Vaginal Dryness: You Are Not Alone
According to a survey of over 800 women and reported in the August 2015 issue of the Journal of Women’s Health, vaginal dryness is one of the top two sexual health concerns of women over 60, and 50% of women of all ages deal with this issue. Despite these facts, it is a globally-shared belief that the topic of our reproductive and sexual health is not something that is discussed, even with other women. Not only is this isolating, it is harmful to women’s health.
At the top of the list of forbidden topics is vaginal dryness, probably because it is seen as a sign of sexual dysfunction and women fear that they will be blamed for their supposed inadequacy. But the truth is vaginal atrophy is just a part of life, and it can be remedied.
What Is Vaginal Dryness?
Quite simply, it is the inability of the mucous membranes of the vagina to adequately produce the lubrication necessary for safe pleasurable sex, or even just for everyday comfort. Unfortunately, since many women are too afraid to discuss it, they endure dry sex for the sake of their partner, and then deal with the resulting vaginal irritation.
What Are The Vaginal Dryness Symptoms?
The obvious sign is being unable to become naturally lubricated through arousal, resulting in discomfort during sex, but there are other symptoms that can aid a diagnosis, such as:
- Vaginal discomfort, burning, itching and irritation
- An urge to urinate more often
- A “shrinking” of the vagina
- A change in the surface of the vagina (becomes pale and thin)
- Frequent Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
What Are The Causes of Vaginal Dryness?
There are a number of possible external factors that affect your body’s ability to produce the necessary mucous. Some of these include taking antihistamines for allergies or medicines for a cold, taking certain antidepressants, taking certain medications for uterine fibroids and endometriosis, radiation and chemotherapy treatments for cancer, smoking and incorrect tampon use. The body can also fight itself because of anxiety, stress, and dehydration. Some women struggle with vaginal dryness after childbirth and while breastfeeding. Those who have had their ovaries removed often struggle with this condition, and those suffering from Sjögren’s Syndrome must also deal with vaginal dryness as a result. Environmental factors may be a factor including increased use of antibiotics in food production, plastics that leach estrogen-mimicking chemicals, and the consumption of estrogen-rich foods.
Of course, the main reason for vaginal dryness is a drop in estrogen level, most commonly as a result of menopause.
What Are The Hazards of Vaginal Dryness?
Sadly, too many people think “So what? I just won’t have sex or I’ll endure it while I do.” This is potentially dangerous thinking. Dry sex isn’t just uncomfortable, it can result in significant irritation of the vagina, which can then in turn lead to other diseases and infection.
As stated earlier, one of the symptoms of dryness is frequent UTIs. These can be extremely painful and lead to further, more serious conditions. Recurrent UTIs can result in: kidney infections, kidney disease, or permanent kidney damage; sepsis, a life-threatening complication due to infection; septicemia, a condition in which bacteria enters the bloodstream; and increased risk of premature delivery or having babies with low birth weight.
Other hazards are not so visible or treatable. The emotional side to not being able to spontaneously have sex with your loved one can be damaging for both partners. The woman may feel like she has let her partner down and that there is something very wrong with her, thus shattering her self-confidence and personal image, adding to the stress that is already present. The other partner may feel that they are doing something wrong or are not attractive enough to arouse their partner, once again resulting in diminished self-worth. The problem can then spiral downward to a point where the lovers do not have physical contact at all, thus denying their relationship one of the most fundamental and vital needs, that loving physical contact and release.
Is There A Cure For Vaginal Dryness?
A “cure” depends on the cause. If it is due to an external factor like antihistamines or smoking, then eliminating those from your daily life can perhaps make the problem reverse itself. When a mother is done breastfeeding her child, her estrogen levels may return to normal, thereby alleviating the problem, For those who suffer from this malady due to a permanent drop in estrogen level, there is not a cure. It will not go away, but it can be helped.
What Can Be Done for Vaginal Dryness?
There are a few things that a woman can do for herself to try to encourage more natural mucous production. Refraining from pubic hair removal is one approach. Mother Nature put pubic hair there for a reason. Pubic hair can help keep the skin moist and act as a natural buffer protecting against irritation and dryness.
Another approach is to modify your diet by eating estrogen-rich foods like flax & sesame seeds, soy products, strawberries, pistachios, dates, and garlic and wash them down with a nice glass of red wine.
Partners can also use lubricants to resolve the issue. There are many varieties available that can be purchased at a local pharmacy or department store or online.
A doctor may also suggest estrogen therapy. They may prescribe a patch, such as Estradiol; they may treat it topically with Estring, a ring that provides a steady stream of estrogen and is replaced every 3 months; with Vagifem, which is a tablet that is inserted directly into the vagina; or a topical estrogen cream. While this may help the problem, hormone replacement therapy comes hand-in-hand with a number of serious health side effects, including, but not limited to: uterine cancer, stroke, blood clots, heart attacks and breast cancer.
The best alternative is to try an all-natural approach to an all-natural problem. Just as Mother Nature designed us to be self-protective and aware, she also created foods to help with a myriad of issues, including vaginal dryness. The sea buckthorn berry is a miracle superfood that not only will increase mucus production in the vaginal area, but will help with moisture retention throughout your body, even resulting in skin that glows and shiny thicker hair.
An excellent source of sea buckthorn and its many health benefits are Femininity Pills, available through Restore Femininity. Not only will you see the restoration of a healthy sex life, your general quality of life will improve as your body absorbs the over 190 bioactive compounds in sea buckthorn berry. Femininity Pills are the natural way to a beautiful life.