Vaginal dryness is a painful condition that can affect females of all ages. You are more likely to have this condition as you grow old, especially after menopause. Natural remedies for vaginal dryness are easy to use and scientifically proven ways that can help you shed this problem.
Vaginal dryness can be due to many reasons, but menopause tops the list. Why does menopause make you more susceptible to this condition? All of the key details are in the sections to come.
This article is all about herbal remedies and other natural cures for vaginal dryness. You will get to know different reasons, and learn about the five different ways you can fight off vaginal dryness. Never be uncomfortable again – read on to learn what you can do now.
1. The Best Natural Remedies for Vaginal Dryness During Menopause
Before you can understand how different herbal cures work, you first need to understand what makes your vagina dry. Here is the explanation as well as some natural remedies menopause responds to.
Your vagina is a part of your reproductive system. A thin layer of cells lines the inside of your vagina. This layer has different kinds of cells and some of them function to release a kind of fluid. Your vagina also receives a rich supply of blood from a bunch of vessels that runs in its walls. Also, your vagina gets an abundant supply of nerves too, which makes it sensitive.
The fluid secreted by the cells in your vagina serves a lot of purposes. First, this fluid offers you vaginal lubrication. That is significant as this saves your vagina from the daily wear and tear. Take sex, for example. Sex would not be so smooth and fun if it were not for the fluid in your vagina that provides natural lubrication. It saves your vagina from trauma during sex.
Second, your vagina is a sensitive structure. The cells lining it are not as resistant as in other parts of your body. The lubrication provided by the vaginal fluid acts as a buffer for your vagina. It saves your vagina from the harmful effects of toxins or chemicals that make way into your vagina. This is another reason to go for a natural remedy for vaginal dryness.
Third, this fluid is rich in nutrients, too. It provides nutrients to your vaginal cells and keeps them healthy to remedy vaginal dryness for you. Fourth, vaginal fluid assists in maintaining an acidic pH in your vagina. An acidic pH is important, as it promotes the growth of good bacteria and hinders the growth of bad ones. Last but not the least, vaginal fluid helps sperms survive.
Several factors in your body contribute in maintaining your vaginal secretions. The most important of these factors is a hormone called estrogen. Estrogen is the feminizing hormone that mainly functions to uphold your reproductive health. It performs other functions too, and controlling your vaginal secretions is one of them.
Your ovaries are the main source of this feminizing hormone. You have adequate levels of estrogen in your reproductive age. Estrogen increases the supply of blood to your vagina. It also signals the cells of your vagina to increase their secretions. These factors add up and the result is abundant vaginal secretions.
But things take a tough turn as you hit menopause. Your body starts to run low on its estrogen stores in your 50’s. When you do not have enough estrogen, the secretion of fluid in your vagina starts to decrease, too. This gives rise to the characteristic dryness of vagina that most women complain of in menopause.
So, what is the remedy for vaginal dryness? The answer to this problem lies in nature’s basket. There are a bunch of herbs that can solve this issue without giving you the side effects of the medicines.
Following is the detail of some of these herbs and how these work.
Black Cohosh: Black cohosh is a time-tested remedy for menopausal symptoms. A multitude of clinical studies shows that black cohosh works for menopausal symptoms. One of these symptoms is vaginal dryness.
Black cohosh contains a group of chemicals known as phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens are estrogens derived from plant sources. Vaginal dryness during menopause sprouts due to declining estrogen levels. So it sounds logical to increase estrogen, which can then limit dryness. That is how black cohosh works, too.
Black cohosh is available in the form of tablets, tinctures, capsules and extracts. Black cohosh is used as an over-the-counter natural remedy, but you should always consult your doctor before starting with the use of black cohosh.
Here is the dosage detail for different forms of black cohosh:
Tablets and Capsules: You should not eat more than 20 to 80 mg of this herb coming from either tablets or capsules. This much black cohosh is present in two to three tablets.
Black Cohosh Tincture: Add two to three milliliters (ml) of black cohosh tincture in a glass of water. Drink up this mixture one to three times daily.
Black Cohosh Tea: You can drink black cohosh tea two to three times daily. Here is how you can make this tea:
- You need as much as 20 grams dried root of black cohosh. You can get it from an herbalist.
- 34 ounces of water
- A metal pot
- A cup
- Honey (optional)
Here Is What You Need To Do:
- Take a metal pot and add 20 grams dried root of black cohosh in 34 oz. of plain water.
- Bring the water to a boil and then simmer for 20 to 30 minutes till the liquid in the pot reduces to one-third.
- Strain the liquid in a cup.
- You can add honey to it to improve its taste.
- You can now drink this tea or store it in the refrigerator. You can use it for up to 48 hours.
- Drink this tea two to three times every day. This herbal cure for vaginal dryness works in less than one month.
Chasteberry: Chasteberry is one of the several natural remedies for vaginal dryness. Research shows that chasteberry helps improve the hormonal imbalance during menopause. As your hormones come back to balance, your vaginal dryness improves, too.
