Vaginal dryness isn't pleasant and ruins your quality of life. The pain during sex and constant irritation during the day make you feel uncomfortable. It's common for this condition to occur in women in their late 40s and 50s who experience the onset of menopause.
The drop in estrogen and increase in progesterone results in a hormonal imbalance and the onset of vaginal dryness. Dryness associated with menopause occurs due to the commencement of a condition known as Vulvovaginal Atrophy (VVA).
The walls of the vagina thin and stretch, causing pain during penetration because the cervix gland barely secretes any natural lubrication. Women aged 40 to 45 have around a 20% chance of experiencing the onset of vaginal dryness.
Post-menopausal women have a 66% chance of developing vaginal dryness. Doctors refer to this disorder in post-menopausal women as "Genitourinary Syndrome" (GSM).
This article discusses these symptoms and their causes and treatment. Women have several options to help them alleviate the symptoms of vaginal dryness. Let's unpack these remedies and recommend the best choices to improve your quality of life.
What are the Causes of Vaginal Dryness?
The primary cause of vaginal dryness is a reduction in the body's natural estrogen production as they reach menopause. As estrogen drops and progesterone increases, it leads to the onset of menopause and changes to fertility, reproductive cycles, and sexual health.
However, there are several other reasons women might experience a reduction in estrogen production that are not related to aging.
- HRT for cancer treatments
- Auto-immune disorders
- Hysterectomy (or removal of the ovaries)
- Radiation therapy exposure to the pelvis
In most instances, the cause of vaginal dryness comes from douching. This practice aims to clean the vagina using soaps, body wash, and sponges or cloths. Scrubbing out the vagina is a big mistake.
Douching kills the beneficial bacteria in the vagina, allowing bad bacteria to spread and colonize the vagina. It also exposes the vagina to infection, resulting in the onset of thrush caused by candida fungi or bacterial vaginosis caused by the proliferation of bad bacteria in the vagina.
Lifestyle choices like drinking alcohol and smoking tobacco products can also cause vaginal dryness and the onset of infections. Some laundry detergents and body washes or soaps will irritate the vagina, as will failing to change a tampon regularly.
Let's look at a few natural remedies for resolving vaginal dryness.
Remedies for Fast & Natural Relief from Vaginal Dryness
This herb is a staple in traditional Chinese medicine, where it's an effective treatment against menopause symptoms, including vaginal dryness. Supplementing with black cohosh can alleviate dryness and stop night sweats and hot flashes.
However, there is no Western medical study on the efficacy of black cohosh in treating vaginal dryness or any other menopause symptoms. While the science on black cohosh is thin, millions of women around the globe use it for relief from vaginal dryness.
Wild Yam Cream
This tuber is a natural source of estrogen. Manufacturers usually blend it into a cream, often featured in formulations for topical administration. Spread the cream on your skin, and the phytoestrogens in the wild yam permeate the skin, entering the bloodstream.
There's no medical evidence or research pointing to the efficacy of wild yam extract in raising estrogen levels. However, it's a common feature in products designed to alleviate vaginal dryness and improve symptoms of menopause.
Soy is another natural source of phytoestrogens and isoflavones, which offer weak estrogenic activity in the body. Consuming soy foods naturally elevates estrogen levels, producing a balanced hormone profile during menopause.
However, like the other remedies on this list, little scientific evidence supports these claims. Nutritional science cannot identify the soy foods that increase natural estrogen levels.
Extra virgin coconut oil is a natural antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory. Many women experiencing vaginal dryness use it as a natural lubricant. Coconut oil contains polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals that improve wellness. Coconut oil is also a rich source of "medium-chain triglycerides" (MCTs).
These long-chain fats are healthy and make a great natural lubricant that doesn't cause infections. Rub the hard oil between your fingers, and it turns liquid. Apply it to your vagina for temporary relief from dryness. While effective, it's not a lasting solution and requires reapplication.
Also known by the monikers as "Japanese arrowroot" or "Chinese arrowroot," kudzu is a perennial vine native to southeast Asia. It's used in traditional preparations to alleviate symptoms of menopause and dryness.
Kudzu is available in extract format or tablets to give you access to the valuable nutrients in this herb. However, a 2016 study shows that kudzu doesn't have any benefit for vaginal dryness, and it doesn't increase estrogen levels.
Sea Buckthorn Oil (SBO17)
The only herb that's effective in treating vaginal dryness is sea buckthorn. This herb contains all four essential fatty acids (EFAs). You get a potent dose of Omega 3, 6, 7 & 9, and vitamin E to hydrate the vaginal lining.
The SBO17 extract from sea buckthorn is the most effective version and is available in Lubracil. This oral supplement requires you to take two soft gel capsules daily to benefit from relief from vaginal dryness.
According to users, a few weeks of supplementing with Lubracil eliminate vaginal dryness. Unlike the other herbs on this list, scientific studies show the efficacy of SBO17 in relieving dryness.
Wrapping Up – Natural Remedy or Hormone Replacement Therapy?
While there are plenty of causes of vaginal dryness, the most common is menopause. The drop in estrogen production results in the cervix gland halting the excretion of natural lubricants for the vagina. Most women end up in the doctor's office to discuss their options for hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
HRT is beneficial, relieving the symptoms of vaginal dryness and menopause. However, these estrogen drugs have some minor and major health risks. Some women don't agree with HRT and find the side effects too much to handle.
So, order some Lubracil and access sustainable natural relief from vaginal dryness to improve your quality of life.