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I recently “dried up” down there quite significantly, and I’m in my 20s and sexually active. Should I be worried about an STI?
Sarah: As a non-doctor, I can’t tell you about your medical risk, but I can tell you that drawing out your foreplay can help nix that problem in case your problem isn’t medical. After all, nobody likes to have a juicy hot dog in a dry bun, so to speak, so use it as an excuse to start making out on the couch a little earlier. Another fun, easy solution: start that foreplay somewhere where it’s a little extra dirty, like getting handsy in the car after dinner. It’s not exhibitionism by any means, but it does force some anticipation into the situation and a little dash of that certain je nais sais quoi that doing something where you’re not supposed to adds. Or, if you’re the Mayor of Squaresville (or don’t like misdemeanor charges), go buy some water-based lube at your local store.
Dr. Debby: Vaginal dryness is not typically a sign of STIs but if you have questions about your personal sexual health, it’s always a good idea to check in with a healthcare provider. Vaginal dryness can be caused by taking antihistamines, so if you have allergies and they have been acting up lately, causing you to take allergy medications then that may be part of it. If you are taking hormonal birth control (like the birth control pill, patch, or ring), that can also contribute to vaginal dryness. You might try spending more time - like, at least 10 minutes- in foreplay, prior to penetration, to maximize your own personal vaginal lubrication. Using a store-bought water-based lubricant can also make sex much more pleasurable and comfortable.