As people begin to age, many of them tend to begin experiencing a variety of symptoms that can cause irritation and discomfort, often impacting their quality of life. For women, menopause is often considered to be one of the most stressful transitory periods in their lives, as their body begins to undergo changes and hormonal fluctuations become more frequent.
While there are multiple symptoms related to menopause, including hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain, and mood swings, another symptom - vaginal dryness - is a lesser-discussed symptom that may lead to severe discomfort and painful sexual intercourse due to the absence of natural vaginal lubrication. Although, today, one solution that is good for menopause dryness is coconut oil, an effective and natural short-term remedy to help alleviate vaginal dryness and discomfort.
Advancements in medicine have brought to life a series of possible treatments that may help alleviate vaginal dryness. One treatment, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is an oral medication that helps to restore depleted estrogen and progesterone levels. Another less pharmacological treatment is hyaluronic acid, which can be applied as a topical lotion to the vaginal region.
However, not every person may find comfort in using carefully formulated chemicals, leading them to rather use something more organic and natural. Raw or pure coconut oil has been found to provide some relief for women that experience vaginal dryness. Is coconut oil helping or hurting your during menopause? If you’re looking to learn more about using coconut oil for menopause dryness, then this article will help answer some of your questions.
A Not-So-Subtle Symptom: Vaginal Dryness During Menopause
Despite there being endless remarks and studies surrounding menopausal symptoms, discussion around vaginal dryness, often known as vaginal atrophy tends to be less frequent compared to other symptoms people may experience during menopause.
For starters, vaginal dryness begins to take place as estrogen levels in the body decline during menopause. Estrogen is a vital source of minerals for the vaginal tissues, or the walls inside the vagina. With estrogen falling, the lining of the vagina tends to thin or begin drying, causing irritation and redness in some people.
One study by Harvard Medical School estimates that roughly half of postmenopausal women experience the side effects of vaginal dryness. More worrisome, around 90 percent of them often don’t seek treatment for most of the menopausal symptoms, including vaginal dryness.
While many people may think that menopause dryness may only cause irritation or discomfort during sexual intercourse, further investigation by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) found that some women may encounter increased urinary frequency or repeated urinary tract infections (UTIs).
More than this, dryness may not only be present in the vaginal canal. An ACOG review indicates that some women may experience dryness around the external female genital area, or the vulva. Irritation may occur during day-to-day activities, especially when putting on underwear or engaging in sexual activity.
Take A Look At Menopause and You: Painful Intercourse:
Again, menopause dryness isn’t an isolated event, and many women that experience menopause or transition into postmenopause may have vaginal dryness. One recent study published in 2019 found that postmenopausal women aged over 51 years often suffer from mild to severe vaginal dryness.
Not only this, in the same study, researchers estimate that around 17 percent of women aged 17 - 50 years will often encounter problems with sexual intercourse due to decreased natural vaginal lubrication and painful sexual experiences.
Coconut Oil's Role in Alleviating Menopause Dryness
While there are certainly clinical and pharmacological treatments available for vaginal dryness, in more recent times, the use of organic raw coconut oil has become a natural remedy that can assist with alleviating menopause dryness.
Already today, many people are using a jar of coconut oil as a home remedy for treating dry and ashy skin or as a moisturizer for hair treatments. Coconut oil holds countless valuable minerals that leave behind a layer of lubricant when applied to the skin or hair.
For the treatment of vaginal dryness, there have been studies that suggest virgin coconut oil or coconut paste may be beneficial for vaginal dryness, or alleviate discomfort experienced during sexual intercourse.
One particular study of 1,021 American women found that 65 percent of them were making use of a natural or personal lubricant. Additionally, 20 percent of participants had used a personal lubricant in the 30 days before the study, with the majority - 58 percent - claiming to use lubricant during intercourse, and 49 percent for sexual play.
Another investigation that researched the use of coconut oil as a topical application for treating mild to moderate atopic dermatitis in children, a condition that may cause dry, itchy skin found that coconut was more effective than ordinary mineral oils.
More than this, the researchers concluded that the coconut oil helped to alleviate some symptoms of atopic dermatitis, such as dryness, and that none of the children participating in the study experienced an adverse reaction to the coconut oil treatments.
While the clinical use of coconut oil provides countless benefits, the use thereof for alleviating vaginal dryness continues to be a subject that needs further investigation, although some evidence does point to the fact that organic coconut oil may be beneficial for alleviating some menopausal dryness.
Is Coconut Oil Good for Menopause Dryness?
Research surrounding the topic of coconut oil is useful for menopause dryness, some investigation has helped to show that coconut oil, when used as a personal lubricant may help to ease discomfort and reduce friction.
More than this, anecdotal accounts of using coconut oil as a personal lubricant suggest that coconut oil may be beneficial to apply on the external parts of the vaginal region, such as the vulva. Similarly, limited studies have yet to prove whether coconut oil may further ease vaginal discomfort when applied as an ointment for internal use.
