HEALTH

How to Treat Vaginal Atrophy? Explore 8 Easy Tips!

Are you experiencing discomfort in your intimate area, especially after menopause? Do you frequently feel burned and dry during or after the intercourse? It could be that your vagina is dry. After menopause, the decline in oestrogen hormones not only alters your physical health but also affects your vaginal health. Your vaginal tissues shrink and become dry, causing discomfort and sexual hesitation.

While there are medical treatments available, you might be looking for the answer to “how to treat vaginal atrophy naturally?” It’s a valid concern. When atrophy is not that severe, exploring the options offered by Mother Nature is a wise choice before considering medical treatment.

In this blog, you will explore what causes vaginal atrophy and 8 easy tips to combat this condition at home. These tips will help you feel more comfortable and connected with your body.

Vaginal Atrophy

Vaginal atrophy, as stated by the National Library of Medicine, comes under the genitourinary category, meaning it is one of the symptoms of menopause. The oestrogen hormone maintains the blood flow to vaginal tissues, keeping them hydrated, thick and elastic. It also lets the surface moisturise.

When there is less oestrogen after menopause or any other health condition, it affects the genital health, causing shrinkage of tissue in the vagina and diminished secretions. The reduced moisture and dryness of the tissue lead to discomfort, particularly during sexual activity. This is a prevalent issue that women encounter at various stages of their lives. But do not worry; there are things to help you manage this situation.

Causes of Vaginal Atrophy

According to the NHS, the causes of vaginal atrophy are as follows:

  • Menopause
  • Breastfeeding
  • Use of birth control or antidepressants
  • Use of anti-oestrogen medications (for treatment of endometriosis in uterine cancer) Surgical removal of the ovaries or uterus
  • Cancer treatment (chemotherapy or radiotherapy)

How to Treat Vaginal Atrophy? 8 Easy Tips for You!

Do you know 40–50% of women experience signs of vaginal atrophy in their postmenopausal years? Approximately 70% of women do not discuss these symptoms with their health care provider. It is important to learn about these changes in your body for prompt management and better health outcomes.

Whether you are avoiding medications or seeking to get better results with your ongoing treatments, these straightforward tips will help you on your journey to better vaginal health.

Tip # 01: Maintain a Good Water Intake

Drinking plenty of water is critical for overall health, including vaginal tissue. Make sure that you maintain an optimal water intake. It will not only help your tissue hydration levels but also reduce other symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats. You can also incorporate it into your menopause diet to lose weight. Aim for at least 8 glasses of water per day. You may also add water-rich fruits and veggies to your daily routine, like cucumber, watermelon, iceberg, zucchini, etc.

Tips # 02: Apply Natural Oils—The Natural Moisturisers

The first and foremost sign of vaginal atrophy is the dryness that you feel, especially during intercourse. To combat this dryness and other signs of atrophy, you can incorporate the application of natural oils into your daily self-care routine. They are free from chemicals like scents or parabens, making them preferable for vaginal health. Here are some natural oils that you can use:

  • Coconut oil
  • Jojoba oil
  • Aloe Vera gel
  • CBD oil

You can apply them directly to the vaginal area, and they are known for their moisturising properties.

Tip #03: Eat Healthy—Probiotics and Prebiotics for the Win

Eating a healthy diet and choosing foods that are beneficial for your gut and vaginal health can make a difference. Avoid eating processed and high-sugar foods. Always opt for healthy fats and foods that are rich in water content, like cucumbers and watermelons. Drink cranberry juice; it helps stay away from UTIs and ultimately helps with vaginal atrophy. When an atrophied vagina becomes swollen as a result of an infection, it is known as atrophic vaginitis. Research indicates that at least 30% to 50% of women experience bacterial infections at some point, which can lead to abnormal discharge and discomfort. Probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria, and prebiotics, which feed these positive bacteria, can help maintain and restore the natural balance of your vaginal microbiome.

Here are the foods that fall into these categories:

  • Probiotics: Yoghurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi.
  • Prebiotics: Foods high in fibre, such as bananas, onions, garlic, and whole grains.

Tip # 04: Consider Herbal Remedies

Certain herbs are known for their hormone-balancing effects and may help alleviate symptoms of vaginal atrophy.

  • Black cohosh: It is reported that black cohosh treats menopausal symptoms and to help balance oestrogen levels.
  • Red Clover: Because of its high phytoestrogen content, red clover may help alleviate dryness and other symptoms.
  • Dong Quai: Dong quai is the root of the Angelica sinesis plant. It is the most commonly used Chinese herbal medicine for treating issues related to the female reproductive system.

Before taking any herbal supplements, it’s important to consult with a healthcare provider to ensure they are safe and appropriate for you.

Tip # 05: Use Water-based Vaginal Moisturisers

Atrophy means that the cell’s size shrinks or may degenerate. This shrinking occurs when water and cellular nutrients fade away. If the atrophy isn’t severe, you can use water-based vaginal moisturisers to keep your vaginal tissues hydrated. Topical moisturisers are the first-line treatment for vaginal dryness. They do have a long-lasting effect, and you may use them 2-3 days a week for better results.

Tip #06: Prefer Lubricants—Enhance the Intimate Experience

If you feel like you are not getting wet like you used to during intimacy, do not worry. It’s a sign of vaginal atrophy, and using water-based lubricant during intercourse may help your intimate experience. Though lubricants provide timely relief from vaginal dryness, typically during intercourse, they may help you treat vaginal dryness by hydrating the tissues down there.

Tip # 07: Foreplay More—Communicate with Your Partner

Intimacy and communication with your partner play a significant role in managing vaginal atrophy. Increased arousal can enhance natural lubrication, making sex more comfortable and enjoyable. Talk to your partner about your needs and discomforts. Understanding and patience from both sides can make intimacy more enjoyable. Don’t be shy about discussing your condition and what helps you feel more at ease.

Tip # 08: Choose Unscented Intimate-Care Products

Using unscented products for your intimate area can prevent irritation and maintain the natural pH balance. Fragrances and chemicals in scented products can cause dryness and discomfort. Opt for unscented soaps, pads, and toilet paper to minimise the risk of irritation.

Final Word!

Facing vaginal atrophy, especially after menopause, means dealing with dryness and discomfort caused by lower oestrogen levels. While there are medical options, many prefer trying natural solutions first. Drinking enough water and using natural oils like coconut and aloe vera can help moisturise the intimate area. Eating foods with probiotics and prebiotics, like yoghourt and bananas, supports a healthy vagina. Some people find relief with herbal remedies like dong quai, known for helping female reproductive health in Chinese medicine. Unscented intimate care products should be avoided as they may cause irritation due to chemical substances resent in them. By trying these natural methods, you can take control of your vaginal health and feel more comfortable and intimate.

FAQs

  1. What does vaginal atrophy feels like?

Vaginal atrophy is defines as thinning of vaginal tissue and mucosa. You may feel dryness, itching or burning sensations during intercourse.

  1. What causes vaginal atrophy?

Vaginal atrophy may occurs due to menopause, breastfeeding, birth control pills, antidepressants, and as a result of cancer treatment (chemotherapy).

  1. Can I reverse vaginal atrophy?

Vaginal atrophy cannot be reversed properly, but you can add natural remedies to your ongoing treatment for better results. Eat healthy, drink more water, use unscented products, vaginal moisturisers and lubricants to keep your vagina moist and healthy.

  1. What are the symptoms of vaginal atrophy?
  2. Dry vagina
  3. Pain and burning during intercourse
  4. Itching
  5. Discomfort down there

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