Although vaginal dryness is most common among women during and after menopause, the condition can affect women of any age. Often accompanied by itching and/or a burning sensation, vaginal dryness can contribute to pain during sex or an increase in urinary frequency.
Causes of Vaginal Dryness
In most cases, vaginal dryness is the result of a decrease in estrogen levels. As you age, a fall in estrogen levels can reduce the amount of moisture lining your vaginal walls. Age-related hormonal changes can also alter the consistency of this moisture.
For some women, hormonal changes resulting from pregnancy or breast-feeding can also lead to a decrease in vaginal lubrication. Estrogen levels may also drop due to:
- use of radiation, chemotherapy, and/or hormone therapy in treatment of cancer
- immune disorders
- cigarette smoking
- surgical removal of the ovaries
In other cases, vaginal dryness may result from use of medications that reduce moisture levels throughout the body (such as allergy and cold medicines). Douching is also known to cause vaginal dryness.
Treatment for Vaginal Dryness
Since vaginal dryness can sometimes signal an underlying health problem (such as infection), it’s important to consult your physician if you experience any symptoms of this condition. Standard treatments include the use of vaginal estrogen-based creams, as well as water-based lubricants.
Vaginal Dryness Remedies
Here’s a look at several substances often touted as natural remedies for vaginal dryness:
1) Wild Yam and Black Cohosh
Applied topically, creams made with wild yam are often marketed as a natural source of estrogen. However, there’s no evidence that wild yam can increase estrogen levels or have any effect on vaginal dryness.
Similarly, there’s no scientific support for the claim that dietary supplements containing the herb black cohosh can help relieve vaginal dryness.
Mirofirm is a highly standardised and purified proprietary extract of Pueraria mirifica. While there are hundreds of Pueraria varieties, this species Pueraria mirifica, is chosen because it contains the highest phyto (plant) estrogenic activity that is structurally similar to estradiol, one of the main sexual hormones in women..
3) Quercus infectoria (Oak) gall extract
Quercus infectoria traces its origins from various parts of Western Asia and Southern Europe. The extract of the plants gall that grows from young branches, are found to be rich in tannins, gallic and ellagic acid.
Traditionally, oak gall extract has been used as a remedy for women to restore the elasticity of the uterine wall after childbirth.
Healthy fats, such as omega-3 and omega-6 oils must be consumed regularly, and the best food sources are fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel. Besides, consuming fatty acids protects the body’s cardiovascular and immune system.
5) Fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are always good idea, and in this case, a woman should look for ones that contain natural water, such as cherries, melon, peppers, broccoli and apple.
Among many food types, a woman should find sources of vitamins A, E and B12. Vitamin A can support the health of vaginal walls and relieve vaginal dryness, so the best food sources are cheese, eggs, chicken and liver. Vitamin E is very powerful antioxidant that can help in vaginal dryness, thinning and itching, and the best food sources are avocado, blackberries and corn oil. Vitamin B12 can improve 1the function of the adrenal gland, and the best food sources are animal products and yeast extracts.
6) Flax Seed
Flax seed is another natural source of estrogen, and for start, a daily serving should not be more than 2 table spoons.
Alternative treatments for vaginal dryness.
A very common cause of vaginal dryness is lack of the hormone, estrogen. Applying a vaginal estrogen-based cream can help relieve this dryness. Water-based lubricants also are effective for relieving vaginal dryness. Lubricants will moisten the vaginal lining for several hours, and the effect of a vaginal cream can last for up to a day.
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