A practical guide for nutritional and traditional health care.
Vaginal Dryness And Irritation
Declining levels of estrogen in women are often responsible for certain changes in their vagina. The hormone estrogen helps to sustain secretion of mucus in the vagina as well as maintains the walls of the vagina to remain thick and damp. However, absence or deficiency of estrogen may make the vaginal walls slim and arid having a propensity to rupture and bleed, especially when there is friction owing to sexual intercourse. In addition, estrogen also facilitates in maintaining the presence of Doderlein's bacilli, a common flora found in the vagina and has an impact on the pH of the secretions from the vagina, that puts off infections. Declining levels of estrogen results in a compromise with these natural defenses of the body and are likely to make women more susceptible to vaginal infections (vaginitis).
However, there are several measures that you may undertake to sustain the natural defenses of the vagina as well as sustain its natural moistness. First and foremost, you ought to keep away from washing the vaginal area with soap and ensure that you do not use any artificially prepared bath formulations or detergents, vaginal deodorants or any other cosmetic products. In addition, ensure that you wash your underwear with genuine soap, for instance soaps based on olive oil or castile soaps, and keep away from biological powders and detergents. You may also try and add some cider vinegar to your bath, as doing so would assist in sustaining the natural pH of the vagina. Remember, if you add sea salt to your bath water, it will help you to fight infections, especially vaginal infections.
In addition, it is advisable that you engage in sexual activities on a regular basis, as it will help you to maintain the elasticity of the vagina and also sustain a healthy blood circulation to this part of the body. When the walls of the vagina become arid, they also have a propensity to become slender and to atrophy (degeneration of an organ owing to nerve damage or deficient nutrition). Such women would experience more discomfort during sexual intercourse and they desire for sexual activity will diminish. Then again, lesser sexual activity will only result in the vaginal area to become more arid and constricted.
Supplements and herbs
Natural as well as complete treatments have also proved to be very helpful in decreasing vaginal dryness and irritation. Using herbs and supplements may help you to restore the lubrication of the vagina and get rid of the itching in the vaginal area. For instance, herbs like dong quai, a familiar Chinese herb, assist in maintaining the balance of female hormones as well as encourage hormonal health throughout the menopausal as well as perimenopause phases. Additional herbs like wild yam, black cohosh as well as isoflavones may prove to be helpful in providing relief from vaginal dryness in a number of women.
Using vitamin E oil on a regular basis would facilitate in lubricating the vagina, heal the soreness and ruptures, while maintaining the suppleness of the tissues. The best way of using vitamin E oil is to open a capsule of vitamin E and massage the oil enclosed by it into the inner walls of the vagina using your fingers. In addition calendula oil or cream has also been found to be effective in healing the damaged walls of the vagina. Another herbal preparation that is excellent for healing as well as alleviating vaginal irritation and soreness is comfrey ointment. Comfrey ointment also helps to restore the dampness of the vagina.
In addition, taking herbs that help to balance the hormone levels on a regular basis also helps to sustain the estrogen levels and prevent vaginal changes. Use combinations of any of the following:
At the same time, vitamins B, C and E, in addition to evening primrose oil may be taken in the form of supplements. Fish oil is also vital for curing vaginal dryness. Also take plenty of essential fatty acids (EFA), which include omega-3 (flaxseed & fish oils), omega-6 (borage oil and evening primrose oil) and omega-9 (olive oil).
Taking these substances is essential for the well-being of the vagina and they also facilitate the body in producing hormones. Fish like fresh salmon are known to be the most excellent source of such fatty acids. In case you are unable to consume plenty of fish to obtain an excellent supply of these essential fatty acids, you may take a good supplement along with an amalgamation of all the fatty acids mentioned here.
