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Uncomfortable vaginal dryness occurs for many reasons: illness, the effects of certain medications, the aftereffects of chemotherapy and the hormonal changes caused by menopause. Identifying the cause will help you figure out the best way to treat the issue. Creams and lubricants can help, and so can making small changes to your diet.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
No food alone will solve the issue of vaginal dryness, but a healthy diet and attention to hydration can go a long way toward encouraging effective functioning.
Causes of Vaginal Dryness
A lack of natural lubrication inside your vagina can have many causes, though the basic element they all have in common is a lack of estrogen, according to the University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center 1. The most common culprits are menopause and chemotherapy. During menopause these hormonal changes
If, regardless of your level of arousal, you do experience dryness, you may be helped by the use of lubricants and by adding foods for natural lubrication to your daily meal plan. Chemotherapy, like surgery, has an almost immediate effect and can be harder to deal with. In that case, while you can certainly try dietary changes, it's also a wise idea to consult your health care professional or cancer-support specialist.
Read More: Natural Ways to Diminish Vaginal Dryness
- A lack of natural lubrication inside your vagina can have many causes, though the basic element they all have in common is a lack of estrogen, according to the University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Foods for Vaginal Health
Vitamin E for Vaginal Dryness
The first types of food to try, according to MedlinePlus, are those that contain phytoestrogens. These include plant compounds called isoflavones that mimic estrogen. They're most often found in soy products such as edamame, soy milk and tofu, as well as in flaxseed.
You've probably heard the notion that drinking cranberry juice for vaginal health is a good idea, and there may be some truth to that. Cranberry juice is acidic and loaded with vitamin C, which helps your body fight urinary tract and vaginal infections.
Sweet potatoes and avocados contain vitamin A, and so does kale, which supports strong vaginal walls. Avocados and flaxseeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which keep skin supple. They also fight the free radicals that contribute to your risk of heart attack, stroke and some types of cancer. Edamame and other soy products mimic your natural estrogen, so they're a good source of support for a healthy vagina.
- The first types of food to try, according to MedlinePlus, are those that contain phytoestrogens.
- Edamame and other soy products mimic your natural estrogen, so They're a good source of support for a healthy vagina.
Tips and Warnings
Along with eating foods that help support the glowing health of your vagina, you should also stay well-hydrated, say the sexperts at Hello Beautiful 3. In the same way that drinking water wets your whistle and quenches thirst, it also helps keep your vagina from feeling dry. Add a little lemon juice for a boost of vitamin C and for the antioxidants that support your overall health and keep your pH in balance.
If you're otherwise healthy with no apparent cause for vaginal dryness during sex, you may be simply insufficiently aroused for intercourse. Slow down, take your time, learn what revs your engine, communicate it clearly to your partner and don't attempt penetration until your body's natural lubrication kicks in.
While it may seem reasonable to conclude that any food helpful to vaginal health when consumed would offer even more help when applied directly (like yogurt, for example), this is not the case — and not a good idea. The pH balance in your vagina is delicate, and douching with fruit juice or inserting anything as reactive as a food item can throw it completely out of whack, causing irritation.
Read More: How to Improve Vaginal Dryness
- Along with eating foods that help support the glowing health of your vagina, you should also stay well-hydrated, say the sexperts at Hello Beautiful.
- The pH balance in your vagina is delicate, and douching with fruit juice or inserting anything as reactive as a food item can throw it completely out of whack, causing irritation.
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- Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center: Vaginal Dryness
- Medline Plus: Vaginal Dryness Alternative Treatments
- Hello Beautiful: Inside Out: The 15 Best Foods to Feed Your Vagina
- U.S. Pharmacist. Vaginal dryness. Updated September 19, 2005.
- MedlinePlus. Vaginal dryness alternative treatments. Updated January 6, 2020.
- Manonai J, Chittacharoen A, Theppisai U, Theppisai H. Effect of Pueraria mirifica on vaginal health. Menopause. 2007;14(5):919–924. doi:10.1097/gme.0b013e3180399486
- British Menopause Society. Vaginal dryness. Updated August 2017.
- Reed SD, Newton KM, LaCroix AZ, Grothaus LC, Grieco VS, Ehrlich K. "Vaginal endometrial, and reproductive hormone findings: randomized, placebo-controlled trial of black cohosh, multibotanical herbs, and dietary soy for vasomotor symptoms: the Herbal Alternatives for Menopause (HALT) Study." Menopause. 2008 15(1):51-8.
Emmy-award nominated screenwriter Brynne Chandler is a single mother of three who divides her time between professional research and varied cooking, fitness and home & gardening enterprises. A running enthusiast who regularly participates in San Francisco's Bay to Breakers run, Chandler works as an independent caterer, preparing healthy, nutritious meals for Phoenix area residents.