    • feeling lightheaded, dizzy, or nauseas during a period
    • sickness or fever when using a tampon
    • severe premenstrual symptoms, such as depression or anxiety
    • any menstrual issues that stop people from continuing their normal activities
    It can be helpful for a person to keep track of their menstrual cycle and any symptoms they experience. They can then relay this information to inform the doctor's diagnosis.
    A doctor may request blood tests to check hormone levels and may also carry out a pelvic exam. If the doctor suspects an underlying health condition, they may also request an ultrasound scan of the ovaries.
  • Summary

    Irregular periods are not always a cause for concern. Periods that stop and the restart are often the result of normal hormone fluctuations during menstruation.
    A person should see a doctor or gynecologist if these irregularities occur with every period, or if they experience other symptoms. A doctor can check hormone levels and may perform other diagnostic tests to determine the cause of irregular periods.
  • sources:medicalnewstoday