A cancer diagnosis is a life-changing event. Medical science has advanced treatments over the last few decades, and some forms of cancer are now curable. However, regardless of the type of cancer, treatment usually involves some form of radiation therapy or chemotherapy.
Most women undergoing these treatments expect side effects like nausea and hair loss from their treatment. However, one of the unexpected effects of cancer treatments is vaginal dryness. Doctors may warn patients about this issue, but if it manifests, most women are unprepared to deal with its effects.
Can Cancer Treatments Damage Your Reproductive Health?
Chemotherapy is a risky treatment with many side effects. One of those adverse reactions to this treatment is vaginal dryness. Sometimes, damage from radiation therapy or chemo is so bad it forces the ovaries to stop producing the hormone estrogen.
Estrogen is the primary female hormone responsible for maintaining sexual health. When estrogen production dries up, so does your vagina, and you experience the effect of "vaginal atrophy." This condition thins the vaginal walls and stops the cervical gland from secreting natural lubricants.
Cancer treatments have different effects on patients. Some tolerate it better than others. Some may develop full-blown menopause from the therapy, and others experience a few months or irregular periods.
According to research, around 40% of women under 40 undergoing chemotherapy are likely to enter early menopause due to their treatment. The risk of this outcome increases with age, rising to up to 90% in women over 40.
Along with disrupting hormone production, chemotherapy drugs can lower blood supply to vaginal tissues, resulting in dryness and possible complications.
The Link Between Early Menopause, Chemotherapy, and Dryness
When chemotherapy dampens estrogen production, it causes changes to cycles and missed periods. After 12 months of not receiving your period, you're officially in menopause. Vaginal dryness is one of the biggest consequences of menopause due to the drop in estrogen production.
Shifts in hormone production lead to wild changes all over the body. Women can become overly emotional, moody, or quick to anger. Estrogen balances the mood; without it, you can feel like you're living life on a rollercoaster of emotion.
Chemotherapy-induced menopause occurs in the same manner as conventional menopause. As estrogen levels drop over a period of weeks, the process of vaginal atrophy causes feelings of tightness and pain during sex, and lubrication drops significantly.
The irritation, itching, and burning feelings from vaginal dryness make life uncomfortable. Some women can't wear jeans or other tight-fitting clothing because it increases irritation.
Is HRT Safe for Cancer Patients?
When women enter menopause, they stop producing estrogen, creating the effect of vaginal dryness. Doctors prescribe hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to help women cope with the symptoms of menopause.
HRT products are available in creams, pills, and inserts, giving women plenty of options for relief from menopause. HRT replaces the body's natural estrogen production, rectifying many of the symptoms associated with menopause.
However, some studies show links between using HRT and the development of breast cancer. So, women undergoing cancer therapy may decide to waive the use of HRT during their treatment to reduce the risk of fast-tracking their cancer development.
Natural Treatments for Chemotherapy-Induced Vaginal Dryness
Some women can't use HRT. It presents too many side effects, and their body doesn't agree with it. So, they have options for natural lubricants and moisturizers to help them deal with the day-to-day irritation caused by chemo-induced vaginal dryness.
Lubricants are a popular choice, but you should avoid them if you can. Many products feature ingredients that actually worsen your dryness. Avoid flavored, warming, and textured products; the compounds used to create these features are usually inflammatory and exacerbate symptoms of dryness.
Stay hydrated during the day. Your body is close to 70% water and needs the stuff to survive. Sip water during the day to ensure optimal hydration levels. If you exercise and sweat a lot, replace the lost electrolytes with a sports electrolyte product.
Electrolyte imbalances can lead to dehydration and vaginal dryness. Ensure you drink eight glasses of water daily and sip on it; don't gulp them down. Drink too much water in a single sitting, and you flush out the valuable electrolytes.
Drop the Douching
Many women are under the impression that "douching" the vagina keeps it clean and healthy. However, there's nothing further from the truth. The vagina is self-cleaning, using a sensitive bacterial balance to maintain optimal health.
Using a natural sponge or cloth, you can lightly clean around the vagina in a bath or shower. Don't add soap or wash to the area; no feminine douching products should ever enter your vagina.
Washing out the good bacteria in the vagina creates a bacterial imbalance, leading to symptoms of dryness. This effect exacerbates the drying effect caused by the medication and exposes you to possible infection.
Use Lubracil to Cope with Vaginal Dryness
You shouldn't have to live with a tradeoff between chemo and vaginal dryness. Cancer diagnosis already lowers your quality of life enough without your treatment interfering with your sexual health.
Fortunately, there's a solution to vaginal dryness induced by chemo drugs or any other cause. Lubracil is an innovative supplement designed to alleviate symptoms of female dryness in a matter of weeks.
Unlike other topical creams, lotions, or lubricants, Lubracil is a daily oral supplement. Two softgel capsules are all you need to benefit from the healing and lubricating power of the sea buckthorn extract and vitamin E in Lubracil.
Lubracil contains "SBO17," the most potent and patented extract of sea buckthorn oil, a rich source of all four essential fatty acids (EFAs). The Omega complex in Lubracil combined with Vitamin E hydrates the vaginal walls, reducing feelings of tightness and pain.
The ingredients assist with the secretion of natural lubricant from the cervix gland, relieving pain symptoms during sex. Lubracil offers you the only sustainable solution to chemo-related vaginal dryness, irritation, itching, and burning and a chance to improve your quality of life. Try it today and experience the Lubracil difference for yourself.