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Pros and Cons of Alternative Treatments for Vaginal Dryness

Although the majority of women will suffer from vaginal dryness at some point during their lives, this itchy and painful condition is often deemed too embarrassing or uncomfortable to discuss. Most commonly however, the symptom is experienced during menopause when hormonal changes in a woman's body cause the vaginal tissues to become thin and decrease the secretion of lubrication. Read on to discover the pros and cons of various alternative therapies.

Alternative treatments for vaginal dryness.

Pro: Offer Other Benefits

Alternative treatments often provide benefits that improve overall health as well as the experience of a specific symptom. Dong quai for example is a herb that improves blood circulation in addition to stimulating natural vaginal lubrication. The estrogenic properties responsible also help the body to regulate other symptoms derived from menopause including,  mood swings, hot flashes, and night sweats. Other herbs with estrogenic functions include black cohosh and red clover.

Con: Lack of Scientific Evidence

While numerous women report and experience the supposed benefit of alternative therapies, many of the reported advantages of alternative remedies remain unscientifically proven.

Pro: Long-Term Solution

Unlike "quick fix" hormone treatments such as HRT, many alternative therapies nourish vaginal tissues and stimulate natural lubrication over time. Although the benefits of HRT might be felt sooner, the practice involves the artificial introduction of hormones which disrupt the body's natural processes.

Con: Not Always Immediate

The process of treating vaginal dryness naturally on a long-term basis may seem slow. However, while waiting to feel the benefit of alternative procedures, women can use natural moisturizers, such as coconut and olive oil for temporary relief. Use water-based lubricants when engaging in sexual intercourse in order to prevent vaginal dryness from interfering with your sex life.

Pro: No Side Effects

Unlike more medically reliant remedies, alternative therapies tend to have few or no side effects. This differs significantly from HRT, where long-term use has been associated with the increased risk of contracting serious diseases, including cancer.

No woman should have to suffer from continued vaginal dryness. Even if medical treatments seem unappealing, a whole host of natural remedies are also available. What's important is to figure out which solution is best for you, your lifestyle, and your desired outcome. If it's long-term vaginal health you want, alternative therapies are recommendable. This method may take longer to provide results, but a healthy lifestyle supplemented with beneficial herbs will simultaneously boost general well-being and alleviate vaginal dryness. While waiting to see the effects of alternative treatments, use natural moisturizers to find instant relief form dryness.

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Sources:
  • National Health Service UK.(2012).Hormone replacement therapy (HRT).Retrieved February 20, 2014, from http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/hormone-replacement-therapy/Pages/Introduction.aspx
  • National Health Service UK.(2012).Sex after the menopause.Retrieved February 20, 2014, from http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/women4060/Pages/sex-after-the-menopause.aspx
  • National Health Service UK.(2010).Vaginal dryness.Retrieved February 20, 2014, from http://www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk/~/media/Selfcare/FemaleSexualHealth/VaginalDryness.ashx
  • National Institutes of Health.(n.d).Hormone Replacement Therapy: Medline Plus.Retrieved February 20, 2014, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/hormonereplacementtherapy.html
  • National Institutes of Health.(n.d).Vaginal dryness alternative treatments: Medline Plus Medical Encyclopedia.Retrieved February 20, 2014, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002142.htm