Although there are plenty of personal recounts of women using coconut oil for menopause dryness, experts suggest that people should consult with a medical professional beforehand. This will help to provide them with more clear insights and information surrounding the use of coconut oil as a personal lubricant, and whether they should discontinue use when used in combination with other treatments, such as oral HRT or hyaluronic acid.
How To Use Coconut Oil for Vaginal Dryness Safely
Although there aren’t any formal recommendations on how to use coconut oil as a personal lubricant, practicing caution when applying coconut oil is strongly advised.
Direct application can be beneficial, however, it’s advised to conduct a skin patch test beforehand. Rubbing a small amount of coconut oil onto a part of the skin, either the arm or inner thigh will help to determine whether a person may be allergic to the application or any of the compounds present in coconut oil.
Leaving the application on the skin for a minimum of 24 hours will help to determine whether the coconut oil or paste is safe to use. If no redness, itching, or swelling occurs, then you may proceed to use the coconut oil or paste as a personal lubricant.
Although no set of guidelines suggests how to apply coconut oil to alleviate dryness or for sexual intercourse, the recommended application will depend on each person. Some people may use more, and routinely apply oil during the day, while others may only do so at night or during intercourse.
Be sure to only use pure or raw 100% organic coconut oil at all times. Additionally, use a brand that you are familiar with, and that contains no additional additives or synthetic colorants, aromas, or flavors.
Incorporating coconut oil into a person’s diet can be beneficial in the short-term, however, caution is advised, seeing that raw coconut oil is considered to be 100% fat, and 80 to 90 percent of it is saturated fat.
While there are numerous health benefits of coconut oil, many people often include coconut oil as part of their diet, either through cooking or in other foods, such as salad dressing, or liquids, such as smoothies and juices.
Although the majority of Americans, roughly 72 percent according to one Harvard study, consider coconut oil as being a “healthy” option, only 37 percent of nutritional experts agree with this statement.
The use of coconut oil as part of a diet has taken off in popularity among consumers that follow strict vegetarian or vegan lifestyles, or those that follow a ketogenic or Paleo diet.
Additionally, there may be several benefits of drinking coconut water. Some research suggests that coconut water may be beneficial for the management of diabetes, and heart health, reduce high blood pressure, and assist with flushing the body from bacteria.
Coconut water may be a suitable replacement for sugary drinks, although this is only plausible when consuming raw and unmodified coconut water that has been sourced from organic and natural coconuts.
Is Coconut Oil as a Lube Safe?
Limited research points to the use of coconut oil as a lubricant, and the potential side-effects of using this as part of a natural lubricant for sexual intercourse.
This however, shouldn’t discourage a person from using coconut oil or a coconut paste as a potential natural lubricant, although it does mean that people should practice caution when considering incorporating coconut oil as part of their sexual activities.
For starters, it’s best advised to consult with a medical professional beforehand. This will help indicate whether the severity of vaginal dryness may be alleviated when using coconut oil as a lubricant, or whether other treatment options are a better long-term solution.
Similarly, a natural product such as coconut oil or water-based products should only be used as a near-term option, and shouldn’t replace clinical or pharmacological remedies. Try and use a coconut oil that is free from any additional additives, and only contains pure 100% raw coconut oil.
Additionally, when using coconut oil as a lubricant for sexual intercourse, or to alleviate discomfort caused by vaginal dryness, refrain from using it when severe reactions occur, such as redness, itching, or inflammation that weren’t otherwise present before use.
Benefits of Coconut Oil in Managing Menopause Dryness For Female
Outside of being a natural moisturizer, coconut oil may hold several other benefits for people that may be experiencing vaginal dryness or undergoing menopause.
Natural lubricant: Besides potentially being used as a lubricant, pure coconut oil is a natural ingredient that may provide a more substantial lubricant coating, compared to other lubricants that have a higher concentration of water or gel.
Applications last longer: Compared to other gel and water-based lubricant counter products, coconut oil tends to last longer, minimizing the need for frequent application.
Affordable remedy: Coconut oil is affordable and can be purchased from any grocery store or health food supermarket. In the United States, the average price of coconut oil ranges from $3.50 to $7.43 per pound, or $7.71 to $16.38 per kilogram., according to recent averages for 2024.
Possible treatment for UTIs: Although there aren’t a lot of scientific studies or research that proves the idea that coconut oil may help to treat or prevent UTIs or vaginal infection; there have been some reports that claim coconut oil may be beneficial to apply as a possible preventative remedy for UTI infections.
Alternative Remedies and Precautions
Before using coconut oil as a possible lubricant, it’s important to consider some of the negative side effects a person may encounter.
Allergy: Medical reports indicate that a very small percentage of people tend to have coconut oil or coconut-related allergies. In the United States, only 0.39% of the general population, including 0.22% of children and 0.43% of adults have some form of coconut-related allergy.
This would indicate that high-quality organic coconut oil is relatively safe, however, some side effects may still occur during the application or consumption of coconut-based products.
