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Natural Cures for Vaginal Dryness

Your body relies on the hormones estrogen and progesterone to produce adequate lubrication for your vagina. During perimenopause and menopause, it's common for some women to experience vaginal dryness, as fewer secretions are produced. 

Hygiene products can be unhelpful for vaginal dryness.

What Is Vaginal Dryness?

Vaginal dryness occurs when the vagina loses its normal levels of moisture and elasticity. It can happen to women of all ages, but it's most prevalent during menopause. Women may experience the following symptoms:

  • Burning during urination
  • Light bleeding after intercourse
  • Painful sexual intercourse
  • Slight or abnormal vaginal discharge
  • Vaginal soreness, itching, or inflammation

What Are the Common Causes of Vaginal Dryness?

The prevailing cause of vaginal dryness is hormonal imbalance. Estrogen, the main hormone responsible for keeping the vagina lubricated, begins to taper off during menopause. This decline causes vaginal tissue to shrink and become thinner, which, in turn, creates dryness and inflammation.

However, other factors can exacerbate vaginal dryness, such as:

  • Scented soaps, lotions, or perfumes
  • Some laundry detergents
  • Douching
  • Tampons
  • Certain medications
  • Smoking

While hormone imbalance occurs most often in menopausal women, it can also affect those who have premature ovarian failure, eating disorders, thyroid issues, or other rarer diseases. It may also affect women who have recently given birth, are breastfeeding, feel intense stress or depression, are overweight (especially if they have developed insulin resistance), or have gone through cancer therapy.

What Are Some Natural Remedies for Vaginal Dryness?

There is a range of natural remedies and lifestyle changes that can help to combat vaginal dryness and hormonal imbalance. The following lists outlines some suggestions to manage vaginal dryness.

  • Foreplay. The vagina may take more time to become properly lubricated during menopause, so try more manual stimulation.

  • Lubricants. There are a number of types of lubricants out there. Water-based lubricants and vaginal moisturizers can be purchased without a prescription. For more natural lubricants, try vitamin E or olive oil.

  • Soy products. Research is emerging that indicates foods such as tofu, soymilk, and edamame may contain substances with a similar, albeit weaker, effect as estrogen, which can alleviate vaginal dryness.

  • Herbal remedies. Some women use red clover or black cohosh for vaginal dryness.

Keep in mind that petrol-based lubricants can damage or dissolve condoms, but most pharmacists will be able to provide the necessary guidance to avoid this problem.

Read more detailed information on treatments for vaginal dryness.

Pros and Cons of Vaginal Products

Discover which vaginal products increase the likelihood of infection and which promote long-term vaginal health

Pros and Cons of Alternative Treatments for Vaginal Dryness

Vaginal dryness is itchy and painful, and many women are unaware of the best way to treat it. Read on to learn the benefits of using alternative treatments

Vaginal Dryness Creams

The discomfort caused by vaginal dryness will be experienced by nearly all women at some point in their lives. Keep reading to know more.

Sources:
  • Storck, S. (2013). Vaginal dryness. Retrieved May 11, 2015, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000892.htm.
  • Storck, S. (2013). Vaginal dryness alternative treatments. Retrieved May 11, 2015, from http://umm.edu/health/medical/ency/articles/vaginal-dryness-alternative-treatments.