Vaginal dryness is one of the most common symptoms of the menopause. As it is more than a little embarrassing we are not so willing to talk about it as we are our hot flushes.
Menopause vaginal dryness mainly affects women between 40-65 and as many as 80% of us women entering the menopause are affected by it. Of those 80%, half of us continue to experience vaginal dryness well after all other menopause symptoms have finished.
What’s happening down there?
The mucus membranes of the vagina normally produce a fluid of natural lubricant that keeps the vagina moist, elastic and strong. The Estrogen in our bodies is responsible for producting this lubricant which doubles as an anti bacterial and anti fungal protection too. So, during the menopause when the estrogen ceases it’s duties, all of this function of our bodies ceases too. So we becoem dryer, our tissues lose elasticity and strength, the membranes become thinner, more fragile and sensitive. The result is a proneness to Thrush, itching or other infections, sore or painful intercourse maybe with some bleeding as the membranes are so fragile, and a host of other irritations.
What can I do about it?
HRT will help maintain the function of estrogen in our bodies, or if you want to avoid HRT in general and more local estrogen application is available. There are many personal lubricants on the market specifically for use during sex. There are also a variety of vaginal moisturisers which not only help with painful intercourse but also alleiviate some itching and general irritation.
Topical applications can be messy and take away the spontaneity in our life. So is there an alternative?
Omega 7 , Seabuckthorn oil is from the sea-buckthorn berry, a very nutritious berry which gives us both a creamy substance, good for skin, which is used for cosmetics and a nutritious oil, which is 12 times richer in vitamin C than oranges and also contains carotenoids, vitamin E, amino acids, dietary minerals and polyphenolic acids.
As Sea buckthorn oil has not had clinical trials in this area I cannot say more about it, but here is what Lynn Carr, 57 has to say about her experiences:
‘The problems started when I came off HRT. Intimate dryness was just one of the problems I experienced; sex became very painful and I would experience bleeding afterwards. Our sex life all but fizzled out.’
Lynn was looking for a natural product and came across Maryon Stewart, the founds or the Natural Health Advisory Service (NAHS) and a renowned natural menopause expert. ‘Mayon was great, ‘ says Lynn, ‘she gave me advice on diet, exercise and natural supplements I should be taking’. Maryon recommended that Lynn take Omega 7. ‘ A lot of women I work with are very happy with the results they get from Omega 7, and they find they are back on track in no time. It is much easier to swallow a capsule than mess around with lubricants, it really allows for spontaneity in your love life, explains Maryon.
Lynn started taking two capsules, twice a day, for the first two months, and one capsule, twice per day, after that. ‘Within a month I had already begun to notice a difference and after three months, our sex life was back to normal. An extra bonus was that all my friends started commenting on how good my skin and hair were looking. I have been taking Omega 7 for 3 years now and I recommend it to all my friends. It shouldn’t just be my secret!’
Omega 7, sea-buckthorn oil, is available as 60 or 150 caps