What causes vaginal dryness during menopause?
We’re going to talk about a topic that in general makes people uncomfortable, and yet almost all women go through at some point in their lives… Vaginal dryness.
THIS CAN LOOK LIKE:
- Vulvar-vaginal thinning and irritation
- Painful sex due to excessive vaginal dryness
- Increased vaginal and bladder infections, odors, itching and irritations
- Leaking urine, pressure and/or trouble peeing
- Increased skin disorders affecting the urogenital tract
- Decreased desire, arousal, and/or difficulty in having an orgasm
- Pelvic prolapse symptoms such as pressure and trouble eliminating
- General pain and discomfort from various activities
And these are just the physical symptoms! I haven’t even begun with the mental pain and drain that comes with vaginal dryness. The biggest mental drain is when you start feeling older than your years, which can lead to other self-esteem issues like losing your self-confidence, losing intimacy with your partner and just feeling uncomfortable in your own body.
As we age, our sex hormones — progesterone, estrogen, testosterone and DHEA — naturally decline, preparing our bodies for the next stage in our lives. It is when this decline takes place that we start losing our natural moisture, as well as noticing some of the other symptoms we’ve talked about.
Fortunately, when you understand what goes on down there, it gives you an opportunity to heal yourself. Believe me — you can feel like yourself again.
What can I do about it?
Our main sex hormones are: estrogen, progesterone and androgens, which consist mainly of testosterone and DHEA. Progesterone and estrogen are the first to start declining as we age.
Which is why we are normally prescribed estrogen therapy. While oral estrogen therapy (which is hormone replacement therapy) can be helpful for hot flashes, it really hasn't been found to help with vaginal dryness, nor is it recommended for women who've had breast cancer.
Locally-applied estrogen therapy, on the other hand, may improve vaginal moisture and irritation but only really addresses the mucosal layer of the vagina — not its deeper layers, the vaginal muscles — so it’s a temporary solution.
What I would recommend as an alternative instead is androgen therapy.
I have been prescribing locally applied, natural androgen hormone alternatives such as DHEA and other natural hormones — as have some of my peers — for almost two decades, with tremendous results. DHEA has been shown in scientific studies, to also maintain libido, sexual desire and sexual function. Basically, it not only treats vaginal dryness and irritation but also boosts your mood and sex drive.
Because so many women struggle to look for solutions, I knew that we needed an anti-aging cream for vulvar health that is prescription-free, easy to use, smells and feels good, and is all-natural and free of added additives or toxins.
Which is why I created:
The DHEA not only treats vaginal dryness and irritation by promoting your body’s natural ability to produce moisture, but also boosts your mood and sex drive (nice added bonus!).
Apart from DHEA, it includes:
All of the above help to improve moisture naturally, which is the only way to make sure the delicate tissue of the vulva isn’t absorbing anything that can contribute to your vaginal dryness or other symptoms your body might be dealing with.
Apply 0.5 mls daily to the vulva, clitoris and surrounding skin. It can also be used as needed prior to intercourse (about 20 minutes before — you have to allow it to sink in and start working its magic), and you’ll notice things are much like they used to be!
#1: Minimize Toxins Exposure To Your Delicate Lady Parts
I’d like you to think of your vulva as an oasis with its own flora — balanced, nourished and keeping everything running smoothly. There is a whole ecosystem within the vagina that you’re probably unaware of. Many soaps and bubble baths contain irritants that can mess with the balance of the natural flora (aka oasis) of your vulva and vagina.
Sometimes women also “overwash” our vulvovaginal area, stripping it of all the good stuff it needs to maintain a healthy flora. Our vaginas are actually self-cleaning and do not need to be cleaned with specialized intimate hygiene soaps nor douches. Water or a gentle perfume free soap is just fine.
Another possible way we get toxin exposure is the detergent that is used to clean our undergarments. Switch to something natural and gentle and see if that makes a difference.
#2: Use Natural Lubricants as a Vaginal Moisturizer
I am not against using lubricants even though it is a short-term solution. However, I’d like to caution against using many of the commercial lubricants because many contain additional chemicals that can contribute to dryness and discomfort.
Instead, reach for natural lubricants — some of my favorites are ghee and organic coconut oil. Less is more when it comes to oil, so just a bit will usually suffice.
You can also add essential oils to your coconut oil or ghee that have been shown to soothe the vaginal tissues. Some of my favorites include Salvia sclarea, Roman chamomile or Cape chamomile, rose, lavender, frankincense and sandalwood.
Recommendation: Be aware that oil-based lubricants do not play well with latex condoms. So be sure to find a water-based lubricant that is safe, natural and organic. When it comes to essential oils, never apply essential oils straight onto the vagina. Always use a carrier oil or test the oil first on your inner arm to make sure it doesn’t irritate you. Be safe with your lady parts!
#3: Fill Up On Probiotics And Essential Fats
This is one of my favorite tips because it involves eating some yummy foods, especially essential fats! Fat gets so much pushback from the media but ultimately, essential fats are necessary for your diet.
Add some healthy fatty foods to your diet — like free-range, hormone-free eggs and butter, avocados, olive oil, salmon and oysters (yum!).
Include fermented foods in your diet that are naturally rich in probiotics — like kimchi, kombucha or pickled veggies.
#4: Kegel It Up!
It might seem weird that I’d recommend kegels as a way to combat vaginal dryness, but kegels and other pelvic floor exercises, done correctly, will get the blood flowing to your vaginal tissues and strengthen your muscles, increase the elasticity and intimate pleasure. This is important for the rest of your life!
On top of that, Kegel exercises will also help you prevent or defeat incontinence.
Recommendation: Do daily kegels correctly to keep everything tight, fit and functioning with your lady bits. There are also some yoga poses that help keep the pelvic floor in shape. Ask your yoga teacher what they’d recommend.