While less frequently discussed, as compared to other perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms such as night sweats, hot flashes, and mood swings - vaginal dryness is a common side effect of fluctuating and decreasing estrogen levels
Typically, vaginal lubrication takes place naturally, however, over time as hormone levels begin to decrease, vaginal dryness becomes a more common symptom after menopause. These changes would mean that vaginal tissue integrity steadily decreases, leading to vaginal tissue to become thin and dry, making sexual activity and intercourse painful.
However, this isn’t an isolated occurrence and the Harvard Medical School estimates that vaginal dryness affects about half of the post-menopausal women, most of whom - around 90 percent - often don’t seek any treatment or professional guidance for their symptoms.
Seeing as vaginal dryness can affect a lot of people, vitamins for vaginal dryness could potentially alleviate the discomfort women may experience during menopause. More than this, through the effective use of various vitamins and supplements, women can further improve their overall vaginal health and well-being, without having to undergo invasive treatments.
Vitamins and Their Role in Alleviating Vaginal Dryness
There is a strong link between hormonal fluctuations and vaginal dryness around the time of menopause. Experts at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) believe that as women begin to age, and their bodies produce less estrogen, this would often lead to decreased natural vaginal lubrication.
Estrogen is considered a crucial hormone that elevates vaginal lubrication, ensuring the elasticity and thickness of the vaginal tissue. With menopause, women would typically produce less of this important hormone, or experience a sudden drop in estrogen levels, causing thinning, drying, and inflammation of the vaginal walls. Vaginal dryness is also commonly known as vaginal atrophy.
This is where a combination of vitamins begins to play an important role in the maintenance of vaginal lubrication. For instance, Vitamins D and E helps to promote vaginal lubrication of the vaginal walls, while one study has shown that Omega-3 fatty acids can significantly enhance estrogen levels, especially in postmenopausal women.
Another important vitamin that supports natural lubrication is Vitamin B, although an overconsumption of this vitamin source can potentially be hazardous, this supplement promotes a healthy immune system, while a Vitamin B complex contains all eight different forms of B supplements.
In essence, all these vitamins and supplements, some may seem new, while others are pretty straightforward, are the various building blocks that help to promote vaginal lubrication. Each may play a different role, however, in the bigger picture, a healthy combination of each promotes the natural production of vaginal lubrication in the vagina and helps to boost overall immune health.
Seeing as the vagina is a highly complex and sensitive microenvironment, a healthy combination of various vitamins will play an essential part in regulating and potentially enhancing natural female lubrication. One can almost think of these supplements as the building blocks that gradually help to alleviate vaginal dryness.
Vitamin C and Collagen Production
Vitamin C plays a crucial role in the production of collagen, which is essential for maintaining the elasticity and health of vaginal tissues.
Vitamin D: Bone Health and Vaginal Lubrication
- Vitamin D has been found as an aid to promote vaginal lubrication, which can improve vaginal wellness for women in menopause.
- Common sources of Vitamin D include sun exposure, which causes the skin cells to naturally synthesize Vitamin D.
- Other sources of Vitamin D include flesh and fatty fish, or fish liver oils. Traces of Vitamin D can also be found in egg yolks and beef liver.
Vitamin E: Antioxidant Abilities and Lubrication Improvement
- Research has found that using Vitamin E for 12 weeks may increase the health of vaginal walls.
- A combination of Vitamin A, D, and E can improve vaginal atrophy in some cancer patients.
- Vitamin D is a healthy source of nutrients for eye, brain, and skin health.
B Vitamins: Overall Health and Dryness Relief
- Vitamin B Complex contains all eight forms of vitamin B, which ensures the promotion of ordinary immune function.
- Vitamin B is commonly found in foods including poultry, fish, bananas, and potatoes.
- Other consumable forms include supplements that contain high doses of Vitamin B Complex.
Supplements for Vaginal Health and Moisture
Some supplements, including those produced by Femininity, contain valuable natural vitamins and nutrients. Women can take a variety of manufactured supplements that may contain a combination of the above-mentioned vitamins, including several other critical nutrients, such as hyaluronic acid, Omega-7, and probiotics to improve their lives.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids (Fish Oil): Hormonal Balance and Dryness Reduction
- Another source of nutrients is Omega-3 fatty acids, which may lead to improved female lubrication during menopause.
- Omega-3 fatty acids can potentially increase estrogen levels, further elevating vaginal lubrication in women and menopausal women.
- Typical sources of Omega-3 can vary, including freshwater and saltwater fish, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts. Additionally, various plant oils, such as avocado oil, soybean, and canola oil may also contain Omega-3 fatty acids.
