Moisture is normal for a healthy vagina. Your body relies on the hormones estrogen and progesterone to produce adequate lubricating secretions for your vagina. During perimenopause and menopause, it's very common for some women to experience vaginal dryness, as fewer secretions are produced.
For many women, vaginal dryness is a sensitive and sometimes embarrassing subject to talk about. However, it is a symptom suffered by millions of women each year and can be relatively easy to treat with a range of different natural cures.
What Is Vaginal Dryness?
Vaginal dryness occurs when the vagina loses its normal moisture and elasticity. It can happen to women of all ages, but it is most prevalent during menopause. At this time, it is common for women to 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. It is this decline that causes vaginal tissue to shrink and become thinner, which, in turn, creates dryness and inflammation.
However, there are some other factors that can exacerbate vaginal dryness, such as:
Scented soaps, lotions, or perfumes
Some laundry detergents
Tampons or condoms
While hormone imbalance occurs most often in women going through menopause, it can also affect those who have premature ovarian failure, eating disorders, thyroid issues, or other more rare diseases. It will also have consequences for women who have recently given birth, are breastfeeding, feel intense stress or depression, exercise excessively, or have gone through cancer therapy.
What Are Some Natural Remedies for Vaginal Dryness?
There are a range of natural remedies and lifestyle changes that can help to combat vaginal dryness or the hormonal imbalance at the root of it. The following lists outlines some suggestions in the management of vaginal dryness.
What to seek:
Lubricants. Water-based lubricants and vaginal moisturizers can be purchased without a prescription and can moisten the vaginal area for the whole day.
Foreplay. The vagina may simply take more time to become properly lubricated; to avoid uncomfortable sex, spend more time on manual stimulation.
Soy products. Some research is emerging that indicates foods such as tofu, soymilk, and edamame may contain substances with a similar, albeit weaker, effect as estrogen, thereby alleviating vaginal dryness.
Herbal remedies. Some women use wild yam products for vaginal dryness, though research hasn't yet validated its use for this. Another popular option for hormonal imbalance as a whole is black cohosh.
What to avoid:
While vaginal dryness can be painful or embarrassing, it's a relief to know that there are remedies available. For more detailed information on treatments for vaginal dryness, follow the link below.
Other Related Articles:
Vaginal Discharge During and After Menopause
Talking to Your New Partner About Vaginal Dryness
Can I Have Sex with My Wife if She Has Vaginal Dryness?
Why do I have vaginal dryness?
Vaginal dryness treated with yam extract and vitamin