For women, of any age, vaginal health can be considered an important component that helps to contribute to a person’s overall well-being.
For some, vaginal health may come as second nature, hardly having to use any supplements, moisturizers, or nutrients to ensure and maintain a healthy vagina.
Unfortunately, however, this might not be a shared experience, as vaginal health-related problems can become more common as a person begins to age, which may often lead to the risk of infections and causing discomfort in day-to-day life and during sexual intercourse.
A healthy vagina can contribute more towards well-being, self-confidence, and mood than one might think. Experiencing issues with your vaginal could affect your sex life or even your relationships. These changes can cause further stress and anxiety, leading to lower sex drive and affecting your emotional well-being in the long term.
Taking care of your vagina should be a top priority, and with a variety of supplements for vaginal dryness and nutrients available on the market, ensuring your vagina gets the nutrients it needs is now easier than ever.
Why Supplements Are Beneficial?
Our bodies naturally produce all the hormones we require to live a balanced and active lifestyle. When we’re younger, we tend to have more of certain hormones that help to maintain and regulate chemical composition in our bodies.
These hormonal and chemical compositions play a crucial role in our general well-being. From helping to regulate blood flow, stimulating hair growth, keeping our skin and organs healthy, protecting our eyes and teeth to regulating muscle, joint and vaginal lubrication - everything in our bodies has an important role that keeps us going each day.
However, over time, as we begin to age, or experience a deterioration in our general health, due to bad diet, not getting enough exercise, excessive consumption of alcohol or heavy smoking, and other genetic features, crucial hormonal and chemical composition begins to decline.
Small changes such as these can make a big difference over the long term, however, a similar can be said for the opposite. Getting enough exercise, drinking plenty of water, and eating a balanced diet can provide long-term improvements.
For women, however, supplements can help alleviate discomfort caused by vaginal issues. While vaginal health can cover a range of topics, including sex, fertility, hygiene, and vaginal dryness, which are more often experienced during menopause, supplements may be beneficial for long-term vaginal well-being and a balanced lifestyle.
In recent years, there have been more supplements made available on the market, specifically for aiding in vaginal health and well-being. More than this, many new supplements tend to be made from natural and organic ingredients, however, it’s important to consult with a healthcare provider or professional before trying any new supplement, especially if you’re already using other medication.
Beneficial Vitamins and Supplements
With a variety of supplements available on the market, knowing which is worth your time, and money will help you to better understand what to look for when trying a specific supplement for vaginal health.
Vitamin E: A Natural Moisturizer
Some research has found that Vitamin E may work as a natural moisturizer when consumed as a suppository or applied as a topical lotion, i.e. vaginal cream or lotion. Vitamin E is often best considered as a complementary treatment and may alleviate some vaginal symptoms commonly found in menopausal women. When consumed as a supplement, Vitamin E may help to protect cells and tissue, and further act as an antioxidant for your skin.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Promoting Lubrication
Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in fish oil, nuts, and plant oils, including avocado, flaxseed, and canola oil. More than this, Omega-3 is a healthy fatty oil that helps to promote healthy cell membranes, and further provides structural support for cells. There have been some studies that suggest that omega-3 helps promote natural female lubrication, especially for women experiencing menopause.
Vitamin D: Enhancing Vaginal Health
Supplements can help alleviate vaginal discomfort that stretches beyond menopause-related symptoms. In this case, Vitamin D is considered to be an important nutrient that helps to promote vaginal pH and further promotes healthy epithelial cell growth, according to one study.
More than this, some research suggests Vitamin D may impact female hormones, including estrogen and progesterone during menopause. Both these hormones tend to fluctuate, and steadily decline during menopause, and can lead to symptoms such as vaginal discomfort, night sweats, and hot flashes, among other things.
Probiotics: Balancing Vaginal Flora
There are varying opinions regarding the use of a vaginal probiotic. Experts consider probiotics as “healthy” or “good” bacteria that are usually found in the gut and parts of the vagina. Some research has found that probiotic supplements could potentially support the vaginal microbiome, helping to balance vaginal flora and further increase immune efficiency.
