Vaginal dryness can be a problem that can affect women of all ages. This condition generally occurs with thinning of the vaginal lining, which results in the dryness of vagina. Vaginal dryness occurs mainly before, during and after menopause. However, there could also be some other causes of vaginal dryness. In this article, we will talk about some of the causes, treatments of vaginal dryness and natural remedies to moisturize it.
Causes of Vaginal Dryness:
Amongst all the irritating conditions that a woman can face, vaginal dryness is one of them in which there is itching and burning sensation in and around the vagina. Some of the causes for vaginal dryness are mentioned below:
Reduced Levels of Estrogen:
Estrogen hormone is responsible to keep the vaginal tissues healthy. This hormone helps in maintaining the normal lubrication of the vagina, it’s acidity levels and elasticity. So, when the levels of estrogen declines, the vaginal lining becomes thinner and less elastic and thus the vagina produces less lubrication.
This drop of estrogen level can happen during menopause, pregnancy, during childbirth, during breastfeeding periods. Apart from this, if you smoke cigarettes, have had your ovaries removed, have certain immune disorders or have been treated for cancer, you may experience a loss of estrogen, which may lead to vaginal dryness.
Vaginal Dryness Caused Due to Medication Use:
There are also some medications that can cause dryness throughout the body, including the inside of vagina. Cold and allergy medicines, antidepressants, chemotherapy medications etc. are some of the medications that cause dryness.
Some other causes of vaginal dryness could be lack of enough foreplay before sexual intercourse and douching.
Diagnosis of Vaginal Dryness:
You need to call your gynecologists or doctor if you have burning, itching or discomfort in the vaginal area. The doctor will take a health history and find out how long you have been experiencing the symptoms and also know if anything like douching or taking medication seems to worsen the condition in you.
Your doctor would then do a pelvic exam, check your vagina for any thinning or redness in or around it. This exam will help rule out other possible causes for your vaginal discomfort, including urinary tract infection or vaginal infections. A Pap test may also be done to remove and test cells from the walls of your vagina or cervix.
Treatments of Vaginal Dryness:
It may seem embarrassing to bring up the topic of vaginal dryness with your doctor. However, it must be noted that this is an important medical condition that should be addressed sooner rather than later. The vaginal dryness can make you uncomfortable, keep you in pain, especially during sexual intercourse and can hinder your relationship. So, you must make an appointment with your doctor at the soonest possible date, if you suffer from dryness in the vagina.
Below are some of the treatments available for vaginal dryness.
Topical Estrogen Therapy:
This is the most common treatment for vaginal dryness that is caused due to low levels of estrogen hormone. Topical estrogen replaces some of the hormone that your body is no more making. This helps in relieving the symptoms of vaginal dryness.
Oral Estrogen Therapy:
Estrogen therapy can also include an oral estrogen therapy. This therapy puts much of estrogen in your bloodstream, as compared to the topical estrogen therapy.
Vaginal Estrogen Therapy:
There is also vaginal estrogen therapy for treating vaginal dryness, caused due to a decline in estrogen hormone level. Most women use any one of the following three types of vaginal estrogen.
Vaginal Estrogen Ring (Estring): Here, you or your doctor inserts this flexible ring into your vagina. There it releases a steady stream of estrogen hormone directly to the vaginal tissues. The ring is replaced every 3 months.
Vaginal Estrogen Tablet (Vagifem): You can also use vaginal estrogen tablet to treat the condition. You can use a disposable applicator to insert a tablet into your vagina once in a day for the first 2 weeks of the treatment. Then, you are required to insert it twice in a week until you no longer require it.
Vaginal Estrogen Cream (Estrace, Premarin): A cream can also be used. You need to insert the cream into your vagina, by using an applicator. You will have to apply this cream regularly for 1 to 2 weeks and then reduce the frequency of application from 1 to 3 times in a week, as directed by your doctor.
NOTE: Any type of estrogen product can have side effects like vaginal bleeding and breast pain. Apart from this, topical estrogen are not recommended for women who have breast cancer, who have a history of endometrial cancer, who have undiagnosed vaginal bleeding, pregnant and breastfeeding women.
