Vaginal Atrophy! Natural & Safe Ways To Treat It

Vaginal Atrophy, or aging of the tissues that line the vagina is associated with menopause. When you reach middle age and menopause starts, the female hormones Estrogen and Progesterone start to dwindle, and since these hormones, particularly estrogen is responsible for lubrication and health of the vagina naturally,

The result is drying and thinning, and even inflammation of the vaginal muscles, leading to discomfort and greater vulnerability to vaginal infections. Now, when you suffer from atrophy of the vaginal tissues, you obviously need to do something to remedy it.

Photo Credit: Neil. Moralee via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Neil. Moralee via Compfight cc

And there is no two ways about it! Quite a few women find it embarrassing to talk about vaginal atrophy and the related discomforts. But if you have done any research, you will know that this in itself is a very dangerous condition to leave untended.

Naturally, you need to find ways to treat it and we have the remedies (the natural ones, at least) here for you:

Do’s and Don’ts for Vaginal Atrophy

Since the vaginal pH is very delicate at this time, and your vagina is also not as lubricated as it normally was since puberty, you need to take special care to prevent excess dryness and infections.

Here are some things that may help:

When washing yourself, go for gentle soaps free of perfumes. Perfumed soaps further disrupt the pH and dry out the areas even further because of the chemicals in them.

While you may like to swim, the regular contact with chlorinated water can also have the same effect. So regular swimming, especially in chlorinated pools, is best avoided.

Photo Credit: bookgrl via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: bookgrl via Compfight cc

Staying hydrated is another thing that can help. The moisture balance in your body is very fine – and if there is any water shortage in the body, this is reflected all over your body. So drink enough water (but don’t overdo it) to keep your whole body as well as your vagina hydrated.

Avoid douches. These can dry out vagina even before your menopause – so imagine how dangerous they are postmenopausal.

Certain medications like cold or allergy medications tend to block mucus secretion. While this is good for your cold or allergy, it is bad for vaginal atrophy.

It exacerbates the dryness and leaves you vulnerable to infections. So talk to your pharmacist for alternative medicines – ones that do not dry up the mucus membranes.

Besides these there are of course natural remedies you can try out.

Natural Remedies for Vaginal Atrophy

Some of these are topical remedies; others are supplements or ones that need to be ingested for the best results. We have listed them all together, but we have given you the details:

  • Black cohosh

    – this is a natural hormone balancing supplement. However, there are a number of contraindications, for instance with women who are pregnant or have ovarian, breast or uterine cancers. So speak to a doctor first before trying this.

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Photo Credit: BRFKlätterträdet via Compfight cc

Aloe Vera

Use this as a topical ointment. Take pure aloe gel and apply to the vagina. It decreases dryness and also relieves discomfort with its cooling and soothing effect.

Calendula

This is a moisturizer as it is, and when used for atrophy, it reduces vaginal dryness. In addition, it also works to reduce inflammation and prevents infection.

Herbal wild yam

Containing care products – Wild yam is commonly used in product formulated for vaginal and menstrual problems. And it can be supportive in treating vaginal atrophy as well. However, steer clear of products that contain MPA (medroxyprogesterone acetate) as this is harmful for you.

Sepia (homeopathic)

Great remedy for reducing the discomforts of vaginal infection, as well as for soothing inflammation and preventing infection of the vagina.

Plant estrogen containing foods

these are natural plant sources that contain high levels of plant estrogens or phytoestrogens. These act like estrogen in your body, thereby balancing out the hormone deficiency somewhat – without hormone replacement therapy.

The main sources to consider are soy products and flaxseeds.

Photo Credit: oHoTos via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: oHoTos via Compfight cc

Cosmetic grade pure oils

Pure oils advertised for cosmetic usage can also be used for moisturizing. The ones to consider are olive, coconut or almond oils. In addition, you can also consider sea-buckthorn oil.

Menopause supplements

That regulate hormone balance – there are quite a few of these available in the market and they can help immensely in regulating the hormone levels in your body. As for the good and reliable ones, check out this link

Now, these remedies can help to combat the vaginal drying that is a symptom of vaginal atrophy. But when the excessive drying leads to infection, what do you do?

What to do about Vaginal Infections

Vaginal infections can be really irritating, and as you know, very difficult to self diagnose. You may be able to tell you have an infection – but what is it?

For this, it is always advised that if you experience any change in vaginal discharge with or without vaginal discomfort, you need to see your doctor. However, for common infections, here are some things that may help:

Apple cider vinegar soak

A cup of this mixed  in the warm water in a bathtub now sit in this for 15 to 20 minutes.

Tea tree oil rinse

Mix in a few drop of the pure oil in water that is of blood heat use this to rinse your vagina.

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Photo Credit: jennifer worthen via Compfight cc

Yogurt

Take a fresh tampon and dip it in plain yogurt. Insert it and leave it in for a while. Also make sure you eat yogurt at least two times a week.

Garlic

Either take a clove of garlic and insert it into your vagina and leave it there, or you can increase the amount of garlic you consume. But the first does work better.

Margosa leaves

Make a paste with some leaves and a little bit of water. Apply this paste twice a day for best results.

Black walnut tincture

Once you have this, you can apply it in its concentrated form for best results.

Goldenseal tincture

Very effective remedy and should be applied like the black walnut tincture.

Before using natural supplements, we suggest that you do consult your doctor or naturopath for the appropriate doses.

Remember that quite a few of those can have unwanted effects if used in excess  and in case the natural remedies aren’t having any positive effects, then you should go see your doctor at the earliest.

The thing with vaginal infections is that usually they are very difficult to diagnose exactly and your doctor is the best person to help you with this.

Photo Credit: AceFrenzy via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: AceFrenzy via Compfight cc

The bottom line is that vaginal atrophy or resultant infection should not be allowed to go unchecked – as with menopause your vagina’s natural ability to fight infection has been greatly diminished.

So the time has come for you to take charge. So take care and stay healthy!