First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes... vaginal dryness?!
No need to be shy: Yes, we’re talking about it openly! Many women are suffering from vaginal dryness, and it's usually linked to changing hormone levels. For some, it occurs on-and-off depending on the time of their menstrual cycle, for others it starts during pregnancy or after childbirth, and for many it’s related to menopause. But whatever the cause, vaginal dryness can cause discomfort, be physically painful, and can cause stress in a relationship.
Most people turn to vaginal lubricants to deal with vaginal dryness. However, not all lubricants are created equal, and many contain a range of unhealthy ingredients. There is also the fact that manufacturers (alarmingly) don’t have to declare all the ingredients in their product (more on that, below).
Why do ingredients matter so much? Anything that we're putting into our bodies or onto our skin should have be benefitting our health and not be harmful. This becomes especially important when we're talking about skin products, especially those used on thin skin like in the vagina. Since vaginal tissue is extremely sensitive and lacks the protective layers of regular skin, the tissue is more vulnerable to irritation, damage, and infiltration by chemicals. (source)
Parabens, including methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben
Parabens are used as preservatives, and can be absorbed into the body. They disrupt hormones and the endocrine system by mimicking estrogen, and have been linked to male reproductive problems and female cancers (source source).
This one is particularly frightening because companies don't even have to list what is in their fragrance concoctions as the recipe is considered a proprietary secret. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) Skin Deep Database, fragrance mixes have been associated with: allergies; respiratory distress; dermatitis; eye, skin, and lung irritants; and can have potential effects on the reproductive system.
This ingredient is generally considered safe, but it can cause skin dryness in some people, which would exacerbate the problem. In addition, it can contribute to yeast infections in women who are prone to them.
Don't worry: we wouldn't leave you high and dry! (pun intended). Here are some healthier, safer options that don't include the ingredients thought to be harmful to your health.
Yes, you read that right! Any organic, pure, coconut oil that is cold-pressed and unrefined is a great option for a personal lubricant. Coconut oil is antimicrobial, anti-fungal and antibacterial (great for people who are prone to yeast infections or jock itch); it's soothing; it's an antioxidant; it's less expensive than other lubricants; it's moisturizing; and it's slippery! What more could you want in a personal lubricant?
Suggested usage: Simply take a small amount (1/2 to 1 tsp.) and apply to the desired area.
Please note that coconut oil is NOT recommended for use with latex condoms: as it is oil-based, it can create small holes in the condom.
Lorna Vanderhaeghe, MS, is a leading women's natural health expert who has been researching nutritional medicine for over 35 years. Her LOVE Personal Lubricant contains ingredients that will not only soothe the vaginal walls, but will also help restore normal vaginal balance and help inhibit harmful vaginal bacteria.
Here are some of this product's benefits:
Many women think that a personal lubricant is for use only during intercourse, but they should be used throughout the day if you have vaginal dryness: this helps to prevent infections, itching, burning, heat and pain from the dryness.
Suggested usage: Apply desired amount of LOVE Personal Lubricant to genital area.
In addition to being a personal lubricant cream, NutriChem's Nutriplens Restore is a vaginal moisturizer designed to relieve discomfort and dryness by imitating natural vaginal secretions. Vitamin E and primrose oil are added to the base for enhanced soothing properties. It contains no gluten, parabens, BHT, artificial colour or fragrance, dyes, or alcohol, plus it is non-GMO, non-animal source, and not tested on animals.
Suggested usage: Apply 2 to 3 grams vaginally twice weekly as needed. Applicator included.
For any other options, come and speak with a NutriChem pharmacist. We have other over-the-counter products including Hyaluronic Gel that was formulated without the use of dyes, preservatives, or common allergens.
Comments will be approved before showing up.
March's Question is: How important is vitamin D? Should I have my levels tested or can I just take 1000 IU per day?