The most common causes of having no vaginal discharge are hormone imbalances, many of which occur as a normal part of menopause, pregnancy, and sometimes even menstruation. Women’s hormones fluctuate pretty regularly over the course of their monthly cycles, and some days may be drier depending on the timing of ovulation and the thickness of the uterine walls. Individual body chemistry also plays a role. A number of over-the-counter moisturizers and lubricants can relieve temporary symptoms, but women who don’t experience discharge at all should usually look for a more permanent solution. Discharge is an important part of reproductive health in most cases, and a complete absence may be a sign of a more serious condition, particularly if a woman also experiences pain or itchiness.
Hormone Balance Basics
The female reproductive system relies on a complex system of hormones to function, and these chemical signals exist in an almost constant state of flux. Some of their biggest jobs are regulating ovulation, which is when an egg drops from the ovary for fertilization, and actual gestation once fertilization happens, but they also control more minor things like breast swelling, abdominal bloating, and vaginal moisture levels.
Many women experience a natural ebb and flow in vaginal discharge during various points in their menstrual cycles. This is considered normal, even if no discharge is present on certain days. Those who experience this condition constantly, who have irritation or pain during sex, or who have never had normal vaginal discharge may have hormone-driven problems, though. Specifically, they may be experiencing a significant drop in estrogen. A number of conditions and illnesses can cause this sort of dip, though in most cases it can be corrected with hormone therapy and lifestyle changes.
It’s fairly common for women to see no vaginal discharge as they begin menopause. Menopause is a natural phenomenon in middle-aged women and is basically a shutting down of the reproductive system — when the process is complete, a women will no longer get monthly periods and will not be able to get pregnant. The changes that have to happen to get to this point are pretty complicated, though, and they require a range of hormonal spikes, dips, and periodic imbalances. Spans of time without discharge are usually considered normal.
After Pregnancy and Childbirth
By the same token, dryness can also be a normal part of pregnancy and recovery after childbirth. A woman’s hormonal levels fluctuate greatly during both of these events, and changes in vaginal moisture are common. In nearly all cases, regular discharge returns as soon as a woman is back to her normal reproductive state.
Other Medical Conditions
Certain fertility issues, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome, may lead to an absence of vaginal discharge in some women. Fibroids, which are growths on the uterus or in the reproductive tract, can also contribute. These conditions can often be treated with hormonal replacement medication, dietary changes, and supplements to mimic or replace naturally occurring hormones. Not all women with imbalances will experience vaginal dryness, but it’s fairly common.
As a Reaction to Certain Drugs
Some women may also experience no vaginal discharge after taking certain prescription or over the counter medications. Some birth control pills fall into this category. A bit of dryness isn’t usually problematic, but if there’s no discharge for a long time it can lead to pain, particularly during intercourse. If this occurs, changing medications or changing the dosage may be good options. Depending on the circumstances, though, the dryness may not be enough to warrant discontinuing a medication, especially when it’s being used to treat something serious.
When to Get Help
Experts typically recommend that women talk to a health care provider if they experience vaginal dryness that lasts for more than about a week or that causes pain, or any time a lack of discharge is accompanied by other symptoms such as fever, itchiness, or extreme cramps. These could be signs of a more serious condition. In general it is not usually advised that patients treat themselves using over the counter lubricant until a underlying cause for dryness is determined. Lubricants are usually designed to supplement moisture levels, not replace them. Prolonged use can mask larger problems, and can actually hinder the body’s ability to regulate vaginal conditions.