Come closer and lean in! I’m about to deep dive into this taboo subject.
So glad you could make it for this sometimes-awkward conversation. I’m here to chat openly about a subject that barely gets whispered about when girlfriends get together, but all too often women end up suffering in silence.
The topic today is Vaginal Dryness!
There, I said it out loud … now, let’s dive in. Let’s really get this subject out into the open and explore ways to help alleviate the silent suffering.
Vaginal Dryness can be a problem at any time in our lives, but it usually affects peri-menopausal, menopausal and post menopausal women. What age do these stages happen? Well, that is different for every single person, but the result is often the same.
It’s no secret that as a woman’s body transitions and her estrogen levels drop, her body undergoes changes. Among these changes is the vaginal tissues become thinner and less elastic, decreased vaginal blood flow, which leads to vaginal dryness and painful sex, burning, and even tearing of the skin around the vagina and labia. Ouch!
Another aspect of this problem is the psychological effects. Many women feel shame around not enjoying sex anymore, not being able to be spontaneous, and a feeling of loss. Many of the women I’ve spoken to have suggested they feel “like less of a woman”. Crazy right??
What’s even worse is
that for many women this is considered normal.
This may be a common problem (1 out of every 3 women), but in no way does it have to be normal.
Now some good news! There are many ways to get relief and the sooner you implement them, the less likely that full atrophy will follow.
Remember, women spend a third of their lives in a post menopausal state and they need to make sure that they maintain the quality of life that they had before the menopause. Vaginal dryness does not need to be treated as an inevitable part of growing older – something can be done about it.
A good natural lubricant and moisturizer can change your life … REALLY!
By keeping the vaginal area moisturized and supple you will experience immediate relief. Used two or three times per day, you will experience a reduction, if not an end to the pain and discomfort. There are many lubricants on the market today, but personally I prefer a natural solution with botanicals and herbal infusions. Sage and Sweetgrass BALANCE personal moisturizer was developed for this very problem and has helped many women find relief from the pain and discomfort of vaginal dryness. Between you and me … I’m one of those women!
Vitamins to increase female lubrication
Vitamin A – This vitamin is important in the development of mucous membranes, which include the lining of the vagina. “It is helpful in terms of moisture and collagen production,” say Anita Sadaty, MD, attending physician in obstetrics and gynecology at Northwell Health System in New York. Vitamin A can be taken orally, she says, but should not be taken in excess.
Vitamin B: Vaginal secretions can be altered by both hormonal and dietary factors. Proper immune function is important when it comes to vaginal health, and vitamin B complex – a supplement that includes all eight types of vitamin B – boosts immune function
Beta-carotene: Beta-carotene is a provitamin, meaning your body uses it to make another vitamin, in this case, vitamin A. As stated above, vitamin A helps fend off vaginal dryness.
Beta-carotene is found in foods including
dark-green leafy vegetables
sweet potatoes & broccoli
cantaloupe, and winter squash
Though it is not toxic in high doses, too much can cause the skin to take on a yellow-orange hue.
Omega 3 fatty acids "In general, essential fatty acids will help improve the architecture of the vaginal mucosa," Sadaty says. A 2012 study found omega-3 to significantly reduce vaginal dryness for six months among postmenopausal breast cancer survivors with vaginal atrophy (atrophic vaginitis), which is a thinning, drying, and inflammation of the vaginal walls.
Vitamin E This is another vitamin that can help promote vaginal lubrication. A small 2016 study of 52 postmenopausal women showed vitamin E vaginal suppositories helped the majority of subjects with symptoms of vaginal atrophy, including dryness. Vitamin E can also be ingested from various foods, including
fruits and vegetables.
"Foods like pumpkin and sunflower seeds are all good for dryness," Sadaty says. When sourced naturally through food, vitamin E carries no risk. Be careful in taking no more than the recommended dosage when orally supplementing with Vitamin E.
One of the most important factors in balancing your hormones is a low level of stress. Research is still limited, but stress, anxiety and depression are thought to make vaginal dryness worse. A balanced diet full of whole foods including vegetables, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats can reduce dryness.
Yoga, aromatherapy, or another stress relieving practice can be extremely beneficial. Get outside, go for a walk, get enough sleep and breathe. Also, don’t forget to hydrate!
These cone-shaped devices are easy to find online. There are also types you can wear while sitting or standing, so explore which option is best for you. These “exercises” help keep the vaginal tissues stretched and supple. Most kits come with different sizes so you can progress through different sizes. A couple of minutes of insertion a few times a week should keep things stretched.
Wellness Support Team
Your Naturopath, Lifestyle and Nutrition Coach, Pelvic Floor Specialist and Doctor are invaluable to your overall health and your vaginal health. Find the practitioner that resonates best with you.
I won’t go into my personal story of premature menopause here, but if you have any questions or would like to know more about my personal journey, please feel free to reach out via email and we can arrange a good time to chat. I’m happy to talk about what worked for me and what didn’t.
Wishing you all a vibrant and healthy life – xox Kelly
This is what Marie Tower RHN has to say about Sage & Sweetgrass BALANCE perineum & personal moisturizer.
“So many Women have sat in front of me over the years, embarrassed to tell me that they were struggling with vaginal dryness. I want more Women to know that there are options to help with this. You don't have to struggle any more! Many foods, supplements, and lifestyle adjustments are extremely effective. This includes 'Balance' from Sage & Sweetgrass. I've recommended it to many clients who tell me it has helped them feel so much more comfortable. “
Marie has a Nutrition & Lifestyle Consulting business, and she is my go-to for all my menopause challenges and symptoms. She is a lifesaver truly! I’ve sent many clients to her and they all rave. Here are her details in case you need some actionable support.