Is Dead Vagina Syndrome Real? Plus, 4 Ways To Boost Your Libido

About half of all American women use vibrators. Why does this matter? Because that’s how many women could possibly have “dead vagina syndrome”— if indeed, it is a true medical condition. DVS is something you may have heard of. It involves unintentionally desensitizing your lady parts due to vibrator-overuse. So, could what you’re doing beneath the covers actually cause your vagina to die? Or is it just a myth? Let’s see what experts have to say.

Bad vibrations

“Dead vagina syndrome” or DVS is a used to describe a woman’s over-sensitized vagina. Some people believe that regularly using a strong vibrator can cause a woman to lose feeling in her private parts. What’s worse, it’s thought that this desensitization of the nether regions makes it almost impossible for a woman to get aroused with an actual human partner. Thus, DVS is born.

The theory behind the condition suggests that using a strong vibrator regularly will ultimately damage sensitive nerves around the clitoris and in the vagina. That sounds pretty scary. But is DVS really a female concern? Experts say no. Neuroscientist and sexual psychophysiologist Dr. Nicole Prause has researched the effects of vibrators. And according to Dr. Prause, there is no data to suggest DVS exists. Whew!

On the other hand, it’s not uncommon to temporarily experience less sensitivity after using a vibrator, to some extent. Another study conducted by the University of North Carolina School of Medicine found that applying vibration to people’s hands desensitized the skin for about an hour. It’s likely the same could happen to genitals, say researchers.

Still worried? If you believe DVS is seriously affecting your love life, then you may want to consider saying goodbye to your vibrator for good. Or, you can just use a gentler setting. Yes, turbo settings can temporarily numb your vagina, but it won’t damage it permanently.

Natural remedies that boost female libido

Meanwhile, there are also natural remedies that encourage blood flow to private parts. Sexual dysfunction affects 25 to 63 percent of all women, suggests a study published in Pharmacognosy Review. And certain herbs may be beneficial for boosting the libido.


Saffron, a culinary delicacy, has a powerful libido-boosting effect. In fact, research suggests that saffron has been used traditionally as an aphrodisiac. And a little goes a long way. All you need is one or two strands to do the trick.

Maca root

Used for centuries in Asian countries, maca root has traditionally been used for male sexuality. But a study from the Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital has found that it may also be helpful for women in need of a sexual boost.


In animal studies, nutmeg has been found to increase sexual activity in male rats. Interestingly, nutmeg has also been used traditionally as an aphrodisiac by African women and is still used today by women of all cultures. So, what’s good for men is obviously good for women too.

Good vibrations

Okay, while desensitizing your vagina, temporally, may seem like a con when it comes to vibrator use, experts agree that using a vibrator is also linked to positive sexual function. According to research from Indiana University, 53 percent of women use a vibrator and report that they enjoy better sex, higher sexual desire and arousal and orgasm.

But it’s not just women who enjoy a little “good vibration.” Forty-five percent of men said they’d also used a vibrator. Most heterosexual men enjoy using one during foreplay or intercourse with a female partner. However, 17 percent of men said they also used a vibrator for solo masturbation.

“The study about women’s vibrator use affirms what many doctors and therapists have known for decades —  that vibrator use is common,” says Debby Herbenick, associate director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion. “It’s linked to positive sexual function such as desire and ease of orgasm, and it’s rarely associated with any side effects.”

But it’s not just better sex that’s associated with vibrators. The study also found that vibrator users were significantly more likely to have gynecological exams and to perform self-examination of their genitals.

No, your vagina can’t die

Most importantly, 71.5 percent of women report never experiencing side effects when using a vibrator. And the side effects that were reported? Well, they’re typically rare and only last a short time. The conclusion: most experts agree that DVS is not a real medical concern for women.

Like many idioms, dead vagina syndrome simply found its way onto the internet and took off running. So, if anyone you know confides they may have dead vagina syndrome, tell them not to worry — it’ll soon be resurrected. 

— Katherine Marko

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