Around the world, more and more people are beginning to approach their health and well-being more holistically. Through this, more individuals are seeking natural and organic remedies and treatments for multiple physical complaints.
In the case of menopausal and postmenopausal women, coconut oil is often considered a natural lubrication that helps to alleviate the symptoms of vaginal dryness, helping to decrease discomfort during sexual intercourse.
However, the use of coconut oil for vaginal dryness can cause additional issues, further resulting in the risk of recurring bacterial infections. Using coconut oil as an organic lubrication may improve overall sexual comfort, however, underlying risks can cause further harm without proper intervention.
Understanding Vaginal Dryness
What Causes Vaginal Dryness?
The vagina is a highly sensitive and delicate microenvironment and can be highly reactive to sudden changes that may occur in the body, including changes in hormonal levels and fluctuations of pH levels.
For some women, vaginal dryness may become a frequent occurrence, regardless of age, however, there are multiple examples of vaginal dryness being more prominent among postmenopausal women.
As the body begins to produce less estrogen, a vital hormone partially responsible for vaginal skin and vaginal tissue well-being, natural lubrication may begin to decrease over time due to lower levels of estrogen and progesterone.
Vaginal dryness is typically the drying and thinning of the vaginal lining, the walls inside the vagina. Vaginal dryness can be considered a painful and highly uncomfortable symptom that can affect a person’s quality of life, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
During normal conditions, the vaginal walls are typically well-lubricated, with increased fluidity and elasticity. However, over time, these walls begin to degenerate, leading to vaginal walls being less moisturized, and further increasing discomfort for women, especially during sexual activity.
Take A Look At What Causes Vaginal Dryness?:
Common Symptoms and Effects on Sex Life
Symptoms of vaginal dryness may be different from person to person. However, in most instances, women will experience either one or several of the following symptoms:
External dryness and skin irritation: Vaginal dryness isn’t only present inside the vagina. Lower levels of estrogen can lead to decreased moisture around the vulva, the external part of the vagina. Frequent irritation may occur around this area, which often leads to increased itchiness.
Discomfort during intercourse: Perhaps the most common symptom that women may experience is painful or uncomfortable intercourse. Due to decreased moisture and natural lubrication, sexual intercourse may feel less comfortable and often cause mild bleeding.
Irregular vaginal discharge: Regular vaginal discharge is fairly common, and should be transparent in color, with a mild salty odor, or completely odorless. Dried discharge may leave a white or yellow crust, which is natural. Hormonal changes may cause discharge to become discolored, and result in a fishy odor.
Urinary Tract Infections: Vaginal moisture helps to regulate pH levels and bacterial growth in the vagina. However, as the vaginal walls and lining begin to dry, some women may experience an increase in Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs).
Soreness and burning: Another possible symptom of vaginal dryness may be soreness and burning in the vaginal region, including the external parts such as the vulva. Frequent discomfort can be observed when putting on underwear to determine the severity of irritation.
Role of Coconut Oil in Alleviating Vaginal Dryness
Although the use of natural coconut oil for vaginal dryness is largely anecdotal, limited studies have found that coconut oil may alleviate the symptoms of vaginal dryness, and provide additional benefits when used as a natural moisturizer.
Coconut Benefits of Coconut Oil as a Natural Moisturizer
Relieves dryness of skin: When used as a topical application, either in the form of a paste or ointment, coconut oil can be effective for the treatment of mild to moderate atopic dermatitis in children according to one study.
Improves skin barrier: Directly applied to the skin, coconut oil can further improve the overall barrier of the skin. Furthermore, the oil can help to improve the elasticity, which strengthens the skin barrier and keeps the skin hydrated.
Treatment for yeast infection: Coconut oil contains antimicrobial and antifungal properties, and is often used as a natural remedy to treat a yeast infection. An in vitro study found that coconut oil may be as effective as other antifungal medications for treating yeast infections.
Natural lubricant: Although limited research is available that proves the safety and effectiveness of refined coconut oil as a natural lubricant, in some instances, some people have been found to use organic coconut oil as a potential natural lubricant to enhance sexual comfort.
How to Use Coconut Oil for Vaginal Dryness?
Before using coconut oil as a natural lubricant for vaginal dryness, it’s important to follow a few simple steps beforehand.
For starters, conduct a patch test on a part of the skin, this can be on the arm or leg. Apply a generous amount on a small patch, and leave for 24 hours. This can help to determine the possibility of an allergic reaction. If an allergic reaction occurs, avoid further using the application.
People with sensitive skin may experience some minor side effects, however, healthcare providers may provide further guidance.
Coconut oil should not be used in the event of recurring itching, swelling, or irritation on the skin. Additionally, if any further discomfort occurs, avoid further use until after consulting with a medical professional.
For use as a vaginal lubricant, directly apply the coconut oil around the opening of the vagina, including the parts of the vulva. Additionally, it may be advised to apply the oil on any objects that may be used as part of intercourse. These may include the penis, fingers, or specific sex toys.