Hyaluronic Acid: Skin Hydration and Vaginal Lubrication
- Hyaluronic acid is commonly found in a variety of skincare products, such as moisturizers, serums, and water-based applications.
- Hyaluronic acid contains valuable natural chemical properties that can improve skin elasticity and leave skin feeling hydrated and more plump.
- Over-the-counter supplements can be used as a possible treatment for vaginal dryness, which could boost vaginal lubrication.
- One study of 144 supposedly postmenopausal women below age 70 years found that in nearly half of them, there was an 84% improvement in vaginal lubrication following the use of hyaluronic acid.
DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone): Estrogen Source and Dryness Reversal
- Another supplement that may be beneficial for vaginal dryness is the delivery of the hormone DHEA.
- Some DHEA supplements are often believed to improve sex drive and boost muscle building.
- DHEA can be beneficial to combat aging, including some health conditions.
- DHEA can be directly delivered to the vagina, which will then help promote vaginal well-being and ease pain experienced during sexual intercourse.
- DHEA-based supplements can further enhance the production of estrogen.
Natural Supplements and Their Benefits
Aside from these mentioned, other important supplements that can improve vaginal dryness include, boron, commonly found in green vegetables, some nuts, and raisins; systemic hormone therapy or low-dose estrogen hormone supplements prescribed by a medical professional.
Sea Buckthorn Oil: Mucosal Integrity and Dryness Relief
New discoveries regarding the use of natural Sea Buckthorn Oil can significantly improve vaginal dryness. Sea Buckthorn Oil contains high doses of Omega-7, a crucial component for the well-being of vaginal health and the treatment of vaginal atrophy.
In one study of 116 post-menopausal women that experienced vaginal dryness, Sea Buckthorn Oil provided significant improvement of vaginal tissue following 3 grams of the oil over a period of three months.
Take A Look At Natural Solutions for Female Dryness: Is Sea Buckthorn Oil the Answer?
Turmeric: Anti-Inflammatory and Vaginal Health
Turmeric holds valuable natural ingredients that can be used as a dietary supplement for a variety of treatments including joint inflammation, cholesterol, and blood sugar. Additionally, some studies have claimed that turmeric can be a useful ingredient for the treatment of tumors, and fungal and bacteria growth.
Curcumin nanoparticles are one of the main components extracted from turmeric, which have been found to reduce local tissue inflammation upon delivery in the vaginal tract. The delivery of curcumin is potentially useful for the treatment of other, more severe vaginal diseases, which has been found to reduce the risk of HIV acquisition through the reduction of Herpes Simplex Virus 2.
Ashwagandha: Stress Relief and Dryness Reduction
Ashwagandha is a natural herb commonly found in dry regions of South Asia, Central Asia, and Africa. For decades, researchers have been studying Ashwagandha as a possible remedy for the treatment of various human conditions.
The herbal remedy has been found to provide significant improvement in both male and female sexual dysfunction, including reduced sexual arousal, low libido, and high levels of chronic stress.
Although ashwagandha is often listed as a male sexual tonic, one study concluded that this herbal remedy, when consumed by female participants, can lead to improved sexual arousal, orgasms, and female lubrication. Additionally, ashwagandha further holds anti-stress properties, which can suppress levels of chronic stress, one of the biggest dampers of female sexual function.
Boswellia: Anti-Inflammatory and Dryness Relief
Boswellia is another natural herb, commonly extracted from a species of trees predominantly located in the dryer regions of India. This natural herb is often used in Arab, Ayurvedic, and Chinese medicine and has been found to act as a possible relief for inflammation.
As a dietary supplement, boswellia, in its most natural form, can act as an anti-inflammatory, helping to reduce muscle pain, rheumatism, arthritis, and arthrosis. Other practical uses of the Boswellia resin have been found to reduce pain in some female participants, limit swelling of certain muscles, and promote blood flow to the joints.
Boswellia can also be taken to improve stiffness, with some participants showing an improvement in motor skills, and consistent use can mitigate the risks of complete degeneration.
Supporting Vaginal Health: Additional Considerations
There are additional dietary sources women can incorporate into their diets to promote the relief of inflammation and dryness, further improving vaginal health and well-being.
Collagen and Elastin: Wall Elasticity and Moisture
Collagen has been found to account for nearly 30 percent of a person’s body protein content. This structural protein provides necessary structural support and strength for various parts of the body that experience repeated stretch and recoil motions, including muscles, skin, bones, lungs, and most importantly the uterus.
Although collagen is an important protein, over time, as we begin to age, our bodies typically produce less of this structural element. In females, the need for supplementary collagen is often considered more important for the improvement of elasticity in skin, muscles, lungs, and the uterus.
