If a female body has low estrogen levels, they may cause vaginal dryness. It can be a symptom of genitourinary syndrome of menopause happening to many postmenopausal women. It is also often referred to as vaginal atrophy, and it's the process of drying, thinning, and inflammation of the vaginal walls resulting most commonly from hormone issues.
Thanks to estrogen, the vagina lining can be properly lubricated, elastic, and thick, so when there is not enough of this hormone, vaginal dryness during sex may result in painful intercourse with a partner. What is more, vaginal dryness can also make sports and other physical activities uncomfortable due to irritation, and it can increase the risk of vaginal infections. It is worth noting that sometimes it's also a problem that women deal with at a younger age - vaginal dryness before a period can also be problematic for sexual intercourse. It doesn't sound good, right?
Even though this condition is quite common, many people do not search for help as they may not realize it is an important aspect of women's health that can be properly treated. Also, they sometimes consider it embarrassing and are afraid of the discomfort associated with talking to a doctor about such personal issues.
But it shouldn't be this way - let's not be embarrassed by what is happening to our bodies at the post-menopausal age! We can fight this and still enjoy a successful sex life. Keep in mind that you can find the right vaginal dryness treatment for you and get rid of that problem instead of trying to cope with it in silence. You can get, for example, a vaginal dryness cream, a dedicated lubricant, or take proper medications and supplements.
Let's learn more about vaginal dryness, its possible causes, symptoms, and treatment options so that it doesn't harm our lives!
Vaginal Dryness - Causes
As it was mentioned before, what causes vaginal dryness is primarily a decreased estrogen level. And estrogen is amazingly important for our intimate health! Namely, this hormone strongly contributes to keeping our vaginal tissues in good shape by improving regular vaginal lubrication, tissue elasticity, and acidity.
It is worth noting that other medical conditions or hygiene practices can also cause vaginal dryness - it's not exclusively dependent on hormonal issues!
Estrogen levels can be reduced for a variety of reasons, including:
- Immune disorders
- Perimenopause (the transition period before the actual menopause)
- Cigarette smoking
- Cancer therapy affecting ovaries
- Taking anti-estrogen medications
- Oophorectomy (surgery removing an ovary or ovaries)
- Rigorous exercise
Other possible causes of vaginal dryness can be:
- Sjogren's syndrome (an autoimmune disorder involving inflammation of the salivary and tear glands)
- Taking allergy and cold medications - antihistamines (they are helping to manage the symptoms by drying secretions)
- Using antidepressants that tend to have such side effects as reducing both the libido and the vaginal moisture, as well as causing difficulties with reaching an orgasm
- Decreased blood supply to the vaginal tissue
- Flammer syndrome (unusual reactions of blood vessels to cold, stress, and other stimuli)
- Anxiety and stress influencing vaginal lubrication and libido
Vaginal Dryness - Symptoms
Vaginal dryness is a very characteristic symptom of vaginal atrophy that often comes along with:
- vaginal itching
- painful sexual activity
- increased risk of infections in the urinary tract and vagina
- discomfort in physical activity
In the case of vaginal dryness happening as a result of not enough estrogen, there can also be:
- a narrowing of the vagina
- a tightening of the vaginal opening
- reduced levels of natural vaginal secretions
Those changes are altogether called dyspareunia, and they can cause pain during penetrative sex.
Vaginal Dryness - Remedies
If you feel vaginal dryness and itching, don't ignore it! Your intimate health is crucial, after all. Keep on reading to find out more both on hormonal medications and home remedies for vaginal dryness. It's good to be familiar with many options!
Topical Estrogen Therapy
Topical estrogen therapy is one of the most frequently applied treatments to deal with vaginal dryness. It uses special medication to fill the deficiency of the hormone your body is no longer able to produce in sufficient amounts.
Such treatment helps to relieve vaginal dryness, pain, and discomfort, but at the same time, it doesn't provide as much estrogen in your bloodstream as a hormonal medication in pills. And it's good to avoid too many side effects!
In most cases, women use one of the following three types of vaginal estrogen medications:
Vagifem (tablet): Using a disposable applicator, you need to put a tablet into your vagina once a day during the first two weeks of treatment. Then, you can reduce it to two applications a week up to the point when it's no longer necessary.
Estring (ring): You need to put a soft, flexible ring inside your vagina - if you're afraid to do it on your own, your doctor may help you. The ring will release a stable stream of estrogen directly to the vaginal tissue. Just remember that it needs to be replaced every 3 months!
Premarin, Estrace (cream): Such a treatment requires inserting cream into your vagina with a special applicator. Usually, you need to do it every day for 1 or 2 weeks, and then you can reduce the frequency to one to three times a week, depending on what your doctor recommends.