For best application, be sure to use only natural virgin coconut oil, and that the vagina is clean, and any objects entering the vagina have been properly sterilized and cleaned before application.
Depending on the direct need, coconut oil for vaginal dryness can come in various types of applications, including an ointment, paste, or liquid oil form. Important to consider, to avoid using coconut oil with a latex condom, as oil-based lubricants may damage the condom, leaving it to be less effective.
Potential Antibacterial and Antimicrobial Properties
Above being a possible natural lubricant, coconut oil holds antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that can help prevent diseases and bodily deficiencies.
The potential antibacterial properties of coconut oil have been found to only act in lipid membrane bacteria. This type of bacteria commonly causes diseases such as ulcers and urinary tract infections.
Based on antimicrobial, coconut oil contains a primary fatty acid called lauric acid, which is known for its high level of antimicrobial properties. Lauric acid can be a precursor for monolaurin, a substance commonly found in breast milk, which promotes the stimulation of the immune system.
Safety and Efficacy of Coconut Oil
Is Coconut Oil Safe for Vaginal Use?
Coconut oil may be used as a personal lubricant, however, there is limited research that can prove the effective relief of vaginal dryness. Coconut oil is safe to use, both externally and internally, depending on the form of application, and the ingredients used alongside the oil.
For vaginal health, coconut oil may be incorporated as part of a diet, or in some instances, may be directly applied to the vaginal region for effective temporary relief of vaginal dryness. It’s important to conduct a patch test beforehand to monitor possible allergic reactions, and further consult with a health professional beforehand.
Possible Side Effects and Precautions
Some people may be allergic to coconut oil, which may result in some side effects, including, itching, burning, inflammation of the skin, swelling, and redness. If these symptoms occur, avoid further using coconut oil.
As a precaution, it’s advised to conduct a patch test on the inside of the forearm beforehand. Apply a small amount of the coconut oil application directly onto the skin, and leave it on the skin for at least 24 hours. If no reaction occurs, this may be safe to use as a possible natural lubrication.
Coconut Oil vs. Other Lubricants and Moisturizers
Compared to other types of lubricants and vaginal moisturizers, coconut oil may be considered as a possible short-term natural remedy for vaginal dryness, however, this should not be used as a primary solution.
Instead, it’s advised to consult with a medical healthcare professional beforehand and to investigate other possible treatment options. In the case of vaginal dryness, which may cause discomfort during sexual intercourse, coconut oil may be a suitable natural and organic lubricant, compared to other synthetic products.
Practical Tips and Best Practices
- Ensure that a patch test is conducted before applying the coconut oil to any other part of the body.
- Make use of virgin coconut oil as much as possible, as this content has fewer additives and ingredients.
- Minimize the use of coconut oil around the body, or parts of the vagina if any irritation or adverse reaction occurs.
- Consult with a doctor or medical practitioner beforehand to better understand the possible side effects of coconut oil when used as a natural lubricant.
- When used as a personal lubricant, keep in mind to lubricate any objects that may be used during intercourse for added comfort.
- Avoid using coconut oil, or any other type of natural oil with a latex condom as this may affect the material integrity of the condom.
Alternatives to Coconut Oil for Vaginal Dryness
Alternatively, other possible options for the treatment of vaginal dryness include:
Dietary supplements: Some supplements may contain other natural ingredients, such as Sea Buckthorn Oil, Vitamin C, D, and E, which have all been found to significantly improve the overall health and well-being of the vagina.
Ointments: Over-the-counter ointments may be used as part of a near-term remedy for vaginal dryness. This may alleviate some severe reactions, however, further treatment may be necessary.
Moisturizers and non-natural lubricants: Other possible alternatives may include some moisturizers that can be directly applied to the vagina. Additionally, an oil-based or water-based lubricant may also help relieve some dryness during sexual intercourse.
Is Coconut Oil Good for Menopause?
Yes, coconut oil is good for menopause. Coconut oil may be used as a natural personal lubricant for females that may be experiencing vaginal dryness. Direct application on the vagina may alleviate some symptoms of vaginal dryness, often experienced by women in perimenopause and postmenopause. Make sure to do patch test before using.
Can I Apply Coconut Oil to My Private Area Itching?
Applying coconut oil directly onto your private parts, including the vagina or penis, may help to alleviate some symptoms of dryness and itching. However, coconut oil by itself is not necessarily a potential solution, but rather a natural remedy, and instead should be used alongside additional ointments or topical creams to relieve any severe itching or irritation.
In recent years, coconut oil has moved from the kitchen to the bedroom, becoming a possible home remedy for perimenopausal and postmenopausal women that may experience symptoms of vaginal dryness.
In some cases, coconut oil may be considered a natural remedy for vaginal dryness, which may alleviate symptoms such as dryness, irritation, and sexual discomfort. Coconut oil can be considered as a short-term remedy, however, for the best possible results, consider consulting with a medical professional beforehand.