Menopause, Perimenopause, Thyroid & Vaginal Dryness

Menopause, Perimenopause, Thyroid & Vaginal Dryness

It is not a coincidence that women are particularly vulnerable to develop a thyroid condition at 3 times in their lives – puberty, pregnancy, and perimenopause/menopause. Our sex hormones and thyroid hormones are intricately connected. When our sex hormones shift we are vulnerable to have shifts in our thyroid hormones too and vice versa. Perimenopause and menopause can be more challenging for those of us with thyroid issues.

It’s a challenge too to determine which symptoms are menopause related and which ones are thyroid related. I wonder how many people are told their symptoms are all due to perimenopause or menopause when in fact they are really the result of an undiagnosed or inadequately treated thyroid condition.

Studies like the two I include in the references at the bottom of this article show female sexual issues with thyroid disorders including lowered libido, painful intercourse, impaired orgasm, and reduced vaginal lubrication. This topic is clearly quite complex when it comes to hypothyroid women.

Written by Lavinia Winch

How often when we read about menopausal symptoms do the health professionals focus on hot flashes, night sweats, anxiety, depression, and mood swings? Further down the list comes vaginal dryness and the advice is usually to use a lubricant if you are experiencing this condition and if sex has become painful.

The media is full of stories about women’s libido decreasing as we approach menopause and there are solutions, the latest of which seem to be testosterone which can be given to women to help with this problem or some laser treatment to the vagina. However, if vaginal dryness is causing discomfort it’s not really surprising that the reduced enjoyment during sex will not only affect your physical relationship but will also have an impact on your emotional relationship with your partner.

There are many reasons that vaginal dryness may occur through our lives. Changes in hormone levels during pregnancy and breastfeeding, medication for depression, the contraceptive pill, anxiety and stress and some decongestants can lead to dryness. Treatment for breast and gynecological cancer almost always causes extreme dryness due to estrogen depletion and is very distressing to these patients who are not always warned of this side effect. Certain medical conditions such as Diabetes, Sjögren’s Syndrome (an autoimmune disease that affects glands that normally produce lubrication, including the vagina), vulval diseases such as Lichen Sclerosis can all cause vaginal dryness and perhaps not necessarily so obvious, Hypothyroidism.

The American Sexual Health Association says:

Conditions such as thyroid disease and diabetes can result in reduced vaginal lubrication which can make sex uncomfortable and less satisfying.

It stands to reason that if certain medical conditions are responsible for vaginal dryness in our younger years, then these symptoms will be exacerbated as we approach perimenopause and menopause. We are all individual and each one of us will have a different experience of this stage of our lives, but as estrogen levels decrease we are very likely to find that our vaginal tissue is not as well lubricated or as flexible as it was when we were in the flush of youth.

So – it’s easy isn’t it? You just pop down to the drug store or your local adult sex store and buy some lubricant. You don’t bother to read the label because it must be safe if it’s being sold for intimate use mustn’t it?

In fact, even if you do read the label you probably won’t find a list of ingredients because manufacturers have not been obliged to display the ingredients. If you are a purchaser of organic food – you will read about where it has been produced. If you are already buying organic or natural cosmetics and beauty products you may choose products without Parabens or ingredients with long unpronounceable names which seem more appropriate in a chemistry lesson – but have you thought about what your lubricant may contain?

It is amazing how many women (and their partners) are quite happy to apply products with no guarantee of purity to the most sensitive parts of their bodies.

Back in 2003 Sarah Brooks and Susi Lennox, the founders of The Yes Yes Company sold their houses to fund three years of research into organic ingredients for a new pioneering formula water-based lubricant. Using plant polymer technology to complement human intimate chemistry they developed the world’s first lubricants certified organic by The Soil Association in the UK.

Most lubricants are formulated with glycerine which is a known vaginal tissue irritant and many are not pH balanced to prevent Thrush or Bacterial Vaginosis and can increase the incidence of UTIs (Urinary Infections). Many women find that they have an episode of Thrush following sex using a lubricant and others suffer from recurring UTIs sometimes known as the Honeymoon Disease – but these infections may very likely be due to the use of a lubricant which is too alkaline.

About Lavinia Winch, The YES YES Company

Lavinia Winch is the Medical Liaison at The Yes Yes Company. The idea that started The Yes Yes Company Ltd in 2003 arose between two friends, Susi Lennox and Sarah Brooks. Susi and Sarah’s experience of working in the Drug Safety divisions of major pharmaceutical companies meant they were very aware of the health risks associated with certain synthetic, chemical ingredients. “Having worked at Pfizer when Viagra was launched, we were aware of the need for effective products in the intimacy arena. What we discovered was a gap in the market for a pure and natural personal lubricant. We set out to ‘change the world from the inside’ by creating a new concept: A certified organic, plant based natural range of intimacy products.” YES won Europe’s Best Organic Beauty Product 2016 Award.


  1. Oppo, A. et al. Effects of hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, and thyroid autoimmunity on female sexual function. J Endocrinol Invest. 2011 Jun;34(6):449-53.
  2. Pasquali, D. et al. Female sexual dysfunction in women with thyroid disorders. J Endocrinol Invest. 2013 Oct;36(9):729-33.

Take Back Your Thyroid Health! Sign up and never miss a post - it's FREE

I appreciate every share! Thank you.

About Dana Trentini

Dana Trentini founded Hypothyroid Mom October 2012 in memory of the unborn baby she lost to hypothyroidism. This is for informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for consulting your physician regarding medical advice pertaining to your health. Hypothyroid Mom includes affiliate links including the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.


  1. Marlene Talbot says

    This would be good to see on Menopause Matters ,I’ve got these conditions ,I get MM quarterly magazine . Knowledge is power to females . Good piece written on this .
    Females get a hard time with all of these conditions coming up ,sometimes all at once .

Speak Your Mind