Almost 50 percent of all menopausal women suffer vaginal dryness. The numbers are nearly the same among their peri-menopausal counterparts. While these two groups make up the bulk of those plagued with vaginal dryness, it can happen to a woman of any age. It is one of the major causes of sexual dysfunction in females because the loss of vaginal lubrication makes sexual intercourse very painful. Vaginal dryness can, however, be treated.
Making Lifestyle Changes
Drink plenty of water. The vagina is, after all, part of the human body and it requires moisture to function properly. Therefore, dehydration can exacerbate the problem. Avoid anything that naturally dehydrates such as alcohol, antihistamines and caffeine.
Eat a healthy diet rich in products that mimic estrogen like apples, alfalfa, celery, cherries, flax seed, potatoes, rice, soybeans, tofu, wheat, whole grains and yams.
Take the right vitamins like Vitamin A, beta carotene, B, E, omega-3 and zinc. They all give the body nutrients it needs to lubricate all of its joints, strengthen muscles and keep tendons flexible.
Avoid medications that dry up the body’s mucous membranes, which include those of the vagina. Allergy and cold medications are the worst but certain antidepressants are bad as well. Birth control pills can also cause this problem in some women.
Exercise regularly. A healthier body always functions better. Include stress reducing programs like Pilate's or yoga. Calming body, mind and soul can work wonders for physical well-being.
Stop smoking, if you do. It eliminates estrogen from the body.
Avoid feminine products that could irritate the vagina, causing lubrication loss. These include, but are not necessarily limited to, bath products like body washes, gels, or salts; and douches, especially those containing vinegar or yogurt and harsh bath soaps.
Soothing Vaginal Dryness
Eliminate possible allergies. This may take the help of your physician and a few tests to pinpoint the exact problem. Many women find they are allergic to things like fragrances and dyes in their feminine products, fabric softeners, laundry soaps or toilet paper.
Try herbs or dietary supplements like belladonna, black cohosh, bryonia, dong quai, ginseng, lycopodium, macafem and motherwort that may help to reduce menopausal symptoms.
Use approved vaginal lubricants when intercourse is otherwise too painful. Instead of giving up on an important aspect of love, solve the underlying issue instead.
Moisturize the vagina along with the rest of your skin. As women age, they lose moisture all over the body. The vaginal area is no different. There are perfectly safe vaginal moisturizers that can be purchased over the counter. Check with your doctor to determine which one might be best for your situation.
Allow plenty of foreplay prior to intercourse. This will give the body time to respond to sexual arousal and send the proper messages to make vaginal fluid.
Participate in intercourse regularly. Studies indicate that refraining from sex actually makes the problem worse.