Extracts from the herb wild yam have also shown potential for treating vaginal dryness as well as other symptoms related to menopause. While scientists are yet to complete any comprehensive study on wild yam yet, naturopathic physicians as well as herbalists have advocated the use of wild yam extracts for several hundred years to cure an assortment of menstrual as well as vaginal symptoms. In fact, many commercially prepared creams enclose wild yam as an important ingredient and many women using these creams have asserted that they help to diminish vaginal dryness. Prior to using wild yam extracts, it is important that you consult a natural medicine practitioner for help regarding the dosage of this herbal preparation.
Last, but not the least important, women enduring vaginal dryness and itching should always keep away from using harsh or caustic soaps as well as scouring their vulva scrupulously. Instead, it is advisable that you use mild baby soap and wash the area liberally. Alternately, you may rinse the vagina using a soft cloth and water.
Aromatherapy is an excellent home remedy for vaginal dryness. You may use essential oils along with massage oils to obtain optimum results from aromatherapy. Especially, rose oil is helpful in providing respite and augmenting indulgence in the vaginal area. In addition, you may also use lavender, jasmine, clary sage and geranium for alleviating vaginal dryness.
Using certain homeopathic medications is also helpful in curing the problem of vaginal dryness and irritation. In effect, homeopathic remedies set off a reaction from the individual to a spur or an aggravation, resulting in a reaction which enables the body to cure itself. For instance, the homeopathic remedy Cimicifuga is useful in providing relief from vaginal dryness, irritation, itching, mood swings, hot flushes as well as headaches related to menopause.
While not much scientific research has been done with Cimicifuga, there is circumstantial proof that this homeopathic medication is effective in treating vaginal irritation as well as other symptoms of menopause. However, it is important to consult a healthcare professional familiar with homeopathy prior to using this medication. You may buy Cimicifuga from any health food store.
The homeopathic remedy Sepia is one of the venerable and very old medications that are effective in treating as well as easing the vaginal symptoms of menopause. This homeopathic medicine helps to alleviate the symptoms of vaginal dryness, burning sensation in the vagina, itching and also a feeling as if the uterus will fall over. This medication is also beneficial when women endure symptoms like depression, tetchiness, hot flushes and absence of libido owing to menopause. Prior to taking Sepia, it is important that you consult an experienced healthcare professional who is familiar with homeopathy.
Additional things you may do
In addition to using conventional medications, herbs and supplements, aromatherapy as well as homeopathic remedies, there are several other things that you may do to alleviate vaginal dryness and irritation along with the menopausal symptoms. For instance, if you use fragrance-free personal products like ordinary talc, soaps for sensitive skin, cornstarch and odourless sanitary napkins, it might help to provide some women relief from vaginal itching as well as a burning sensation in the vagina and the adjoining area. Remember, using scented soaps and fragrant products may prove to be extremely harsh for the susceptible vaginal tissues and result in prickly irritation.
Even the lubrication of the vagina can be restored using a number of natural methods. In fact, if you include specific foods in you daily diet, it will help to regain the lubrication of the vagina. For instance, all foods enclosing soy contain elevated levels of soy isoflavones which are able to mimic the naturally occurring estrogen to some extent. While the appropriate amount of soy products women need to take to restore the lubrication of their vagina is yet to be ascertained, it has been established that including soy-based foods, such as soy milk, edamame and tofu may facilitate in easing the vaginal dryness and itching.
It may be mentioned that vaginal dryness may also be caused by intense emotional stress. Incessant stress has the aptitude to diminish the levels of the hormone androgen, which, in turn, may result in dearth of sufficient lubrication of the vagina. Therefore, it is advisable that women suffering from this problem should take out some time for them, adjust their to-do list to lower stress as well as concentrate on the requirements of their body. All these will contribute to lowering chronic stress as well as help to maintain the balance of the levels of hormones.
Women enduring daily vaginal dryness may find sexual intercourse distressing and even painful. However, a number of products are available in the market which can solve this problem and facilitate in making sexual intercourse all the more enjoyable. For instance, lubricants, such as K-Y or Astroglide, make the vagina slippery and the condition remains for many hours. These lubricants need to be applied to the inner side of the vaginal opening.
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