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Vaginal dryness and other related vaginal problems are common symptoms of aging that affect approximately 40 percent of all menopausal women, according to the Mayo Clinic website 1. Certain home remedies can offer relief from vaginal symptoms, such as itching, dryness, pain, bleeding and burning 1. Although home remedies may not cure the cause of vaginal dryness, they do provide some relief, especially for woman who choose not to use hormone replacement therapy 1.
Herbal Wild Yam
Herbal extract of wild yam may show promise for the treatment of vaginal dryness and other menopausal symptoms, based on a report from the Med Line Plus website 13. Although no comprehensive scientific research has been completed on wild yam, herbalists and naturopathic doctors have recommended it for hundreds of years for a variety of menstrual and vaginal symptoms. Wild yam is used in commercially prepared creams and many women claim it works to reduce dryness. Wild yam products containing the synthetic chemical medroxyprogesterone acetate, or MPA should be avoided. A natural health care practitioner should be consulted for guidance pertaining to dosage.
An age-old remedy for relieving vaginal symptoms of menopause is homeopathic Sepia, according to Dr. Margaret Tyler in her book, "Homeopathic Drug Pictures." Although there is not a great deal of scientific research on the effects of Sepia for vaginal dryness, there is anecdotal evidence in homeopathic literature, and many women believe it is helpful for vaginal symptoms of menopause 12. The remedy relieves symptoms of vaginal dryness, burning, itching and feelings as though the uterus will fall out 1. It also helps when there are symptoms of irritability, sadness, hot flushes and a loss of sexual desire caused by menopause. Sepia is available at health food stores that sell homeopathic remedies and through online homeopathic pharmacies. Seek the advice of a health care practitioner familiar with homeopathy before taking this remedy.
The University of Maryland Medical Center discusses the effectiveness of phytoestrogens for treating vaginal dryness and other symptoms of menopause 1. Phytoestrogens are compounds found in certain foods that mimic the effects of estrogen. They are also known as plant estrogens. The two main sources for natural phytoestrogens are flaxseeds and soy. Consuming flaxseed and flaxseed oil and foods made from soy, such as:
- soy milk
- other soy products
- provides relief menopausal vaginal symptoms for some woman
Cosmetic Grade Oils
Cosmetic grade oils such as almond, coconut or olive oils act as lubricants and are helpful in reducing vaginal dryness, according to the Health Guidance website 1. These oils can be applied locally and are safe for sensitive vaginal skin, rejuvenating irritated, dry tissues. They are available from pharmacies and high-quality health food stores.