ALTHOUGH IT CAN BE AN EMBARRASSING TOPIC, the problem of vaginal dryness, thinning of vaginal tissue and lack of lubrication, is often the bane of women's lives. This condition affects the health and quality of life of for women of all ages. Even though many women may be silent about vaginal dryness and vaginal atrophy, it is by no means an uncommon condition. As many as 14 million women over the age of 18 have experienced this problem.
In fact, nearly half of all women over the age 40 have suffered from vaginal dryness at some point in their lives. And two-thirds of women over the age of 60, list vaginal dryness as one of the top two sexual health problems along with lack of libido.
Why is this a problem? First of all, without adequate lubrication, sexual intercourse becomes uncomfortable and even painful. In addition, drying out of the mucus membranes increases the risk of bladder and urinary tract infections.
The Delicate Needs of the Vaginal Tissue
Healthy vaginal walls are always coated in a thin layer of moisture and mucus. Without adequate lubrication, vaginal tissues become dry, thin and prone to tearing.
Obviously, lack of lubrication makes intercourse uncomfortable and even painful. However, other health problems can also occur such as incontinence, bladder infections and pelvic floor prolapses. Lack of vaginal lubrication can also make women vulnerable to getting a vaginal infection called bacterial vaginosis.
The most common signs and symptoms of vaginal dryness include, irritation and pain during sex, itching and stinging around the vaginal opening and in the lower third of the vagina and urinary tract infections. Another symptom is the occurrence of bleeding or spotting during sex as a result of the thinning of vaginal tissue.
What Causes Vaginal Dryness?
Most vaginal lubrication consists of clear fluid that seeps through the walls of the blood vessels encircling the vagina. When you're sexually aroused, more blood flows to your pelvic organs, creating more lubricating vaginal fluid. But due to hormonal changes at perimenopause, menopause, childbirth and even breast-feeding, this natural physiological process may be altered.
There are other contributing factors that also affect healthy vaginal lubrication. Stressful situations, whether physical or emotional, constrict blood vessels that supply nutrients and oxygen to the vaginal tissue. Lack of these essential nutrients can lead to dryness. Maintaining healthy vaginal secretions and vaginal elasticity requires adequate key nutrients such as essential fatty acids, vitamins A, C and B.
Changes in vaginal moisture also occur in response to low estrogen levels. Estrogen is essential in keeping vaginal tissue supple and elastic. Adequate estrogen levels give the tissue its ability to produce slippery-smooth lubrication. Anytime a woman's estrogen level is altered, for whatever reason including a hysterectomy or impaired ovarian function, vaginal thinning and dryness may occur.
Perimenopasue and menopause are stages in a woman's life cycle when estrogen levels may be fluctuating. Estrogen production can also be affected after childbirth and during breast-feeding.
Many other factors contribute to vaginal dryness. For instance, adrenal exhaustion, emotional stress, excessive consumption of coffee, alcohol, and sugar, nutritional deficiencies and steroid/cortisone drugs, antihistamines and asthma medications dry out the mucus membranes. In addition, chemotherapy and breast cancer treatments i.e., tamoxifen and Arimidex, an aromatase inhibitor, can exacerbate vaginal dryness.
One little known side effect of oral contraceptives is reduced vaginal lubrication. The alteration of natural hormone production from taking the Pill has many consequences. Lack of healthy vaginal moisture can be one of them.
Beware of Vaginal Estrogen Creams
Since it is the hormone estrogen that causes the vagina to thicken and moisten, the medical approach is to prescribe an estrogen vaginal cream. However, when estrogen is applied in the vagina, it is quickly absorbed into the blood stream and transported to other tissues.
Long-term exposure to high levels of estrogen can pose some risk to women diagnosed with breast cancer or at high risk of breast cancer by potentially elevating estrogen levels excessively. Estrogen can easily and quickly be absorbed through the vaginal tissues into the bloodstream and cause an estrogen excess which is most commonly experienced as painful breasts or bloating.
