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Symptoms — vaginal dryness



Symptoms — vaginal dryness
Nearly half of all women between the ages of 40 and 59 suffer from vaginal dryness at some point. For perimenopausal and menopausal women, particularly women weaning off HRT, vaginal dryness is often acute, and ranks as one of the top ten problems afflicting menopausal women.
High levels of stress are often correlated with vaginal dryness, and it is common among postpartum women. Even women on HRT continue to experience bothersome symptoms of vaginal dryness and irritation. Following menopause these symptoms can become increasingly problematic.

Vaginal dryness often explains female sexual dysfunction because a lack of vaginal lubrication can make intercourse painful. Women who suffer from vaginal dryness often dread intercourse and avoid sex as a result. It is no wonder many women suffering vaginal dryness experience a drop-off in libido.

Although vaginal dryness during perimenopause and menopause is extremely common, it is not inevitable. When hormonal imbalance is the cause of vaginal dryness, there are simple steps you can take to improve your natural vaginal lubrication. We’ll take a look at these steps below, but first let’s address the root causes of vaginal dryness.

What causes vaginal dryness?

Declining estrogen levels: The most common cause of vaginal dryness is declining estrogen production, which leads to thinning and drying of the vaginal wall. Other factors include reduced muscle tone and the longer time needed for sexual arousal that is so common in perimenopause.
Underlying medical conditions: While declining estrogen is the common cause of vaginal dryness, it is essential to check for any underlying medical conditions. It can be a side effect of medical conditions such as Sjögren’s disease. You should definitely seek medical advice if your symptoms are severe and prolonged, or if they are unresponsive to simple efforts to alleviate them.
Emotional issues: Likewise, if you are depressed or under tremendous stress, you’ll benefit from counseling. Dryness and lack of arousal can also be a signal of unresolved problems in a relationship. None of our recommendations can substitute for better communication with your partner, but you may want to consider each one of the following steps and how it could relate back to underlying causes.
Relieving vaginal dryness

We list a number of safe and effective natural remedies for vaginal dryness here, but most of them require a few weeks to work, so remember to be patient when adopting these methods. The results are well worth the wait!

Number one — boost your water intake. Your first step should be to check your hydration. We should all consume at least ten 8-oz glasses of water a day. This simple step can be surprisingly helpful.
Check the chemicals in your environment. Review the list of ingredients in your personal, bathing, and laundry products. Many perfumes and other chemicals commonly found in these products are irritants to the delicate mucosal tissues that line the vagina.
Follow a hormone-balancing diet. Give your body the support it needs to make and balance your hormones, starting with your nutrition. The low-fat, high-carb diet many women follow literally starves your body of the nutrients it needs to make sex hormones. The estrogen needed for vaginal lubrication is made from cholesterol, for example — something women on low-fat diets are severely lacking. You might also think about adding soy and flax seed, which are good sources of phytoestrogens.
Fill in the gaps with a medical–grade multivitamin/mineral supplement. All of us need top-quality nutritional supplements to support our diet, no matter how well we eat, and this simple step can ensure that you cover the missing gaps.
Try a personal lubricant. Some women achieve immediate relief from vaginal dryness and irritation simply by using a personal lubricant. You may want to give one a try while you wait for improved hydration, nutrition and endocrine support to naturally restore your own vaginal moisture. Vaginal lubricant products are now available in a wide range of formulations safe for use in this sensitive area of the body. In the Personal Program we use a vitamin E vaginal suppository that works extremely well.
Phytotherapy is highly recommended for vaginal dryness. Our Herbal Equilibrium has been formulated to address the ten most common symptoms of hormonal imbalance. The isoflavone complex in this supplement have been shown to assist vaginal health at the cellular level. Finally, you can also ask your healthcare practitioner about locally–released bioidentical ERT (estrogen replacement therapy) in the form of an estriol vaginal cream or the Estring, or bioidentical progesterone creams.
(For more in-depth information on vaginal dryness, read our full-length articles.)

We’ve been very successful in our Personal Program in helping relieve the underlying causes of vaginal dryness.