Chasteberry is available in the form of capsules, tablets and tinctures. You can also make a tea using dried berries.
Here is the dosing information of different forms of chasteberry:
Tablets or Capsules: You should eat tablets or capsules giving you a daily 20-40 milligram (mg) of fruit extract.
Chasteberry Tea: You can buy chasteberry tea bags from the market. Use these tea bags to make a tea just as you use any other tea bag. You can also make a tea for yourself by mixing one teaspoon of dried chasteberry powder in a cup of water. Boil this mixture, strain it and drink this tea two to three times a day.
Dong Quai: This herb has a long history of use in the traditional Chinese medicine. Researchers are a bit unsure about the basic mechanism of action of this herb. But some research suggests that it helps to improve the levels of estrogen in the body. Perhaps that is the reason it works so well in treating vaginal dryness.
Dong Quai is generally available in the form of capsules, tablets or tinctures.
Here is the dosage detail of this herb:
Tablets or Capsule: In the form of capsules or tablets, consume not more than 500 to 600 mg of this herb.
Tincture: Add 40 to 80 drops of the tincture in a glass of water and drink it two to three times daily.
Siberian Ginseng: Siberian ginseng is one of the most effective natural remedies for menopause. It has plant phytoestrogens that help stabilize levels of estrogen in the body.
It is a potent herb and you should not use it by yourself. Always consult your healthcare provider to find the dose and other relevant information.
2. Homeopathic Treatment Options for Vaginal Dryness
Vaginal dryness is something that 45% women experience at some point during their lifetime. Another option for curing vaginal dryness is to use homeopathic treatment options.
Here are some homeopathic treatment options:
Bryonia: It is a popular homeopathic option for treating vaginal dryness. Bryonia is used to treat the menopausal symptoms, with vaginal dryness as one of them. It also helps with other symptoms of menopause including hot flushes and headaches.
Do not use Bryonia on your own. Always consult a homeopath before using any such medicine.
Folliculinum: Folliculinum is another homeopathy treatment option that works to improve the estrogen status. It is a synthetic form of estrogen that helps normalize body levels of estrogen. This way it helps treat vaginal dryness naturally.
Always consult a specialist before using folliculinum. Inquire a homeopath about the dosage and most appropriate time for using it.
Natrum Muriaticum: There is insufficient scientific data about the use of natrum muriaticum. Still, it is one of the most important homeopathic cures, especially for vaginal dryness. Behind the cumbersome name lies your common table salt.
Again, always consult a trained homeopath before using natrum muriaticum
Sepia: It is another popular homeopathic treatment option. It is derived from the cuttlefish ink. Homeopaths prescribe it for treating several symptoms of menopause. These symptoms include depression, vaginal dryness and bladder problems.
3. Curing Vaginal Dryness Using Vaginal Lubricants and Moisturizers
Female dryness cures mentioned so far are mostly hormonal. While these methods are quite effective, but these are might not be suitable for you. Why is that? Here is why.
- Are suffering from a condition that involves retention of water in your body.
- Have been recently diagnosed of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). In this condition, blood clots start to form in your body veins.
- Are pregnant or wish to get pregnant in the future.
- Have a condition in which your monthly cycles of bleeding are not regular. Avoid the use of estrogen based products if you bleed little, too much or the bleeding is painful.
- Have a heart condition or uncontrolled high blood pressure.
- Have breast cancer.
- Use estrogen products, which is not recommended during any stage of uterine or cervical cancer.
- Have a liver or a kidney condition where these organs are not working properly.
- Have a yeast infection or are undergoing treatments, or even using natural remedies yeast infection treatments.
What alternatives do you have if you cannot use products with estrogen? If that is the case with you then you should go for non-hormonal alternatives. These alternatives include the use of vaginal lubricants and moisturizers.
Here is how vaginal lubricants and moisturizers work:
Vaginal Lubricants: A vaginal lubricant is a natural treatment for vaginal dryness. It does not make use of any hormones or other chemicals. So, if you have any of the above conditions, you can use these lubricants without worry.
A vaginal lubricant is made of a material called silicone. You can apply it to the inside of your vagina whenever it becomes itchy and painful for you. It causes a thin slippery layer inside your vagina that soaks water and helps keep your inside wet.
The use of vaginal lubricants is an effective natural remedy for dyspareunia, as well. Dyspareunia is a condition in which intercourse becomes painful for the female. It can occur due to many reasons, but vaginal dryness is the most important cause. So when you use such lubricants, the sex becomes painless for you.
What differentiates lubricants from moisturizers is the fact that their effect wears off soon. You can apply these lubricants before sex or whenever you need them. These lubricants are suitable for dyspareunia but not for routine use.
One such lubricant is Replens Silky Smooth Personal Lubricant. Although not one of the natural remedies dyspareunia women can use, this lubricant is doctor recommended and has no harsh chemicals in it.
Vaginal Moisturizers: If your problem is on-going then this option is for you. You should use vaginal moisturizers if you are looking for something that lasts longer.
