Vaginas are mysterious things, which I think is what makes them great. But also it can make them super frustrating. If you're turned on with someone you like and you still can't get wet, it's maddening. I spoke with Laurence Orbuch, director of GYN Laparoscopic Associates and the co-director of Gynecologic Robotic Surgery at The Beth Israel Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, about the reasons your vag is not currently a water slide.
1. Your hormones are wacky. One of the most common reasons for a dry vag is a decrease in estrogen levels during menopause, perimenopause, after childbirth, or during breastfeeding, but cancer treatments like chemotherapy and pelvic radiation can also lead to low estrogen and a decrease in vaginal lubrication. If you've never experienced any of those things though, it's probably not that.
2. The medications you're taking have side effects that are drying you out. Allergy and cold medications with antihistamines and even some asthma medications can cause vaginal dryness, so I guess the solution is simple: Never leave your house again and stop having asthma. Easy, right?! But you could try switching to more natural remedies or talk to your doctor about other options.
3. Your partner isn't that great in bed. I know it seems obvious, but it's not you, it's him. Sometimes vaginal dryness is just caused by having a low sex drive or having issues with your sexual partner. If he's not doing what he should be doing, or he is and it's just not working for you, you're not going to be as wet as you would be if you were really attracted to someone who was spinning your clit in circles like a plate on a stick.
4. The soap you're using is messing with you. Some women are allergic to chemicals in soaps, detergents, hygiene products, dyes, and perfumes, which could be on your underwear or towels, and that could cause dryness or irritation, which often go hand in hand. Even some lubes if they're not right for you can cause dryness, so try switching to natural detergents or a different, more natural lube.
5. You're way too stressed out. It's really hard for women to get turned on when they're stressed out and not focusing on the sexy thing at hand. And if you're too distracted to get turned on, your vagina's not going to get turned on and lubed either. So basically take a nap, have some pizza, and watch Magic Mike. Ideally, you'll be fine.
Of course, if it is severe and persistant, check in with your gynecologist to make sure it's nothing serious. And then if it's not, that Magic Mike thing though. For real.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.