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Vaginal and vulva dryness can be depressing, and even dangerous, conditions. The friction that occurs with having sex and not having enough vaginal lubrication can lead to tears in the vagina that can make you susceptible to many infections. Besides that, what kind of life is it when the smallest thing like your favorite skin-hugging jeans or a cute pair of panties cause such pain that you question your whole being and desperately wonder what is wrong is you?
Below are a few tips on how to increase vaginal moisture to hopefully give you a little comfort and ease some of the pain that comes along with this dryness.
DISCLAIMER: I’m a nurse, not a doctor, so I will advise you to check with your healthcare provider for further suggestions, or if you try anything that doesn’t give some relief or makes the situation worse.
Hydration! Hydration! Hydration!
I personally hate water (my friends can tell you how bad I am about drinking it), but I am well aware of its benefits. The body is made up mostly of water (up to 60%), and the important organs are getting hydrated first…think life-sustaining, like heart, lungs, brain, and kidneys. As important as your vagina may be to you, it’s not high on the list for receiving hydration, which is why if you're dehydrated, your vaginal dryness may be worsened. Help yourself out and drink a little extra to help increase moisture.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Whether you take them as a supplement, or include them in your diet, omega 3s can aid in keeping things supple and moisturized. Omega 3s are found in certain fish (tuna, mackerel, and salmon), sesame, sunflower, and hemp seeds, walnuts, soy, and flaxseeds.
Stay away from scented and irritating washes and soaps
Leave your vagina alone! She cleans herself and does what needs to be done. Now your vulva does not have the ability to clean itself and is prone to bacteria, sweat, and odor. It’s a personal preference on how you address your hygiene there. Some say just water is fine… If you do use a cleanser or wash, make sure it’s fragrance-free and made without all those harsh chemicals that can cause vaginal irritation. We will be launching a feminine wash containing probiotics and cranberry extract that leaves you feeling clean and fresh, without all the extra junk your delicate skin doesn’t need.
Ramp up the foreplay!
Sometimes we’re so ready for the main event, we skimp on foreplay, leaving us ready everywhere but where it counts. Even if you don't have vaginal dryness on a regular basis, when getting intimate, truly enjoy the moment and take a little extra time for more foreplay. This can help maximize your natural lubrication.
Add estrogen-rich foods to your diet
Dietary estrogen that comes from food is called phytoestrogen. Estrogen plays an important role in both the male and female body to include protecting the brain, strengthening bones, regulating moods, and supporting the heart and blood vessels. Phytoestrogens mimic the natural estrogen produced in the body, and have the ability to disrupt this natural estrogen, so make sure to speak with your healthcare provider for assistance with maintaining your hormone levels. There are plenty, so research phytoestrogens, but a few are cherries, peaches, flaxseeds, garlic, red wine, and nuts. Minus the garlic, that sounds like a good dessert to me!
You could also try:
*If you have a history of breast cancer, or any cancer caused by estrogen, check with your healthcare provider before adding or increasing phytoestrogens to your diet.
Don’t allow the frustration of vaginal dryness keep you from seeking relief in whatever form makes sense for you. Diet can work for some, others can get away with using the occasional lubricant, and some require medication. The main thing is to find what works for you and be consistent.
Brooklyn is a Post-Partum/Mother-Baby and Pediatric Registered Nurse, turned stay-at-home mom, who is making it her mission to keep women informed on how their individual bodies work, so that they can be their own feminine health advocate when something is 'off' for them. All bodies are different, and women need to know that what's normal for others may not be normal for them, and vice versa. She has personally battled with vaginal and vulva dryness and has gone through multiple treatments, medications, and even surgery to find relief. It started in her mid-20's which made talking to friends and family difficult, since they couldn't relate. She is focused on helping women find relief and stop them from suffering in silence.