Vaginal Moisturizers and Lubricants:
You can use a vaginal moisturizer (Replens) to keep your vagina more lubricated. This can be purchased at your local drugstore. You can make a pleasant intercourse by applying a water-based lubricant (Astroglide, K-Y) beforehand. Also, take your time before having sex, so as to make sure that you are fully relaxed and aroused.
Natural Remedies to Moisturize Vagina:
Coconut Essential Oil:
Coconut oil is very lubricating and can help you get rid of the vaginal dryness naturally. This is one of the best home and natural remedy to moisturize vagina. Moreover, because of its medicinal abilities, coconut oil can also help in treating vaginal burning and itching caused due to dryness. You need to take 5 tablespoons of coconut oil and pour several drops on a new tampon. You need to put this tampon inside vagina and keep it there for about 10 minutes. Then after, remove it and rinse your vagina gently with lukewarm water. Using this natural remedy several times in a day can help.
Olive Essential Oils:
One more effective natural remedy for vaginal dryness is olive oil. It contains fatty acids and Vitamin E and helps in rejuvenating oil glands and acts as a great natural moisturizer for your vagina. Take one cup of lukewarm water and add 5 to 7 drops of olive oil and stir it well. Using this solution to rinse your dry vagina, several times in a day could help greatly. You can also alternatively, put few drops of olive oil on a cotton swab and dab it of the vaginal opening several times to get rid of vaginal dryness.
Tea Tree Oil:
You can also use tea tree oil to treat dryness of vagina and relieve symptoms of itching of vagina. Take one tablespoon of coconut essential oil, add 3 to 4 drops of tea tree oil and mix it well. Then, soak a cotton swab in this and dab it on dry vaginal area several times in a day. Let the oil remain for at least 4 hours and then rinse it with lukewarm water. Using this natural remedy twice in a day could help.
Aloe vera is very much essential for women undergoing symptoms of post menopause period. It contains beta carotene, vitamin E and has hydrating abilities and can help you moisturize vagina naturally. You can drink the aloe vera juice directly. Take a fresh leaf of aloe vera and cut it open to take out all the gel and refrigerate it for 10 minutes. Mix one teaspoon of the gel in one glass of water, stir it well and drink every morning. However, in pregnant women drinking of aloe vera juice is not recommended, so you can use it
Milk is loaded with calcium, it has skin exfoliating and hydrating abilities. Cold milk can work as a great natural home remedy for vaginal dryness or help in moisturizing the vaginal dryness. Take 1 cup of cold milk, add 15 drops of rosewater and stir it well. Use this home-made lotion on vaginal area and rinse it well. Using this natural remedy 3 to 4 times in a day could greatly help. You can also alternatively soak a cotton ball in cold milk, dab it several times on dry vagina and keep it on for 20 minutes before washing it with cold water.
Flaxseeds, rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E can help keep estrogen levels high and thus moisturizes vagina. You can take a bunch of flaxseeds and snack on it throughout the day. You may either eat it plain or may include it in your meals.
Yet another effective natural remedy for moisturizing vaginal dryness is chamomile. Being rich in flavonoids and terpenoids, this is used in treating several health issues. The natural moisturizing effects of chamomile are known to be useful in reducing dryness in the vagina. For using this remedy, take 1 cup of dried chamomile flower and boil in one pot of water for 10 minutes and then remove from heat and let it steep for 10 more minutes. You can then use this to wash your vagina throughout the day regularly.
Honey is known for its tremendous health benefits. Studies have proved that it is not only antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, emollient; but also has moisturizing abilities. So, you can use it to moisturize vagina naturally if you suffer from vaginal dryness. Take 1 cup of lukewarm water and add 2 teaspoons of honey to it and stir it well. Using this solution to wash your vagina every night before sleeping and again rinsing the vaginal opening in the morning, at least for one week could help in getting rid of the dryness in vagina.
Leaves of Nettle have some amazing health benefits. It can also be used to treat vaginal dryness as this hydrates the skin and works as a great moisturizer for your vagina. It also helps in alleviating itching and pain due to hormonal imbalance. Boil 1 cup of water and throw handful of nettle leaves to it. Let is simmer for 5 minutes and remove from heat. Wait for more 10 minutes while it steep. Strain it over a new cup, crush the leaves to make thick paste and apply a thin layer of this on your dry vagina and leave it for 15 minutes before rinsing it off with the nettle water you collected after straining. Use this natural remedy multiple times in a week.
