A YES® Guide:

Understanding & Treating
Vaginal Dryness

Understanding & Treating Vaginal Dryness

Vaginal Dryness, also known as Vaginal Atrophy is more common than you might think. At least 17% [1] of women will experience vaginal or vulval dryness, and the numbers soar to as many as 90% for postmenopausal women [2]. It can cause embarrassment, a sense of loss, and at times, extreme physical discomfort.




Vaginal dryness has many causes and can occur at any stage of life. No one should experience the uncomfortable (and sometimes debilitating) effects of vaginal dryness. For many of us, embarrassment is the barrier to finding relief. Others might be at a loss as to where to go for help or how to begin caring for their intimate health. Perhaps discussing vaginal dryness is one of our last taboos. 


Similar to other conditions, the effects of vaginal dryness can have a significant impact on quality of life. Women often struggle with sex and intimacy as well as navigating day-to-day life with pain and discomfort.


The great news is there are very effective ways to treat vaginal dryness naturally, but your first point of call should always be your doctor or gynaecologist.


[1] National Library of Medicine   [2] National library of medicine


vaginal dryness infographic demonstrating 17% of women experience vaginal dryness and up to 90% of postmenopausal women experience vaginal of vulval dryness

Treating Vaginal Dryness


Vaginal dryness and discomfort can be relieved with the use of water-based vaginal moisturisers and intimate lubricants. Depending on cause, some doctors may prescribe oestrogen gel to treat vaginal dryness. If menopause or hormonal changes are the cause, you may be offered Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT).


Vaginal dryness and discomfort can be relieved with the use of water-based vaginal moisturisers and intimate lubricants. Depending on cause, some doctors may prescribe oestrogen gel to treat vaginal dryness. If menopause or hormonal changes are the cause, you may be offered Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT).

Using lubricant for intercourse YES OB oil-based lube on hands

Using lubricant for intercourse

Water-based Lubricants

If vaginal dryness is causing you pain during sex or penetration, it’s time to reach for a lubricant. There are three main types of lubes – water-based, oil-based and silicone-based. Water-based lubricants are formulated with water as the main ingredient. They tend to feel the most natural and work quickly to ease vaginal dryness and discomfort. 

Silicone based Lubricants


Silicone-based lubes are often hailed as a ‘natural’ option that lasts longer than water-based alternatives. Silicone lubricants are not absorbed or broken down by our body, so they do provide long-lasting lubrication, which often needs to be washed off after use for comfort and skin health. They cannot rehydrate dry tissues as they contain no water. They can, however, make a seal over the skin, so whilst they can lock in moisture, they can also lock in dirt and bacteria.


Oil-based Lubricants

Oil-based lubricants are usually more long-lasting than the alternatives and they are also water resistant. We believe the best oil-based lubes are made with natural oils such as coconut oil, shea butter, or almond oil. YES® OB is deeply nourishing and soothing for dry tissues.

Vaginal Moisturisers for everyday use

Vaginal moisturisers can be used daily to treat symptoms of dryness. They usually come as a topical gel to apply externally to the vulva and vaginal opening. Vaginal moisturisers can also be applied internally using applicators. Most vaginal moisturisers last up to three days and are effective at providing fast relief from symptoms of dryness, irritation and discomfort. 


YES® VM our vaginal moisturiser has been designed to alleviate symptoms of vaginal dryness, by gently replenishing vaginal moisture levels, supporting typical vaginal pH, rapidly soothing and improving comfort without compromising intimate health. Moisture is released slowly at the rate the body needs keeping the vagina hydrated for up to three days – this is YES® Smart moisture Release. YES® VM can be applied internally using applicators or externally to the vulva. 

vaginal moistruisers for everyday use, YES VM tube being squeezed onto hand


Blog: Does YES water-based help vaginal itchiness?

Blog: Does YES® water-based help vaginal itchiness?

blog: Post-pregnancy vaginal dryness

Blog: Post-Pregnancy Vaginal Dryness

Blog: Vagina health-tips for taking care of your intimate area

Blog: Vagina Health- Tips for taking care of your intimate area

Why should I use YES® for vaginal dryness?


Many women with sensitive skin may experience adverse reactions to the ingredients in glycerine/glycol based lubricants, but can use all YES® products with confidence due to their guaranteed pure, natural and gentle ingredients. All YES® products are formulated with ingredients that have proven track records as skin foods, so you can trust that your delicate tissues will be treated tenderly.



  • All YES products are free from all known skin irritants: certified organic and pH-matched to the vagina.
  • YES® WB & YES® VM are both hormone and paraben free.
  • YES® WB & YES® VM both provide soothing relief from burning, irritation and discomfort.
  • YES® WB & YES® VM are both suitable for use as an intimate moisturiser and sexual lubricant.