These moisturizers, too, are silicone based products. But these absorb more water and can last for up to three days. So you can apply such moisturizer once and not worry about applying it again for at least three days.
One thing that is different between lubricants and moisturizers is their use for sex. You can apply lubricants just before sex. But for moisturizers to work, you need to apply them at least three hours before sex.
One vaginal moisturizer is Replens Long-Lasting Vaginal Moisturizer. You can use it as a long term solution without having to worry about side effects. Other similar products include Sylk vaginal moisturizers.
In a crux, if you want to cure vaginal dryness naturally and also want something that lasts then this option is for you.
4. Vaginal Suppositories Help Ease Vaginal Dryness
A rather unorthodox way of dealing with this issue is the use of suppositories. Most of you may know what suppositories are but here is the explanation for the others. These are medicines that you get into your body either through your anus or your vagina.
Why use suppositories when you can use herbs and other hormone-based methods? Your question is valid and here is the explanation for that.
Hormone-based methods, as explained, have several contraindications. Moreover, these cause effects on your body that are not linked to your vagina. Suppositories have an upper hand here as these have local effects only. It means that the effect of suppositories remains limited to your vagina. That is how you can avoid a lot of unwanted side effects.
What kind of vaginal suppositories can you use? Here are some options that you have:
Vitamin E Suppositories: Vitamin E suppositories are one of the oldest remedies in the book to deal with vaginal dryness. These suppositories work because of their vitamin E content.
Vitamin E helps with vaginal dryness due to several reasons. First, it is a potent antioxidant. Antioxidants are chemicals that help flush out toxins from your body. This way, it offers protection to the sensitive thin layer of cells in your vagina. Second, vitamin E is an excellent moisturizer. There is no wonder most of the skincare products make use of vitamin E.
This is how the vitamin E suppositories help increase moisture content in your vagina. Moreover, these suppositories also help keep your vagina healthy and free of damage.
DHEA Suppositories: DHEA stands for dehydroepiandrosterone. DHEA is the precursor for the sex hormones in your body. Your body uses DHEA to make hormones like estrogen and testosterone. So when you use DHEA suppositories, these improve estrogen content in your vagina.
Do these suppositories work? The answer to this question came from a lot of research. The research study included women participants that complained of vaginal dryness. The women were either given DHEA suppositories or placebo. Placebo is a mock drug without any effects. The study continued for 12 weeks after which results were gathered.
Researchers found that women using DHEA suppositories had significant improvement in vaginal dryness. The placebo group did not experience any improvement in its vaginal dryness.
You can get these suppositories from any pharmacy or an online vendor. These suppositories are an over-the-counter cure for vaginal dryness. But, it is always advisable to consult your doctor before making use of any such product.
5. A Healthy Lifestyle Can Go a Long Way in Giving You a Healthy Vagina
The answer to health problems is not always medicines or drugs. Sometimes simple lifestyle tweaks can bring major changes.
Here are some lifestyle changes you can try if you are struggling with vaginal dryness:
Stay Hydrated: The fluid in your vagina comes from your blood and the cells in your vagina. In other words, the water content of your body translates to the amount of fluid in your vagina.
Here are some tips for you to keep yourself hydrated and your vagina moisturized:
- Drink at least seven to eight glasses of water daily.
- Drink fresh fruit and vegetable juices.
- Eat fruits and vegetables that have high water content. For instance, eat watermelon, cucumbers and celery.
- Try to focus more on soups and other similar meals than dried foods.
- Avoid sugary drinks and colas. Such drinks suck a lot of water from your blood and do not allow it to reach to your body systems.
Exercise Regularly: How is exercise related to vaginal dryness? The answer lies in the effect exercise has on the circulation of blood in your body.
When you exercise, your heart pumps a lot more blood than usual. This improves the supply of blood to all the organs in your body, including genitals. Also, exercise helps correct imbalance of body hormones. This way exercise helps enhance the amount of secretions in your vagina.
You can do jogging, running, swimming or simple walking for that matter.
Eat a Healthy Diet: Eating a balanced diet is an integral component of your vaginal health and it can relieve vaginal dryness for the long-term.
Here is what you should do:
- Try to eat whole and unprocessed foods.
- Avoid excessive use of salty and sugary food items.
- Avoid the use of fatty and fried items.
Avoid spicy foods.
- Eat vegetables and fruits more.
- Try to eat foods rich in omega fatty acids. These foods help improve the supply of blood and aid in better lubrication of the vagina. Foods rich in omega fatty acids include pumpkin seeds, salmon, seafood and sunflower oil.
Use a Multivitamin: Try using a multi-vitamin. It will give you the much-needed vitamin A, E, B complex and omega fatty acids.
Vaginal dryness is an awkward and painful condition. Use of estrogen-based herbs or homeopathic medicine is one of the natural remedies for vaginal dryness. If you cannot use such hormonal products, you should try to focus more on the use of lubricants and suppositories. The main idea is to treat vaginal dryness naturally – vaginal dryness has some simple causes. A healthy lifestyle is the basic pre-requisite for genital health.