How the Vagina Changes with Age and Its Impact on Lubrication

Just like the rest of your body, your vagina and sexual organs go through changes as you grow older. 

As a woman, these changes can affect the amount of fluid you release “down there” during sexual activities.

“Getting wet” is a colloquial term for the production of arousal fluid. 

Arousal fluid is the clear and slippery fluid released from a woman’s vagina when she is sexually aroused. 

This fluid is normally released to lubricate the area, which prevents friction during sex and makes the act more pleasurable.

However, a woman can be sexually aroused and not produce arousal fluid. 

Not getting wet enough during sex can lead to friction, pain, and discomfort. 

This can severely affect a woman’s sex life, causing issues such as decreased sex drive or even complete avoidance of sex.

Read on to learn more about why women may experience difficulties getting wet during sex, at what age this starts to happen, changes that can occur in the vagina as you grow older, and possible remedies to increase lubrication.

What age does a woman stop getting wet?

Women of all ages deal with this problem of not getting wet even when they are sexually aroused. However, it is more common in menopausal or post-menopausal women.

Research shows that more than half of post-menopausal women aged 51 to 60 years experience vaginal dryness. 

Before menopause, about 17% of women between 18 to 50 years experience problems with vaginal lubrication during sex.

Can women still get wet after menopause?

Yes. Not all women experience changes in vaginal lubrication after they hit menopause. Some women continue to have a normal release of arousal fluid during sex.

During the menopause period, there is a decline in the production of the hormone estrogen. Estrogen normally helps to keep the tissues of the vagina supple and lubricated.

With falling levels of estrogen, the skin and supporting tissues of the vagina become thinner and less elastic, and the vagina can become dry. 

This is why some women experience vaginal dryness around or after the onset of menopause. However, there are remedies for this, and they can still have normal and active sex lives.

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Ways to increase lubrication after menopause

If you’ve hit menopause and you notice that you are having difficulty with getting wet during sex, there are several options available:

Talk to your partner

Communication is the first and most important step when it comes to having better sex. 

Speak with your partner about the discomfort you experience when you have sex. Not getting wet may be due to you not being fully aroused. 

It is important to know your erogenous zones and effectively communicate with your partner about how they can better meet your needs during foreplay.

Use vaginal lubricants

These are available over the counter and are to be applied at the time of sexual intercourse. 

Lube helps to reduce discomfort or friction during sex. It should be applied directly to your vagina, the penis, or on sex toys. 

Water-soluble lube is best when using barrier contraceptives because oil-based ones can break down condoms or diaphragms. 

Look for lube specifically designed for the vagina, as these are less likely to cause irritation and more likely to be effective.

Use vaginal moisturizers

Unlike lubricants which are applied right before sex and have a temporary effect, vaginal moisturizers are to be applied every few days, and they have a longer-lasting effect. 

They help the vaginal tissues produce and retain more moisture. 

You should avoid using moisturizers meant for other parts of the body on the vagina, as these can cause irritation.

Hormonal therapy

Since vaginal dryness after menopause is mainly linked to falling estrogen levels, there are treatment options that aim to supplement this deficit. 

These are prescription medications, and they are usually reserved for when the above methods don’t work. 

They include: 

Vaginal estrogen

This can come as tablets, pessaries, creams, gels, or rings that are inserted into the vagina. 

They increase the vagina tissue’s thickness and elasticity, restore healthy acidity, and relieve vaginal dryness by increasing natural secretions. 

Symptoms of vaginal dryness may improve in weeks. However, it may take up to three months for these to fully work. So, don’t expect instant results.

Osphena (Ospemifene)

Ospemifene is a selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM). It is an oral drug that mimics the action of estrogen. 

It is important to discuss this with your healthcare provider before starting this drug as it may cause serious side effects like difficulty breathing, vaginal bleeding, and an increased risk of forming blood clots.

Notify your doctor if you start using the above drugs and experience any side effects. Do not use these drugs if you have:

  • vaginal bleeding from an unknown cause
  • breast or endometrial cancer 

menopause supplement

What happens to your vagina as you age?

Just like a girl notices changes in her body during puberty, older women will also notice changes as they age from their 20s and 30s through to their 40s and 50s.

During your mid-20s and 30s, the hormones estrogen and progesterone are at their peak levels in your system. 

As a result of the high estrogen levels, your vagina may be moister, producing more discharge and arousal fluid during sex. 

At this time, the vaginal lining is thicker and has more folds, enabling it to stretch during intercourse and childbirth.

During your 40s and 50s, which is the peri-menopausal period for most women, there’s a gradual decline in the levels of estrogen. 

This makes the vaginal lining thinner and less elastic. Your vagina may begin to feel dry, sore, and irritated – especially during sex. 

After menopause, your menstrual cycle ends, and the symptoms of vaginal dryness may worsen.

Other changes that might be observed include changes in the appearance of the vulva. The labia may become less full and start to sag. 

The pelvic floor muscles may become weaker, and the clitoris may shrink.


Vaginal dryness during sex is an issue that can severely affect your sex life and your overall quality of life. 

Women of all age groups deal with this problem. However, it is more common in women of menopausal age

As women age, the vaginal walls may atrophy and produce less lubricating fluids because of a decline in estrogen levels.

The good news is there are many accessible treatments and natural remedies to make a woman wet.

They include vaginal lubricants, vaginal moisturizers, and hormonal therapies. Good communication with your partner is also crucial.

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  1. WOMEN’S HEALTH CONCERN. Vaginal dryness.
  2. Alperin M, Cook M, Tuttle LJ, Esparza MC, Lieber RL. Impact of vaginal parity and aging on the architectural design of pelvic floor muscles. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2016 Sep;215(3):312.e1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2016.02.033. Epub 2016 Mar 5. PMID: 26953079; PMCID: PMC5003683.

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