Though vaginal dryness is most common among women after menopause, when estrogen levels fall, the status can affect women of any age. Often accompanied by itching and/or a burning feeling, vaginal dryness may contribute to pain during sexual intercourse or an increase in urinary frequency.
So far, scientific support for your promise that any treatment can help with vaginal dryness is limited.
Here’s a look at several materials often touted as natural remedies for this condition:
Wild Yam Cream
Applied topically to skin, creams made with wild yam are often marketed as a natural source of estrogen. But, there’s no evidence that wild yam can boost estrogen levels or have some effect on vaginal dryness.
In the same way, there’s no scientific support to its claim that dietary supplements containing the herb black cohosh will help relieve vaginal dryness.
Related: Black Cohosh for Hot Flashes
In a study of 71 healthy postmenopausal women, researchers found taking the herb kudzu in capsule form daily for 24 months helped relieve vaginal dryness and restore the health of the participants’ vaginal tissue.
Containing estrogen-like substances called”isoflavones,” soy is supposed to help improve symptoms of vaginal dryness. Although researchers are looking into the vaginal-health effects of a diet rich in soy foods (such as tofu), the ideal source and dose of soy are now unknown.
Related: The Benefits of Soy and Soy for Menopause-Related Conditions.
Causes of Vaginal Dryness
Typically, vaginal dryness is the result of a decrease in estrogen levels. As you age, a drop in estrogen levels can reduce the amount of moisture lining your vaginal walls. Age-related hormonal changes may also alter the consistency of the moisture.
For many women, hormonal changes resulting from pregnancy or while breastfeeding can also result in a decrease in vaginal lubrication. Estrogen levels may also drop due to:
- Use of chemotherapy, or hormone therapy in treatment of cancer
- Radiation therapy to the pelvic area
- Immune disorders
- Surgical elimination of the ovaries/hysterectomy
In other cases, vaginal dryness may result from the use of drugs that decrease moisture levels throughout the entire body (such as allergy and cold medications ). The vagina can become irritated from douching, laundry detergents, and soaps. Cigarette smoking, tampons, and condoms may also lead to vaginal dryness.
Using Natural Remedies
Since vaginal dryness can occasionally signal an underlying health problem (such as disease ), it’s important to consult your physician if you experience any symptoms of this condition. Standard treatments include using vaginal estrogen-based creams, in addition to water-based lubricants. It’s important to speak with your doctor prior to trying to self-treat this illness with alternative medicine.
Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and isn’t a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a qualified physician. It’s not meant to cover all possible precautions, drug interactions, adverse or circumstances effects. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your health care provider before using alternative medicine or making an alteration to your regimen.