Skin irritation: The application of coconut oil for natural lubrication may result in mild skin irritation. This may cause itching, redness, or inflammation in people that have sensitive skin or experience sensitivity around the vaginal skin.
Staining of clothing and bedding: Using an oil-based lubricant during intercourse, or a possible relief for vaginal dryness may stain clothing or bedding, leaving behind an oil-like stain. When applying coconut oil during the day, it’s advised to wear an underwear liner, and for sexual activity, to place a towel or blanket on the bed before using.
Not recommended for use with latex condoms: Coconut oil contains ingredients that may affect the cellular integrity of latex condoms, often causing small cracks or tears in the condom, or causing the condom to break down. Avoid using both coconut oil and latex condoms together.
Other possible remedies that may be used instead of coconut oil are:
- Olive oil: Some people tend to prefer using organic virgin olive oil. While this may be a suitable option to alleviate discomfort caused by vaginal dryness during intercourse, it’s important to practice precaution and consult with a medical expert before using any form of olive oil around or in the genitals.
- Sea buckthorn oil: Another possible remedy is sea buckthorn. Sea buckthorn oil is extracted from the berries and leaves of the sea buckthorn plant. Concentrations may contain traces of Omega-7, a necessary fatty acid that assists with rebuilding skin cells and further promotes cell rejuvenation in areas that have experienced dryness or thinning, such as with the vaginal walls during postmenopause.
- Baby oil: Baby oil may be used as a possible alternative to improve discomfort experienced during sexual activity. However, it’s important to note that some baby oil formulas may contain synthetic chemicals and ingredients, which may lead to redness, itching, or further irritation of the skin. Avoid using further if any of these symptoms occur.
- Hyaluronic acid: Formulated hyaluronic acid may be used as a possible treatment for vaginal dryness. Some vaginal creams and other topical applications may contain hyaluronic acid, which may be equivalent to vaginal estrogen, helping to relieve vaginal dryness. Hyaluronic acid is somewhat more expensive, however, some vaginal moisturizers and creams may already have hyaluronic acid mixed in.
When to Skip Coconut Oil for Vaginal Dryness
Moderation Is Key
Just like everything in life, moderation is key. You can’t apply coconut oil to every scrape and ailment.
Experts advise to stop or cease using coconut oil for vaginal dryness when:
- Redness or irritation on the skin occurs.
- Prolonged inflammation occurs, leaving behind redness or itching.
- Try not to use a latex condom.
- Avoid using coconut oil with a combination of other creams and ointments.
- Minimize once discomfort is alleviated.
When you’re dealing with vaginal dryness, coconut oil alone isn’t enough. That’s where Femininity supplements that work from the inside out come in.
As with all treatments, contact your doctor if your symptoms get more serious. The use of coconut oil and Femininity isn’t for everyone—find what works for you.
Expert Opinions and Recommendations
Although coconut oil may be safe to use on the skin, and as a possible lubricant for sexual intercourse, experts advise conducting a skin patch test beforehand. This would help to indicate whether a person may be allergic to coconut oil or any other ingredients that may have been mixed with the coconut oil.
Additionally, when using coconut oil for menopause dryness, try to only use pure or raw organic coconut oil that contains no additives, such as flavorings, colorants, or synthetic ingredients.
Try not to use coconut oil that has been formulated with genetically modified organisms or contains traces of synthetic coconut oil.
When additional discomfort occurs, such as swelling, try to avoid further using coconut oil and consult with an expert on the matter. Experts further advise you to consult with a medical professional before using coconut oil as part of your diet or as a vaginal lubricant to ensure safe recommendations for use are provided.
Is Coconut Oil for Vaginal Atrophy Effective?
Limited research or evidence-based studies suggest that coconut oil is an effective treatment for vaginal atrophy. Although, coconut oil may be used as a natural lubricant during sexual intercourse to help alleviate discomfort or dryness.
Does Menopause Dryness Go Away?
Unfortunately, some atrophic issues may continue after menopause and during postmenopause. This may cause mild vaginal dryness, however, some treatments, such as hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may assist with supplementing declining estrogen and progesterone levels.
As a natural lubricant, coconut oil may be considered a safe and organic remedy to use during sexual intercourse, especially among people, more specifically women that experience menopausal dryness or vaginal atrophy.
While coconut oil may be a safe remedy to use, it’s advised to consult with a medical professional beforehand or to conduct a skin patch test before using coconut oil as a natural lubricant.
Additionally, incorporating coconut oil as part of a healthy and balanced diet may be beneficial, however, consider advisory daily consumption of coconut oil, as raw and organic coconut oil is 100% fat, with between 80% and 90% thereof being saturated fat.
Finally, when using coconut oil as a lubricant, be sure to only use natural or organic products that contain zero additional ingredients, and ensure that you visit a medical professional to investigate other possible treatments or remedies for severe vaginal dryness symptoms.