  • YES® WB & YES® VM are both pH balanced to restore and maintain the typical, slightly acidic, vaginal environment. This ensures you retain your natural protection against thrush.
  • YES® OB & YES® COCO is deeply nourishing and long-lasting offering soothing relief from vaginal dryness.


YES VM, YES WB and YES OB, YES WB being squeezed onto hand from tube
YES available on the NHS, YES WB apps

YES® available on NHS

YES® WB & VM are recommended by a wide range of healthcare professionals and are available on NHS prescription


(YES® WB is available on the NHS as YES® water-based vaginal lubricant).


Choosing between YES® WB & YES® VM to treat vaginal dryness


Supporting vaginal pH

pH matched to the typical vaginal pH

Painful Sex

Use before and during intercourse

Intermittent Vaginal Dryness

Use for comfort and intercourse

Vaginal Atrophy

Use daily initially, then every 3 days as symptoms improve

Itching, Burning from the dryness

As needed to alleviate itching and burning 

Menopause Vaginal Dryness

Use daily initially, then every 3 days as symptoms improve

Atrophic Vaginitis 

Use daily initially, then every 3 days as symptoms improve

Short-term bouts of Vaginal Dryness

Use for comfort and sex

Long-term requirements for Vaginal Moisturiser 

Use daily initially, then every 3 days as symptoms improve

Persistent, long term Dyspareunia

Use daily initially, then every 3 days as symptoms improve

Intercourse Dryness

Use for intercourse

Symptoms and Causes of
Vaginal Dryness

Symptoms of Vaginal Dryness

  • Dryness, burning, stinging, swelling, chaffing, and bleeding 
  • Discomfort due to inflammation of the vulva  
  • Pain during sex – this is also called dyspareunia 
  • Infection and discharge may be experienced. The normal vaginal mucus, acidity, and tissue elasticity protect again vaginal and urinary tract infections. When these are reduced, so are the natural defences, and infection meets less resistance. If you feel you have an infection like bacterial vaginosis, it is important to see a doctor. Many self-test kits are available online, which can be used in the privacy of your own home. 


Symptoms of vaginal dryness, woman holding her pelvis
Causes of vaginal dryness, YES VM tube and applicator

Causes of Vaginal Dryness

Hormonal Causes

  • Menopause and perimenopause. Due to a drop in oestrogen levels the walls of the vagina become thinner during menopause
  • Breastfeeding. Breastfeeding can also lead to a drop in oestrogen levels resulting in vaginal dryness. 
  • Pregnancy and childbirth. Again, the hormone oestrogen drops during pregnancy and after childbirth which can cause a decrease in vaginal lubrication. 
  • Ovulation  
  • Post menstruation 


Medical Factors

  • Autoimmune conditions such as Sjögren’s syndrome. This disorder affects the moisture-producing glands in the vagina and commonly causes vaginal dryness. 

    • Treatments for cancer, such as chemotherapy, hormone therapy and radiation therapy 
    • Medications such as anti-depressants or antihistamines such as hay fever remedies 
    • Taking hormone treatments such as HRT or hormonal contraceptives can affect oestrogen production  
    • Hysterectomy (removal of your womb and ovaries)  
    • Diabetes


Lifestyle Factors

    • Lifestyle factors including smoking and alcohol use  
    • Use of harsh soaps in the vulval area or use of products that contain irritants 
    • Douching  
    • Emotional stress. Chronic stress can wreak havoc with our hormones sometimes resulting in vaginal dryness 
    • Tampon use 
    • Low libido resulting in not being aroused before or during sex 

Understanding your anatomy:
Vulva vs Vagina

Understanding your anatomy, vulva vs vagina diagram

Causes of Vaginal Dryness

The vulva is the external part of the female genitals. It is an often-misunderstood collection of organs that include the mons pubis (the fatty tissue that lies over the pubic bones), labia majora (outer lips), labia minora (inner lips), clitoris, urethra, and the opening of the vagina.   




The vagina is the internal part of the female genitals. It is the muscular canal that runs from the cervix (the opening of the womb) to the vaginal opening. Both the vagina and the vulva contain mucous membranes. Mucous membranes are the moist layer of tissue lining the mouth, nose, eyes, vagina, tip of the penis, and gastro-intestinal tract. Vulval tissue is a hybrid of normal skin and mucous membranes and therefore can be washed with gentle pH matched to the vagina cleanses.  

Mucous membranes don’t have the protective layer found on the surface of the outer skin so they can be damaged, irritated, and dried out by synthetic chemicals much more easily. This is why ingredients matter when it comes to intimate health. 


Osmolality (YES® Smart Moisture Release)

Osmolality- As defined by YES®

Osmolality is a measure of the strength and concentration of ingredients (osmoles) in a solution.

