Dry Mucous Membranes When Taking Antidepressants: Causes and Solutions

Dry mucous membranes is an issue that many people don't want to talk about openly, but it's actually a very common side effect of antidepressant medication. Here at VagiVital, we love our chat feature where we get to meet women who have questions and concerns about our products because it gives us a personal connection and also helps us understand what questions and concerns there are about intimate health - questions that we also have the opportunity to address ❤️

Recently, we received a quite distraught message in our chat from a young woman who told us that she was suffering from dryness and irritation despite being only 32 years old. We introduced her to AktivGel for dry mucous membranes, which is hormone-free and suitable for women of all ages, and to our blog post "Six common causes of dry mucous membranes", where women can learn more about the topic.

This woman got back in touch after a while and said that she had now read the blog and discovered that SSRIs (antidepressants) can cause dry mucous membranes. She had taken SSRIs for many years, but had no idea that they could also cause dry mucous membranes, and was very relieved when she finally got an explanation as to why she was experiencing these symptoms ❤️


In fact, many women are unaware that dry mucous membranes can be a side effect of antidepressant medication. However, information about this specific side effect is often not prominently featured in the leaflets accompanying the medication and it is rarely discussed in detail during medical consultations.


Antidepressants, especially those belonging to the group of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), affect serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that regulates many bodily functions, including the production of natural lubricants. Changes in serotonin levels can interfere with the body's production of fluids that keep the mucous membranes moist and elastic.

The genital mucosa is particularly sensitive to these changes. Normally, these tissues are kept moist and elastic by a balance of hormones and natural lubricants. When the balance is disturbed, the mucous membranes can become dry and fragile, which can lead to a number of problems, such as

🌸 Discomfort and itching: Dry mucous membranes can lead to a constant feeling of irritation and itching, which can be very uncomfortable.

🌸 Sweating and burning: Many women experience a burning sensation that can worsen during physical activity or intercourse.

🌸 Pain during intercourse: Reduced lubrication can make intercourse painful, which can affect both physical and mental wellbeing.

🌸 Increased risk of infections: Dry and fragile mucous membranes can crack more easily, increasing the risk of infections.


VagiVital AktivGel is a hormone-free gel specifically designed to effectively relieve and treat symptoms such as dryness, irritation, itching, discomfort during intercourse and pain when urinating in the genital area, and is suitable for women of all ages.  The clear gel adheres to the vaginal mucosa and releases water to the mucosa over time, restoring the pH and stimulating the growth of cells in the mucosal surface layer.


🌸 Moisturizing effect

The clinical trials at the Swedish University Hospital show very positive results already after 30 days (4 weeks) of daily use of AktivGel, with further improvements at follow-up after 12 weeks. We therefore recommend using three tubes continuously over a period of 12 weeks. After this period, it is normal to switch to use as needed.

🌸 Hormone-free

AktivGel is hormone-free and ideal for women who avoid hormones for medical or personal reasons, but it can also be combined with hormones if desired.

🌸 Non sticky

Because the gel stays where it's placed (in the vagina) thanks to its high viscosity, it's also not sticky, meaning no pads are needed when using it.


A study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology found that up to 20% of women using SSRIs experience problems with dry mucous membranes. Another study in the Archives of Sexual Behavior confirms these findings and suggests that the influence of serotonin receptors on the body's fluid production may be a contributing factor.  This means that tens of thousands of women may be suffering from dry mucous membranes as a direct result of medication. 


The symptoms of dry mucous membranes can occur both early in treatment with antidepressants (SSRIs) and after long-term use. For some women, symptoms may begin within a few weeks of starting treatment, while others may develop symptoms only after several months or even years of medication. The exact timing can vary depending on each individual's unique body chemistry and how they respond to the medication.


Dry mucous membranes can be particularly challenging for younger women who haven't found an explanation for why they suffer from dryness, burning and irritation in the genital area. But it's actually quite normal to have dry mucous membranes even at a young age, and there are several underlying causes - antidepressants being one of them ❤️ 

As always, take care of yourself & Stay Pussytive ❤️

/Fanny Falkman Grinndal
Business Manager Nordics
Peptonic Medical AB