Although a vaginal probiotic may be beneficial, experts advise that women only use a probiotic that has been prescribed and that can be consumed orally, such as a suppository. Additionally, one expert from the Harvard School of Medicine suggests that supplements containing Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 are considered to be the most beneficial probiotic.
Yet, it’s important to consult with an expert beforehand to ensure you understand all the benefits and side effects of using a vaginal probiotic to improve vaginal flora.
Evening Primrose Oil: Alleviating Dryness
Evening primrose oil is often considered to be a natural alternative for women that experience vaginal discomfort, but are not suitable for using a hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or wish to use something more organic.
This natural oil contains two important types of Omega-6-fatty acid, including linoleic acid and γ-linoleic acid, which may otherwise be referred to as gamma-linoleic acid or GLA. These acids have been found to alleviate certain vaginal problems, including vaginal dryness due to the estrogen-like properties and activity it introduces to the body when used as a suppository.
Hyaluronic Acid: Improving Moisture Retention
Hyaluronic Acid has risen in popularity in recent years due to its effectiveness in skincare products and helping to promote moisture retention, leaving a person’s skin feeling plump and elastic.
Additionally, a hyaluronic acid-based moisturizer can be an effective and safe application for women who suffer from Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause (GSM) which is a condition that may impact urogenital health and sexual function.
A hyaluronic acid-based moisturizer can be beneficial for women who are unable or unwilling to consider hormone-based therapies, especially women who have a history of cancer, according to one recent study.
Best Supplement for Vaginal Dryness
Vaginal dryness is a shared experience among 17% of women aged 18 to 50 years. Although vaginal dryness is often the consequence of vaginal atrophy and is most frequently associated with menopause, this isn’t an isolated event and may be found among women of various ages.
It’s advised to gain an expert opinion from your doctor or an OB/GYN specialist before taking any supplements or using a vaginal moisturizer to better understand the condition and severity of your vaginal dryness. Nonetheless, improving vaginal health and well-being can be beneficial to any person suffering from discomfort caused by vaginal dryness.
These are considered to be the best supplement for vaginal dryness:
- Vitamin D: This nutrient is not only important for bone health - especially important for women in menopause - Vitamin D can help to repair the epithelial tissue, and further promote female lubrication.
- Sea Buckthorn/Sea Berry Oil: Another supplement that may be beneficial for vaginal dryness is the use of sea buckthorn oil. This natural ingredient contains properties of Omega-7, which helps to promote and maintain vaginal moisture and tissue elasticity. More than this, some research suggests that Omega-7 can help to improve vaginal health without increasing the circulation of estrogen and alleviating some menopausal symptoms.
Take A Look At OMEGA 7 BENEFITS - Does it Cure Dryness?:
- DHEA: An alternative could be dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) which plays an important role in sexual health, such as improving sex drive and aiding vaginal health. DHEA is naturally produced in the body but begins to decline over time, as you age, however, some supplements may contain DHEA ingredients which may be beneficial to the overall well-being and health of a person’s vagina.
Menopause and Vaginal Dryness
Many women in menopause may experience symptoms of vaginal dryness, and these may range from mild to severe. This is caused due to the decline in estrogen and progesterone levels, two important hormones that are responsible for managing and regulating natural female lubrication, among other things.
Irregular periods and changes taking place in the reproductive system may lead to fluctuation in hormonal levels, and over time will steadily begin to decline. The pace of decline will only begin to increase once a person reaches menopause, or after a person hasn’t had a period for more than 12 consecutive months.
Both estrogen and progesterone promote the well-being of the vaginal walls. As levels begin to decline, the walls of the vagina will dry or become thin, which can lead to painful intercourse, bleeding, or increase the risk of a urinary tract infection.
During this time it’s important to schedule routine check-ups with a doctor or OB/GYN to receive an expert opinion on whether you can use a vaginal moisturizer or start taking a suppository supplement.
Relationships, Intimacy, and Vaginal Dryness
Aside from experiencing itching and burning, vaginal dryness may impact your relationship with your partner due to decreased intimacy and low sex drive.
One study found that many women who experience vaginal dryness may have decreased natural female lubrication during sexual activity, leading to uncomfortable and even painful sex, especially during intercourse.