Soy is known to stimulate estrogen hormone which can help in reducing vaginal dryness and moisturize vagina. Soy is natural isoflavones, which can help in treating vaginal dryness. Combining soy with Vitamin E can increase the efficacy of the treatment. You need to dry one glass of soy milk every morning and night. This can stimulate estrogen in your body. You can also use soy milk to wash your dry vagina.
Comfrey roots can be used effectively for moisturizing vagina and treating vaginal dryness naturally. Oral consumption of comfrey improves lubrication, softens vaginal tissues and maintains healthy pH levels. Add 1 tablespoon of Comfrey roots to 2 cups of boiling water and let it steep for 15 minutes. Then, strain it over and use this solution for massaging your vagina to moisturize your vagina.
NOTE: Pregnant women should consult doctor before using this remedy.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids:
Omega-3 fatty acids can be very effective in moisturizing vagina. It re-hydrates skin and induces nourishing activities. Break 5 to 6 capsules of mega-3 fatty acids and put few drops of it on a cotton swab and apply it on the vaginal opening and gently spread in the skin surrounding the vagina. Keep the oil for 3 minutes and then wash it off with lukewarm water. Follow this natural home remedy 3 to 4 times in a day for effective results.
You can prepare a home-made cream to moisturize vagina naturally at home. You will require 10 drops of olive essential oil, 1 teaspoon of coconut essential oil, 2 capsules of omega-3 fatty acids and 1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel; all to be mixed well and keep in an airtight bottle. Then, this bottle is required to be shaken vigorously and kept in the freezer for 10 minutes. You can then use this cream on your vaginal area and keep it on for 60 minutes and then rinse it off with lukewarm water. Using this remedy thrice in a day is recommended.
Exercise As A Natural Remedy To Moisturize Dry Vagina:
You need to practice and be persistence on your part when you opt for exercise as a natural remedy to moisturize vagina. Regular exercise is known to be very much effective in treating vaginal dryness. It not only enhances the blood circulation and maintains hormonal balance, but also stimulates activity in the adrenal gland to enhance the estrogen production.
You can try regular aerobic workouts like running, swimming or low-intensity activities like yoga. You must however keep it noted that high-impact exercises done of a regular basis can worsen the condition, and thus must be avoided.
Appropriate Diet As A Natural Remedy For To Moisturize Vagina:
Your diet is in fact the first place to begin in terms of managing symptoms of vaginal dryness. The lubrication of the vagina comes from the cervical glands and also from vagina. However, a majority of the vaginal fluid is actually from the blood stream and forms droplets of fluid which are rich in calcium, sodium, potassium and other electrolytes and proteins that seep through the vaginal cells into the vaginal lumen or canal. It is important to remain hydrated and also eating healthy diet that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and proteins is important.
A diet rich in fatty acids may help in producing additional vaginal lubrication. You can take raw pumpkin, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, fish (especially salmon, tuna and mackerel), which are loaded with fatty acids. Vitamin A and vitamin B supplements and beta-carotene are also high in omega-3 fatty acids.
You should also consume foods that contain isoflavones, which can aid regulate declining levels of estrogen. Foods that are rich in isoflavones include; flaxseed, legumes, cherries, nuts, apples, soy and celery.
Women must also take supplement with multivitamin/multi-mineral with additional vitamin B complex.
Some Other Remedies To Moisturize It:
Take a walk for about 20 minutes and then have intercourse. Walking can help in releasing your hormone and that can help in clearing vaginal dryness.
Try to feel really romantic and excited before making love. You can do this by watching some movies or having some romantic talks. This increases the blood flow to your genitals and aids in lubricating.
Supplement L-arginine that contains amino acid in it is a natural component that increases the lubrication, thus avoiding vaginal dryness.
Products To Be Avoided:
You must avoid some vaginal treatment products that can make you feel irritated. Some of these products are vinegar, hand lotions, yogurt, fragrant soaps, bubble baths, bath oils etc. Also do not use scented toilet papers, perfumed products and detergents.
Vaginal dryness is an uncomfortable condition that can be managed and treated. But, you should talk to your doctor before taking any kind of herbal medication, as they may interfere with other medications, vitamin supplements, or other herbs you might be using to treat vaginal dryness.