Vaginal Dryness / Atrophic Vaginitis
The vaginal walls are normally kept thick and moist by the effect of the hormone estrogen. Approaching, during and following menopause, estrogen levels fall and subsequently, there is much less mucus secreted in the vagina and the vaginal walls become thinner, dryer and far less elastic. In addition, the walls become smoother and lighter pink in colour, and the vagina may gradually shorten and shrink. These changes are termed atrophic vaginitis. Symptoms of burning, itching and painful intercourse may occur and the vagina may become more prone to infections with candida and non-specific bacteria. However, there is no need to despair, as there are many effective remedies available.
Treatment and general recommendations
For a temporary lubrication action you can use a natural lubricant or vitamin E cream, which also has a healing effect. These can be used before or during intercourse and are available at your pharmacy without a prescription. Regular sexual stimulation via intercourse with relaxing foreplay or masturbation helps to promote the release of secretions.
- Include often – foods containing natural plant estrogens like alfalfa, soy beans, soya sprouts, linseed meal (crushed seeds), pumpkin, parsley, corn, carrots, cabbage, green beans, peas, potato, red beans, split peas, chick peas, wheat, oats, rice, apple, sesame and sunflower seeds.
- Drink two liters of water and two to three glasses of raw vegetable juices daily.
Suggested juice recipes to assist are from “Raw Juices Can Save Your Life” book:
- 1 cup unsweetened soy milk (or if you prefer use A2 dairy, almond, coconut or rice milk)
- 1 banana or 1/2 cup berries of your choice
- 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
- 2 passionfruit (pulp)
- Place all ingredients into a blender and process until smooth. Add a few ice cubes while blending for a refreshing drink.
- Whey protein powder may be added if you want to make a meal replacement out of it.
Libido Enhancing Smoothie
- 5 oz (150 g) guava fruit (also known as Fejoa) or 5 oz (150 g) kiwi fruit, skin removed
- 2 passionfruit (pulp)
- 2 strawberries
- 1 raw egg (make sure it’s fresh)
- 1 cup coconut or A2 dairy milk
- Put all ingredients in blender and blend.
- This smoothie will enhance sensuality and improve circulation of blood to the pelvic areas.
Skin Healing Juice
- 1 carrot
- 1 red apple – skin on
- 1/4 beetroot and tops
- 2 sticks celery and tops
- 1/2 cucumber
- 2 spinach or dandelion leaves
- 1 grapefruit or orange (retain as much white pith as possible)
- Wash, trim and chop and process in juicer.
- Can dilute with water or cold lemon and honey tea.
Orthodox medical treatment
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT- see Menopause) is a very effective way of relieving vaginal dryness and atrophy. Hormonal creams and pessaries can be used alone or in addition to other forms of HRT. These rejuvinate, thicken and moisten the mucosal folds and lining of the vagina and vaginal lips, and improve blood flow to the clitoris. If you feel that your vagina has shrunk and is too small for the penis of your partner, this can be overcome by regularly massaging the inside and opening of the vaginal walls using an estrogen cream. Place some estrogen cream on your fingers and rub it into the vaginal walls and exert gentle pressure backwards at the opening of the vagina. This can be done gradually more and more each day and there is no need to stretch excessively and cause any discomfort. Ten minutes daily of this gentle massage and stretching is sufficient, and it is most comfortable to do it lying down. Estrogen creams and pessaries require a prescription. These are usually recommended to be used nightly for one to three weeks, and then once to twice weekly. In some women, the addition of testosterone to the vaginal estrogen cream can be much more effective in restoring the sexual response of the vagina, vaginal lips and clitoris. You can ask your doctor to write you a prescription for a vaginal cream containing both estrogen and testosterone as follows: The Cream = 40% oestrogen cream, 20% testosterone cream made from 3 ampoules of Primoteston Depot injections, 20% vaseline, 20% sorbolene and glycerine. You may massage your vagina, vulva and clitoris with this cream every night for 3 to 4 weeks, after which time you will only need to use the cream twice a week.
Recommended supplements for vaginal dryness
Take 2 capsules twice daily – to help stimulate circulation and blood flow, enhance libido and balance the hormones naturally.
The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.