However, you need to be careful! Even though topical treatments don't cause as much harm as pills, they can still lead to breast pain, vaginal bleeding, and other side effects. For this reason, it is not advised to use them if you:
- are a patient with endometrial cancer history
- suffer from breast cancer, especially if you take an aromatase inhibitor
- have unexplained vaginal bleeding
- are expecting a baby or already breastfeeding
Natural Remedies for Vaginal Dryness
Fortunately, there are many natural treatments you can use to deal with vaginal dryness. Are you curious about what they are and what other health benefits they can provide you with? Check them out!
Kudzu (Pueraria lobata). Kudzu is a climbing vine that helps not only to alleviate vaginal dryness in postmenopausal women but is also useful in treating cluster headache and metabolic syndrome. What is more, it can make it easier to reduce alcohol intake. A lot of people in the South might be happy hearing this, as Kudzu has taken over a lot of forests in Georgia and surrounding areas.
Wild yam (Dioscorea villosa). The bulb and root of wild yam have long been applied in traditional medicine. Since the 18th century, herbalists have been giving it to their patients to ease menstrual cramps and issues related to both childbirth and menopause. Even though it doesn't affect your estrogen levels directly, it seems to impact hormones in a very similar way. Nevertheless, this treatment still needs more research for confirmed efficiency.
Soy. As soy has substances that are very similar to estrogen (they're called "isoflavones"), it is considered to help with vaginal dryness. In 2003, scientists proved with their research that soy is indeed a great support in treating vaginal atrophy (source). So don't hesitate to add some tofu to your salad next time!
Coconut oil. You may be surprised it's recommended you use coconut oil for vaginal dryness, but actually, it's one of the best lubricants for women! When your body is not able to produce enough moisture, using such a natural lubricant can do wonders to your sex life and overall well-being!
Aloe vera. This plant can also be an excellent help in proper lubrication!
Jojoba. Last but not least, this is one of the outstanding vaginal moisturizers as well. It will help you to reduce discomfort and enjoy sexual activity with your partner to the fullest once again!
How Can I Supplement to Alleviate Various Menopausal Symptoms?
Apart from using various lubricants and enhancing your diet with ingredients helping you to address vaginal dryness, you can also use supplements made from natural ingredients (such as Provitalize) to make menopause easier to go through.
We really care for women who have to deal with unpleasant menopausal symptoms. For this reason, we have carefully composed a unique formula that will help you to deal with numerous issues related to menopause at the same time. Doesn't it sound great?
The Ingredients of Provitalize
Here they are - all the ingredients of Provitalize excellent for women's health explained one by one!
L. Gasseri - This rare probiotic is present only in small amounts in fermented foods like Puba, for example. It helps to address weight gain, which is one of the common symptoms of menopause.
B. Lactis - It can be found in raw milk, and it's often applied as a starter culture for buttermilk, cheese, and cottage cheese. It helps to maintain immunity and cholesterol at the right level.
B. Breve - This probiotic is naturally present in the human digestive system. Its important feature is that it can boost healthy metabolism by "activating" certain genes. Moreover, it can also contribute to keeping healthy blood sugar levels and managing inflammation. How awesome is that!
Moringa leaf. This healing plant has been used in traditional medicine for more than 5000 years now. It supports the right cholesterol and sugar levels in your blood, as well as improves metabolism, and helps to deal with inflammation.
Turmeric. It's often referred to as the "miracle herb" in the east because of the properties of curcumin - its active compound that provides excellent anti-inflammatory effects. Apart from that, it can ease joint pain and enhance your liver and brain health.
Curry leaf. You may know it as a popular, delicious Asian spice, but are you aware that it's also rich in essential nutrients, including iron, phosphorus, vitamins A, B, C, E, and others? It can improve your digestive system, keep cholesterol at a healthy level, and support blood sugar level regulation.
BioPerine®. It's a patented type of piperine, a compound commonly present in black pepper. Taken along with curcumin, it can improve absorptions and bioavailability.
Sunflower lecithin booster. Take into account that some nutrients are fat-soluble, so their absorption can be improved with a fat substance. For this reason, we added sunflower lecithin to the formula of our menopause symptom easing supplement.
DRCaps™. This trademarked delayed-release capsule is produced with a dedicated coating technology helping to prevent harming certain sensitive ingredients (like probiotic bacteria) with stomach acids.
The Bottom Line
All in all, it's worth addressing any symptom of menopause that can make you feel uncomfortable or even harm your sex life. You can use lubricants, as well as some home remedies for providing enough moisture in your vagina.
Women's health is super important! So in case of any doubts or concerns, don't be embarrassed to visit a clinic and discuss the possible treatments with your doctor. It will help you to feel better and get more pleasure from sexual intercourse with your partner. Do it both for yourself and for them!
To fight with more menopausal symptoms than just vaginal dryness, you can try taking Provitalize or go even further and get yourself our Menokit Bundle. We're sure you won't be disappointed!