Do you remember Osmosis from school biology? Water moving through a cell wall to balance the concentration on each side? Any treatment applied to the vaginal mucous membranes should match the same concentration or osmolality as the mucous membrane tissues, to prevent tissue damage and further irritation




Vaginal moisturisers should be iso-osmotic to vaginal tissues, meaning they only rehydrate tissues that need it. They gently rehydrate dry vaginal tissues. Iso-osmotic moisturisers won't pull or push water into the tissues, unlike strongly hypo or strongly hyper osmotic moisturisers.  


Iso-osmotic moisturisers are designed to release hydration as the body needs it over the course of 1 to 3 days. YES® smart moisture release means that YES® VM (Vaginal Moisturiser) is designed with osmolality at the forefront of formulation. It will only release moisture when and where your body needs, it gently adheres to the vaginal walls, so you won't feel constantly wet and your delicate vaginal tissues won't be damaged.  


Lubricants used for sex need to release hydration much more quickly. This means the perfect lubricant would be hypo to iso-osmotic and would release water more rapidly to enable intercourse.  

(Read more vaginal moisturisers here, and discover more about osmolality here) 


Osmolality (YES Smart Moisture Release) demonstration
Osmolality YES VM Vaginal moisturiser tube on pink fluffy background
Therefore in our view
  • A Perfect Vaginal Lubricant’s osmolality would be hypo to iso-osmotic, meaning its concentration would be similar to the tissues it is applied.
  • A Perfect Vaginal Moisturiser’s osmolality would be iso-osmotic, meaning it would have identical osmotic pressure to vaginal tissues. A vaginal moisturiser needs to be present in the vagina for extended periods, like 1-2 days, and should release water as needed.
  • Perfect Sperm Friendly Lubricant’s osmolality would be iso-osmotic with semen, which is slightly higher than typical human tissues.

The Vaginal Microbiome

Osmolality- As defined by YES®

You may have heard of the gut microbiome, but lesser discussed or understood is the vaginal microbiome. The vaginal microbiome is a complex micro-ecosystem that plays a crucial role in maintaining vaginal health and protecting against infections [1]. 

The vaginal microbiome is dominated by Lactobacilli, a form of 'good bacteria' which produce lactic acid and other antimicrobial compounds. When we have an infection, the presence of Lactobacilli significantly decreases. Lactobacilli provide the first line of defence against pathogens and infection. When the healthy vaginal microbiome is compromised, our intimate health can also be compromised.  


What are Lactobacilli?


  • Lactobacilli are the main source of lactic acid that keeps the pH value of the vagina lower than pH 4.5 [1]. The acidity of the vagina creates an inhospitable environment for potential pathogens that thrive in alkaline conditions. If vaginal pH is higher than pH 5, we are more susceptible to infections. Lactobacillus inhibits the growth of harmful microorganisms and helps to fight off sexually transmitted infections such as Candida albicans (Thrush), Chlamydia, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and Gardnerella vaginalis. 


Factors that compromise Lactobacilli


Several factors can compromise the presence and abundance of vaginal Lactobacilli. These include:


  • vaginal dryness
  • antibiotic use
  • hormonal changes
  • sexual activity
  • hygiene practices such as douching or using harsh soaps in the vaginal area
  • underlying medical conditions
  • stress

Keep reading to discover more about the importance of vaginal pH in intimate health.




The vaginal microbiome osmolality as defined by YES. YES CLEANSE in hand on purple background

Understanding Vaginal pH


pH is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a water-based environment. The pH scale is from zero to 14, with pH7 in the middle being neutral or neither acidic or alkaline. If a pH is lower than 7 then the liquid is acidic and when above 7 it is alkaline. 


pH levels are important because they can help our body to fight infection, aid digestion, kill harmful bacteria, and more. Intimate human pH varies: vaginal pH is acidic, typically around pH 4, rectal pH is neutral at pH7.0, semen pH is slightly alkaline at pH7.0-8.5.  

The physiological pH of the vagina creates an ideal environment that protects against infections such as Bacterial Vaginosis and Thrush outbreaks. 


Maintaining a healthy vaginal pH level is an important part of safeguarding your intimate health. Many factors can alter vaginal pH levels such as douching, using harsh soaps on the vaginal area, taking antibiotics, and the use of certain lubricants. Using products that are pH matched to the vagina will aid in maintaining healthy pH levels and avoiding irritation, infection, and uncomfortable symptoms. 


Community and Resources

Find us on NHS Prescription

Did you know that YES® WB and YES® VM are both available on UK NHS prescription?


Pass on the following PIP codes to your doctor when asking your them to prescribe YES VM and YES WB. The pip codes are there to allow your doctor to identify the product.


YES® WB Pre-filled Applicators Pip code: 345-5805

YES® WB Tube Pip code: 345-5789

YES® VM Applicators Pip code: 402-3420

YES® VM tube Pip code: 402-3412


You may also wish to take advantage of our subscription package to receive 15% off your order every time you purchase.


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