More than this, other research has found that 58 percent of women tend to avoid intimacy while experiencing vaginal dryness, while roughly 64 percent of women cited having lower libido. Furthermore, 64 percent said that they associate vaginal dryness with pain, and most women cited that vaginal discomfort may have caused their partner to avoid intimacy.
While there are methods to help alleviate painful sex and improve sex drive, vaginal dryness, and discomfort tend to be mostly biological, which could mean that not all treatments may work, and the severity of the discomfort may be different for each person.
Lifestyle and Diet Changes
Making some adjustments to your lifestyle and diet can help alleviate vaginal discomfort, however, women are advised to make changes they are comfortable with and suit their needs the best.
- Exercise: Try and get more exercise into your daily routine. This is especially important for ageing women, as a healthy dose of exercise will help improve blood and keep your heart active. Experts advise that roughly 30 minutes of moderate anaerobic exercise each week can significantly improve movement and blood flow.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing: Try and wear loose-fitting clothing, including dresses to help with blood circulation and avoid restricting the vaginal region. Additionally, this will help to provide more comfort for women with itching or irritated vaginal skin, and help to regulate body temperature.
- Avoid douching: Experts advise women to refrain from using douches or douching while experiencing symptoms of vaginal discomfort, such as vaginal dryness. Some explain that the chemical ingredients and scents used in douches may disturb the natural microbiome in the vagina, which can only increase the severity of vaginal dryness.
- Avoid perfumed products: Try and avoid any perfumed products that may contain synthetic ingredients. This includes any soaps, topical lotions, creams, and lubricants. Refrain from using a scented or flavored lubricant during intercourse.
- Balanced diet: Try and consume a combination of fresh produce that contains a variety of important nutrients such as Vitamin C, D, E, and K. Additionally, you may want to incorporate foods that are rich in Omega fat
Dietary Tips for Vaginal Health
Consume yogurt for good bacteria: Yogurt may help to regulate vaginal pH balance as it contains probiotic bacteria.
Eggs are a good source of Vitamin D: While egg yolks may be high in fat, they are also high in Vitamin D, a crucial nutrient for people suffering from vaginal health problems.
Broccoli is loaded with flavonoids: Not only is broccoli packed with flavonoids, which are considered to be an anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant, but it also contains a healthy dose of fiber.
Fish oils are good oils: Fish oils contain Omega-fatty acids which are important for regulating vaginal well-being and female lubrication. For a cheaper alternative, try and eat a can of tinned fish.
Citrus can help your vagina: Consuming a large quantity of citrus or Vitamin C can help prevent recurring vaginal infections or uncomfortable discharge.
Hydration: Importance of Drinking Water
Hydration is key, and according to the Mayo Clinic, women should consume at least 2.7 liters or 11.5 cups of fluids per day. Additionally, experts recommend that when a person is spending more time outdoors, either exercising or being active, drink plenty of water to help keep your body hydrated.
Additionally, you should consume water throughout the day when:
- With every meal or at least between meals.
- During exercise, including before and after exercise.
- When you’re outside and exposed to direct sunlight.
- On warmer days.
- When you’re thirsty, drink plenty of water.
What Causes Lack of Natural Lubrication?
Declining levels of estrogen and progesterone can lead to the thinning and drying of the vaginal wall, which may lead to decreased natural lubrication and can cause itching or irritation.
What Is the Best Natural Lubrication?
Some natural lubricants include coconut oil, olive oil, or yogurt. However, it’s strongly advised to consult with a doctor or medical professional before using a natural lubricant and to better understand the side effects of using any of these products.
There are plenty of supplements for vaginal dryness, however, it’s important to understand which supplements are best suited to your needs and what the possible side effects thereof may be.
More than this, it’s important to consult with your healthcare provider or a medical professional before taking any supplements. Additionally, if you’re already on prescribed medication or using hormone replacement therapy (HRT) consider talking to your healthcare provider, as the combination of these might render both ineffective.
Make the best choice based on your needs, and remember that vaginal dryness can be a natural occurrence that many women may encounter in their life. Try and follow a cleaning and healthcare routine that will improve your vaginal health, and leave you with a happy vagina.