Low estrogen levels typically cause vaginal dryness. Due to this, women in menopause experience vaginal dryness as their estrogen levels decline. You may already know or imagine how uncomfortable this symptom can be and how it can negatively affect physical activity and sexual intimacy. Fortunately, there are several home remedies for dryness available. Here’s a look at ten natural home remedies to make life more comfortable.
1. Exercise Consistently
Exercise strengthens your pelvic floor muscles and helps rid your body of toxins. Menopause causes several changes in the vaginal area, including a thinning of the vaginal lining. As this lining thins, your natural lubricant decreases, making your tissues more susceptible to irritation. Exercise can help strengthen your vaginal muscles and also improve blood flow to the area. Exercise also increases serotonin, which is your feel-good chemical. Serotonin may increase estrogen levels, which may help alleviate menopause symptoms beyond vaginal dryness.
2. Maintain a Sexually Active Lifestyle
Staying sexually active may not seem desirable if your libido is nonexistent, but it has several benefits and is one of the simplest home remedies for dryness. When you are sexually active, your brain directs blood flow to your pelvic tissues, which provides extra nutrients, increases oxygen, and stimulates blood flow. Increased blood flow to these tissues can help stimulate your natural lubricant.
3. Steer Clear of Products With Fragrances and Synthetic Chemicals
Fragranced products and synthetic chemicals in soaps and lubricants can irritate the tissues in and around your vagina. Often, these products are drying and may cause a locally inflammatory reaction that further aggravates the tissues. In addition, scented products can alter the vagina’s natural pH, which helps support healthy bacteria.
4. Vitamins and Supplements
Vitamins and minerals can be obtained from food to increase vaginal lubrication. Nevertheless, supplements can help nourish your body if this doesn’t happen consistently. Take these vitamins and minerals regularly to help combat vaginal dryness:
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C helps the body produce collagen, which is essential for healthy skin (including your vaginal walls). Eating foods such as strawberries, kiwi, kale, oranges, broccoli, and guavas can boost your daily dose of vitamin C.
- Vitamin E: Vitamin E is a powerful home remedy for dryness as it increases vaginal elasticity and blood circulation, stabilizes estrogen, and relieves symptoms of menopause (including vaginal dryness).
- DHEA: DHEA is a type of steroid hormone involved in estrogen production.
DHEA production naturally declines with age, so it’s sometimes used as a supplement to help balance hormone levels and alleviate symptoms of menopause. Several studies have also found that DHEA could significantly improve female lubrication, reduce dryness, and increase estrogen levels in postmenopausal women.
5. Estrogen Therapy
Vaginal atrophy is a condition that occurs in postmenopausal women and is caused by a drop in estrogen levels. The use of estrogen creams and other estrogen therapies can be highly effective. Loss of estrogen can cause the cells lining the vagina and urethra to thin (atrophy). Women may experience vaginal dryness, itching, and pain during intercourse and a high risk of urinary and vaginal infections. Estrogen therapies can help combat these conditions.
6. Diet and Nutrition
Food is a very effective way to boost natural estrogen levels and is one of the most accessible home remedies for dryness. Among the foods promoting estrogen levels are soy, yams, flaxseeds, legumes, carrots, and dried fruits (such as apricots). Limiting foods that increase harmful bacteria and yeast in the vagina is also helpful, as vaginal infections are common during menopause. Reduce your intake of refined sugar, white flour, alcohol, and some dairy products.
7. Natural Lubricants
Aloe is a natural lubricant that can make life more comfortable. Coconut oil is also often used by women for its many therapeutic properties. Avoid using products like glycerin, petroleum jelly, and mineral oil (baby oil), as they can easily cause vaginal infection and irritation. The same applies to lotions and creams that aren’t designed for your sensitive lady bits.
8. Quit Smoking
Smoking can cause your estrogen levels to drop. By smoking, the vaginal tissues lose moisture and estrogen. Additionally, it causes many other problems, so it’s in your best interest to cut down and eventually stop smoking.
9. Pelvic Floor Therapy
It is essential to strengthening your pelvic floor muscles to maintain blood flow to your pelvic organs. Women benefit from pelvic floor exercises to keep these muscles strong and to train them. The pelvic floor can be strengthened in many ways. Kegels are an excellent exercise for increasing blood flow to the vagina, relaxing stiff muscles, and toning weak ones. By regularly flexing these muscles, your body produces more natural lubrication and reduces pain during intercourse.
10. Stay Hydrated
Plain water is one of the best ways to moisturize your skin and tissues. Water helps flush out toxins from the body and skin while hydrating the body and increasing vaginal moisture. During menopause, thirst hormones are less powerful, making it easier for women to neglect to drink. Fill up your favorite water bottle several times daily to ensure you get enough water.