How to cure vaginal dryness?
Here is everything you like to know but are too embarrassed to ask.
Vaginal dryness is a problem that is relatively common and is usually caused by reduced levels of hormones in a woman’s body.
This is why women start complaining about it in the pre-menopausal and post-menopausal period. This is the time when the ovaries begin to stop producing hormones.
So it is understandable this can also occur when women lose their ovaries with a hysterectomy.
The most important role in maintaining normal function of the vagina has the female hormone named estrogen. As estrogen levels in the blood drop, the mucous membranes of the vagina also become thinner, less elastic, with considerably reduced secretion glands. This eventually leads to atrophy.
Symptoms of vaginal dryness
Vaginal dryness may cause discomfort during sex after a hysterectomy. Some of the symptoms of vaginal dryness are itching, tingling and burning in the vaginal area. You may have complaints about pain during sexual intercourse which can for some women be a reason to avoid having sex with her partner.
It is important to note, that it is better to act as soon as the symptoms appear. Go and see a doctor if you notice any of the above symptoms. A timely intervention can prevent the further course of this problem, and the consequences that follow. Luckily, today we know many remedies, including the natural ones, which will help women to cure vaginal dryness.
Why is estrogen so important?
Estrogen is a female hormone that keeps vaginal tissue elastic, keeps up proper vaginal acidity and moisture. This hormone naturally protects the body from vaginal infections, and urinary tract infections. Adequate secretion of the vaginal glands ensures appropriate moisture of the vagina.
The level of estrogen in a woman’s body may fall for several reasons: childbirth, breastfeeding, menopause, surgical removal of the ovaries, immunological disorders, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, radiation, stress, and smoking.
Other causes of vaginal dryness include;
Aggressive cosmetic treatments and the use of certain types of drugs can also affect the normal vaginal flora or cause vaginal dryness. Vaginal dryness can also be caused by use of various gels, soaps, and other means for maintaining a woman’s intimate hygiene. Plus tampons, condoms, diaphragms, and various allergens that come into contact with the vaginal mucosa may cause this problem.
For the vagina, to preserve its normal function, it needs the natural micro-flora of the vagina to produce lactic acid. Together with the moisture from the vaginal glands, the lactic acid helps to create a normal vaginal ecosystem.
Vaginal dryness remedies
Luckily there are various treatment options to cure vaginal dryness. Whether the treatment is successful depends on what causes the dryness.
Today on the market there are different lubricants which one can purchase in pharmacies without a prescription. These products allow achieving adequate moisture in the vagina, thus avoiding feelings of discomfort during sexual intercourse. Many of them you can use by applying it in the vagina or on the penis. They are water-based (which are the most preferred), oil, silicone, given that they do not have a potentially harmful effect.
2. Vitamin E vaginal suppositories
You can use these suppositories in two ways. First, you can insert them into the vagina where they will slowly dissolve and lubricate the vagina. Second, you can break the capsule or pierce it with a needle and apply the oil to the affected area in the vagina. You can also find vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant, in many commercial creams to cure vaginal dryness.
3. Long lasting vaginal moisturizers
One can cure vaginal dryness by restoring the essential vaginal moisture with products like Replensh. This moisturizer does not contain hormones (estrogen), which is often a worry for women with a history of cancer or cervical dysplasia. A single application provides enough moisture to last you three days. This may be different from woman to woman but you have to experiment a bit what works best for you.
4. Topical hormone applications
One can also cure vaginal dryness with a help of systemic administration of hormones. For this purpose, they use usually different estrogen preparations. You can apply them into the vagina in the form of flexible rings and soft rings that you have to place in the upper part of the vagina. They then release a small amount of estrogen continuously in the vagina itself. It is important to note that these rings need changing every 3 months.
Another option is to apply a vaginal estrogen cream at bedtime. You can do this with the help of an applicator which you insert into the vagina. There is also a therapy with estrogen tablets for vaginal use.
It is extremely important to note that hormonal preparations with beneficial effects have potentially harmful effects that can seriously jeopardize the health of women. Therefore, the use of such agents to cure vaginal dryness should exclusively be carried out under the guidance of a doctor or gynecologists.
How to cure vaginal dryness naturally
The estrogens from plants (phytoestrogens) one can naturally find in many foods are the best ally in fighting the symptoms of menopause.
Phytoestrogens are a variety of plant matter whose active metabolites are chemically similar to the female sex hormone estrogen. Unlike synthetic hormones, the plant hormones have no side effects. If the body is not in need of them, it will excrete them through the urinary system.
Women on a phytoestrogen-rich diet often see a notable reduction in typical menopause symptoms, like hot flashes and vaginal dryness. Many over-the-counter menopausal supplements contain phytoestrogens herbs such as black cohosh, wild yam, sage and chaste berry. These popular herbs have been used for centuries for many women’s health issues.
One can find phytoestrogens in many commercial cremes to reverse menopausal symptoms. Estro Life from Smokey Mountain Naturals uses bio-identical estriol drawn from the wild yam.
Apply some cream to your inner wrists, the abdomen or neck once a day will help balance estrogen levels. You can apply it internally, in the vagina, 2 to 3 times a week for 10 days max or ask your doctor for advice. This cream will not only help you with hot flashes, insomnia, night sweats etc but it also guarantees you pain-free intercourse.
Probiotics and yogurt
In mild cases, you can use a probiotic yogurt because it has a lot of good bacteria which the vagina and overall body needs. A small amount of probiotic yogurt, you can insert into the vagina using a tampon, and leave it to work for 1 hour. Consuming yogurt, whey and sauerkraut can greatly help to keep up vaginal health and cure vaginal dryness.
Another natural, safe and gentle lubricant is coconut oil. A cheap but effective way to moisture and soothe the vaginal area is by applying a few drops of organic coconut oil. Why not give this natural oil a try, given that it has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties plus that it doesn’t smell or taste bad.
Not only physical problems cause insufficient lubrication. Vaginal dryness may also be caused by psychological factors such as anxiety, fear of pain or problems with one’s partner. Frequently, lack of lubrication is simply because couples don’t spend enough time with foreplay.