What causes vaginal dryness?
Vaginal dryness is caused by a lack of estrogen, that wonderful female hormone that gives you everything from flawless skin to perky breasts and, when you need it, natural moisture down in your nether region.
Because a lack of estrogen is commonly linked to menopause, people used to associate feminine lubricants with women over 50.
But that perception is changing in a big way. Today, most intimate creams and gels are purchased and used by much younger women. Sometimes because, despite their young age, their estrogen levels have fallen too low and they actually need releif.
More often, however, because many women in their 20s, 30s and 40s really enjoy the benefits these products offer.
How many young women experience vaginal dryness?
Short answer: most of them do. At least sometimes. Among American women ages 18-35, a recent search survey finds that over 62% have used a vaginal moisturizer or sex lubricant to help make up for the wetness they aren’t producing on their own.
In fact, 25% have used one of these products in the past month. And less than 2% experienced any bad side effects.
Why would women want an intimate moisturizer or lubricant?
A majority of the women surveyed said they don’t actually NEED a lubricant. They just LIKE using one to make sex more fun, for themselves and their partners.
Nevertheless, 1 out of 5 of the women reported that intercourse is actually painful without a lubricant. For them, an effective vaginal cream is necessary in order to prevent real irritation and discomfort.
Are there reasons for vagainal dryness other than low estrogen?
Yes, the problem can be rooted in lifestyle choices or medications that the woman is taking. For example…
- Birth control pills certainly diminish a woman’s natural lubrication, leaving her less aroused and more vulnerable to pain during sex. Furthermore, these effects can last for at least 6 months after she goes off the pill. Often these young women use natural vaginal dryness remedies.
- Harsh soaps, douches, and perfumed feminine hygiene sprays also dehydrate vaginal tissue.
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding lower a woman’s estrogen level, leavings her more open to dryness.
- Swimming pool and hot tub chemicals are extremely drying.
- Allergy and cold medications (as well as some antidepressants) dry mucous membranes, including vaginal tissue.
- Chemotherapy drugs (including Tamoxifen) often leave patients uncomfortably “sticky” and dry.
Are safe, effective natural remedies available?
Absolutely! As the medical, naturopathic, and women’s health community gets smarter about early causes of vaginal dryness, it is also making efforts to research and promote natural solutions. Today young women use natural vaginal dryness remedies that work well and expose them to no health risks. Here are just a few of those remedies…
Try acupuncture. It can sometimes coax the body back into a better balance and stimulate your body to make more of its own natural lubrication. (But plan on regular treatment sessions for at least 3 months.)
Sea Buckthorn capsules can help. Take 2 capsules twice daily. Experts speculate that this herbal supplement works because it’s so high in Omega-7 fatty acid.
Try black cohosh tincture. Twice a day, drink 50 drops mixed into 8-oz. water. Not for use while pregnant, nursing, or taking medication that affects the liver.
Use a feminine lubricant or moisturizer. Lubricants are great if you need extra moisture only occasionally, for intercourse. Moisturizers are made for daily application, to regularly nourish and protect intimate tissue. Crème de la Femme is both a lubricant and moisturizer. And 100% glycerin-free, it won’t cause yeast infection!
Eat foods rich in plant estrogen. These include yams, soybeans, and soy products. Be aware, though, that phytoestrogens may stimulate estrogen-like activity throughout the body. So if you have a history of gynecological cancer, you should speak with your doctor before adding these foods to your diet.