The combination estrogen-progesterone birth control pill and contraceptive ring suppress ovulation and therefore also the natural lubrication produced when an egg is released, says gynecologist Alyssa Dweck, M.D., author of The Complete A to Z for Your V.
Watch an OB-GYN explain whether there’s such thing as too much discharge:
The fallout? Dryness, which can prompt itchiness. Consider an OTC vaginal moisturizer, like Replens Long-Lasting Vaginal Moisturizer ($17, amazon.com), once or twice a week, and if that doesn’t calm the area, talk to your gynecologist about alternate forms of birth control, such as the nonhormonal copper IUD or a diaphragm. (Spice up your sex life with this organic lube from the Women’s Health Boutique.)
Allergies can also make you squirm down below, says Dweck; they’re usually brought on by fragrance in pads or tampons (opt for unscented) or by the latex or spermicide on some condoms.
Occasionally, though, a woman is allergic to her partner’s ejaculate. No, it’s not a sign a breakup is imminent, but you’ll need to see an allergist for a skin test. If you’re diagnosed, use condoms or pop an antihistamine at least 30 minutes before sex.
This article originally appeared in the January/February 2018 issue of Women’s Health. For more great advice, pick up a copy of the issue on newsstands now!