Natural Remedies for Menopause Vaginal Dryness
Natural remedies for vaginal dryness are quite the rage these days, and not just with women in their 50s, 60s, and beyond. They’re also gaining popularity among younger women, because feminine dryness can occur for many reasons at any stage of life.
Still, if you have started to experience erratic periods, hot flashes, poor sleep, or anxiety, then you may be entering perimenopause. During this phase of life, your reproductive system gradually winds down. Then at some point you realize that you have not had a period for 12 months, marking your official entry into menopause.
For most women, this time of life also brings noticeable vaginal dryness. It can range from occasional (but annoying) itching to chronic discomfort that makes sexual intimacy truly painful.
Luckily, you do not have to suffer from vaginal dryness. Natural remedies can be quite effective at combatting at.
How common is menopause vaginal dryness?
And at least 16 percent of women living with chronic menopausal vaginal dryness also experience pain during intercourse.
Research indicates that both women and their doctors are hesitant to broach the subject of dryness. For example, the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN) found that more than half of all women surveyed said they felt uncomfortable discussing the problem with their physician. Meanwhile, fewer than 40 percent of doctors said they raise the subject with their female patients of peri-menopausal age.
When a problem is this common, there is something very wrong with people not discussing it. There is no reason to continue suffering from vaginal dryness during your pre-and post-menopausal years when there are many treatment options.
Naturopathic healthcare is stepping up to the plate with a variety of vitamins, herbal supplements, and drug-free topical creams for women who are tired of living with menopausal vaginal dryness.
What causes menopause vaginal dryness?
Some women struggle with vaginal dryness their entire lives. To them, it seems almost normal. Dryness can occur for many reasons. Sometimes it is the result of frequent douching, eating disorders, using hormonal birth control methods, even prolonged stress.
However the number one reason for vaginal dryness (and why it is more common during the menopausal years) is low estrogen levels. As women age, their bodies stop producing as much estrogen as they did during their more fertile years.
Just because it is natural for your body to reduce its estrogen production does not mean you have to tolerate vaginal dryness. The truth is there is never a good reason to put up with it, regardless of your age.
Why is menopause dryness so uncomfortable?
Menopause dryness can do more than make sex painful. To understand why, all we need to do is look at the science behind how women’s bodies work.
Natural feminine wetness is produced by glands located in the back of the vagina. The technical term for them is the Bartholin’s glands. They are positioned one on each side of the vaginal opening and they play an important role. They’re there to clean vaginal tissue, remove dead cells, keep the vagina healthy, and prevent infection.
When the glands do not produce enough lubrication, vaginal tissue easily gets irritated and becomes more prone to infection. Having sex certainly increases those risks.
Even choices as common as wearing jeans, pantyhose, or lingerie can (literally) rub you the wrong way down there. And if vaginal dryness turns into inflammation and infection, then normal bodily functions (like urinating or just sitting down) can become nothing short of torturous.
Can natural remedies relieve menopause vaginal dryness?
There are a lot of prescription medications that can combat vaginal dryness. Unfortunately, some of them can cause more problems than they fix, so many women prefer natural alternatives. Herbal, naturopathic remedies do not work by making your body produce natural lubrication. Instead, they replace what is lost to keep you feeling comfortable.
Think of it this way. Do you know how fabulous a luxurious facial moisturizer feels when your face is dry and irritated? That is because it temporarily smooths and softens your skin and can even help diminish fine lines and wrinkles. As soon as you stop using it, your skin looks drab and dry again.
Natural remedies relieve vaginal dryness in much the same way. They provide lasting comfort for many hours, but you must commit to using them regularly for the best results.
Natural remedies for menopause vaginal dryness
Women have lots of options when it comes to finding natural remedies for menopause vaginal dryness. If you are unsure where to start, here are some suggestions.
- Over-the-counter vaginal moisturizing creams. These are a go-to for many women because they are inexpensive, easy to purchase and work well. But beware. Creams are not all created equal. Watch out for any that are water-based because they contain alcohol. They may feel good at first, but the alcohol causes them to dry out quickly, leaving you feeling dry and irritated again. Sometimes, they can make the dryness and irritation worse, and who needs that? Glycerin is another ingredient to avoid because it can promote yeast – an obvious no-no for women with a history of yeast infection. You are better off choosing an oil-based product that is alcohol- and glycerin-free like Crème de la Femme. Created by a woman doctor, it is also paraben-free, hormone-free, and offers all-day comfort. Best of all, it protects your delicate vaginal tissue from irritation and infection.
- Acupuncture. Some research shows promising results for women who use acupuncture to help with vaginal dryness. Acupuncture is the theory that all health problems indicate an overall body imbalance (yin/yang). Restoring the balance also can aid in the return of natural moisture production. Acupuncture is not a “quick fix” for vaginal dryness. If you plan to try it, you must commit to it long-term for the best results.
- Sea Buckthorn. This herb has gained a lot of attention recently. Research supports its effectiveness in the treatment of menopause-induced vaginal dryness and atrophy. The recommended dosage is 2 capsules twice daily for a few months to help restore natural moisture production.