Commercial Lubricants—A Bad Idea
Commercial lubricants are widely advertised as a solution to vaginal dryness. But beware! The chemicals used in them can irritate the delicate vagina tissue. Potential ingredients include fragrances, the antibacterial agent chlorhexidine, propylene glycol, glycerin, and a group of preservatives called parabens, (often listed as methy-, butyl-, ethyl- and propyl-paraben). Some lubricants such as K-Y Jelly and Replens can alter the pH balance of the vagina, which would increase the risk of certain vaginal infections.
The Pomegranate, A Woman's Elixir
When it comes to healing delicate vaginal tissue and restoring healthy lubrication, it is vitally important to choose a natural, organic product. You especially want to use one that is specifically formulated to effectively and safely resolve the problem.
For literally thousands of years, the pomegranate has been renowned as a powerful elixir for women's health, hormonal balance, beauty and fertility. An all-natural and organic product called MoisturePom has come to the rescue for women's most intimate needs. MoisturePom is a unique formula, incorporating the healing power of the pomegranate and designed to assist vaginal tissues to heal, repair and provide lubrication.
MoisturePom is an organic pomegranate lipid complex made from extracts of pomegranate fruit and pomegranate seed. Additional ingredients include organic extra virgin olive oil, organic cocoa seed butter and organic coconut oil. This combination of MoisturePom's key organic ingredients provides a synergy that repairs and regenerates healthy vaginal tissue and lubrication.
What makes MoisturePom so special and effective? Let's begin with organic pomegranate extracts (Punica granatum), a rare source of powerful omega-5 conjugated fatty acids, beneficial antioxidants, and a wide range of safe, phytoestrogenic compounds. The fatty acids in the pomegranate extracts exhibit natural soothing properties and help to moisturize and protect dry, thinning skin, restoring elasticity to vaginal tissue.
Organic extra virgin olive oil (Olea europaea) has been used for centuries to moisturize skin. It is a very rich source of oleic acid, an omega-9 fatty acid. Oleic acid is the most abundant fatty acid found in nature and the primary oil naturally produced by skin glands. Olive oil is a safe and natural lubricant, as well as helping to soothe irritated tissues. It contains at least four different antioxidants, which can help tissues to be protected from damaging free radicals.
Organic cocoa seed butter (Theobroma cacao) contains, vitamin E, a natural antioxidant, which helps to soothe, hydrate, and balance the skin.
Organic coconut oil (Cocos nucifera) is about 50 percent lauric acid, a rare and beneficial fatty acid. It moisturizes, protects and soothes inflamed and irritated skin. The small molecular structure of coconut oil allows for easy absorption through the skin, making it an ideal ingredient for the relief of dry vaginal tissue as well as a lubricant.
ANOTHER IMPORTANT FEATURE OF MOISTUREPOM is its waterless formula. An important function of normal skin tissue is to repel water. The natural oils in skin help protect your skin and body by sealing out water. However, most other lubricant products are water-based, which require emulsifiers in order to mix the water and oil ingredients together. Chemical preservatives are then required to prevent bacterial growth. Since MoisturePom is a water-free ointment, it is able to remain stable without the use of any chemicals or preservatives.
A clinical study investigating alternatives to vaginal estrogen creams, found that MoisturePom not only relieved vaginal dryness and atrophy, but, also had a positive effect on incontinence and pelvic floor muscles. The best news of all was that MoisturePom proved to be as effective as estrogen creams but without raising estrogen levels.
For healing the most intimate part of a woman's body, only the purest products should ever be used. MoisturePom is the ultimate solution. It is an all organic, plant-based, waterless formula that nourishes, repairs and lubricates vaginal tissues. The healing ingredients in MoisturePom actually allow normal tissue function to be restored.
MoisturePom is Mother Nature's best healing solution for alleviating symptoms as well as actually repairing and restoring healthy vaginal tissue.
Sherrill Sellman, ND
Dr. Sellman is an international author, psychotherapist, women’s health advocate and seminar presenter. Through her books, Hormone Heresy?—?What Women Must Know About Their Hormones and Mothers Prevent Your Daughters from Getting Breast Cancer, lectures and seminars, she has empowered women all over the world to make more educated and informed choices about their health.