Collagen can be found in different varieties, including traditional pill or capsule form or as a protein powder. A generous combination of collagen supplements can potentially improve the overall well-being of women’s health, including the elasticity of the skin in and around the body, including the vaginal tract.
Natural Lubricants: Soothing and Moisturizing Ingredients
Although there are many different lubricants available on the market, many women, including some men, are often concerned about the effects of chemically manufactured lubrications. In that case, an alternative option can be natural lubricants that have been made from natural water-based ingredients.
Some natural lubricants may contain a variety of natural ingredients that have minimal refined oils or chemicals. Instead, many of these products contain either coconut oil, aloe vera, or a mixture of different oil-based options.
Additionally, when buying a natural lubricant, try and look for a brand that contains other natural properties such as cellulose gum, citric acid, natural glycerine, methylparaben or propylparaben. Many natural lubricants may also contain high levels of purified water, which is often the safest option, depending on personal preference and use.
Probiotics: Balancing Vaginal Microbiome
Recent studies have indicated that probiotics can improve the female reproductive tract, further alleviating gynecological diseases. Additionally, probiotics can enhance the physical immunity of the vaginal region. Natural probiotic bacteria can be found in various foods, including some sugars, kefir, and other fermented products.
Vaginal probiotics can either come in the form of a suppository capsule or pill form. These supplements can be purchased over the counter, or at a specialty supplement store.
In some cases, women tend to use probiotics for a variety of reasons, however, the most common reason is often to ease discomfort that may be caused by bacterial vaginosis or a yeast infection, per a medical professional in one Harvard School of Medicine study.
Cranberries and Garlic: pH Balance and Infection Prevention
Certain foods, such as cranberries and garlic are beneficial in restoring natural pH balance and further provide infection prevention properties.
For starters, one study has found that the regular consumption of 100% cranberry products, including physical cranberries, juices, or other varieties can be beneficial in preventing UTIs among those women who have recurrent infections.
While it’s generally safe to include some form of cranberries in your diet, experts advise that it’s important to look for cranberry-based products that contain natural and organic ingredients. Additionally, it’s important to refrain from consuming too many cranberry-based products that contain high levels of refined or artificial sugars.
Second to this is garlic, which has several benefits, including anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. In one particular research study, experts found that garlic can have the ability to wane off vaginal infections.
Consumed as part of a healthy diet, garlic is generally safe, however, there are various oral garlic supplements available on the market that can be bought over the counter. Additionally, garlic, although an extremely fragrant ingredient can further reduce vaginal odor, however, it’s best suited to not use or apply any garlic directly or around the vaginal region. Instead, consider incorporating garlic into your diet, or look for an oral-based garlic supplement.
Hormone Replacement Therapy: Menopausal Symptom Relief
Hormone replacement therapy is another possible solution, however this might vary from person to person, and the condition they would be looking to treat through this procedure. Generally, hormone replacement therapy is safe, however, the efficacy thereof may be different for each person.
Medication for hormone replacement therapy is readily available, although it’s best to obtain guidance from a medical practitioner beforehand. The medication contains various female hormones and can be used as a supplementary replacement for certain female hormones, including estrogen.
Estrogen levels begin to decline as women age and rapidly fall once women enter perimenopause and move further into menopause. Hormone replacement therapy can assist with alleviating specific symptoms, including night sweats, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, or discomfort.
Consider consulting with a registered healthcare professional before taking any type of hormone replacement therapy. More importantly, frequent visits to a gynecologist or an OB/GYN could also be beneficial for the improvement of vaginal health.
Does Vitamin A Increase Wetness?
While there are a variety of important vitamins that contribute to overall natural female lubrication, Vitamin A is often considered one of the most vital elements to improve wetness and alleviate vaginal dryness. Vitamin A assists with developing mucous membranes, such as the vaginal lining found inside the vagina.
What Is the Best Natural Lubrication?
A natural lubrication can alleviate discomfort experienced during sexual activity, including intercourse. Several natural ingredients, such as aloe vera, pure virgin coconut oil, virgin olive oil, and yogurt have been found to improve the lubrication of women during sexual intercourse. Try to avoid any lubricant products that contain petroleum jelly, butter, or store-bought lotion as this can potentially increase the risk of infection or irritation.
Natural vaginal lubrication is an essential part of women’s everyday health, including vaginal well-being, and helps to alleviate painful or uncomfortable sexual intercourse. Although for some menopausal and postmenopausal women, a decrease in vaginal lubrication is often common and can lead to increased discomfort, inflammation, and vaginal irritation.
Using over-the-counter supplements and vitamins can potentially improve vaginal lubrication in some women, however, experts advise that women who experience prolonged irritation, even after using a supplement should seek professional medical advice and guidance.
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