Is taking antihistamines making your vagina dry?

Is taking antihistamines making your vagina dry?

  • A staggering 44% of British adults now suffer from at least one allergy and the number of sufferers is on the rise, growing by around 2 million between 2008 and 2009 alone. Almost half (48%) of sufferers have more than one allergy – that is around 10 million people (Foods Matter, 2010)

Summer is here, bringing with it the hay fever season, which might have you turning to antihistamines. Some side effects of allergy relief medications are well known, such as drowsiness or nausea. But there are other side effects you might be less aware of, for instance, antihistamines could be causing you to experience vaginal dryness.

Antihistamines work by blocking histamine, the chemical your body produces when exposed to an allergy trigger. They dehydrate the mucus membranes in your nasal passages, alleviating symptoms like a runny nose, watery eyes, and sneezing. However, the mucous membranes in your vagina are similar to those in your nose, so you may find that antihistamines also dry up the mucus membranes in your vagina. Antihistamines can lead to narrowing of blood vessels so there’s less blood flow and therefore fewer secretions throughout the body. Hence, vaginal dryness.

Antihistamines may also be responsible for itchiness and soreness around your vagina, an increased need to urinate, recurrent UTIs and discomfort or pain during intercourse.

There are, of course, a range of other potential causes for your vaginal dryness, such as hormone changes or medications like the contraceptive pill, antidepressants or even some cold medications and decongestants.

Products such as perfumed soaps used around the vagina can also cause dryness and even your menstrual products.

If you do suspect antihistamines are the culprit there are alternative products to relieve hay fever that don’t contain antihistamines.

More natural solutions are to eliminate milk and dairy products, which are known to increase the production of mucous, use olive oil around the eyes and nostrils to trap the pollen and taking raw, local honey.

In the meantime, if vaginal dryness is a problem, use Mizan Botanicals Nourish steam