Hi! Jenny here. I am an author here at lubeforsex.com and I would like to share my personal experience about this excruciating topic – speaking of course about vaginal dryness and painful sex (dyspareunia). One is connected to another and I’ve been “a victim” suffering from these problems, which had a huge (negative) impact not only on my everyday life, but also on my at the time sexless marriage that somehow started falling apart.
I will in this article share 6 things I did to overcome Vaginal dryness and Painful sex to return my life back to normal. The things I did, also helped my marriage and greatly improved a relationship between me and my husband. If they worked for me, I’m sure these solutions to fix vaginal dryness can just as well work for any other woman. Hope my contribution will somewhat be of use to you.
This how the problems began in my case:
- Physical changes – At around 43 years of age (I am now 46) I started feeling “different” down there.
- Perimenopause – It seems that at the time I entered the perimenopause – physical changes of a female body leading to menopause.
- Menstrual cycle – Regularity of my periods was one of the main symptoms.
- Sweating – I was also experiencing random sweating sensations where I was the only one in the room who felt the heat.
- Vaginal dryness – Soon I began to notice that I wasn’t lubricating naturally and that my vagina is drier than it used to be.
- Painful sex – Sex with my husband started to feel more of a chore, since every time we did it I was hurting instead of enjoying the act.
- No sex drive – I had pretty much zero sexual desire, I wasn’t even thinking about sex at all.
- Vaginal infections – I wasn’t used to having female problems before this time, however, I suddenly couldn’t get rid of all the nasty stuff that a woman can catch.
Needless to say, I was a complete wreck. Sore down there most of the time, barely being able to sit on a chair. My vagina was red and I had this strange white (milk color) vaginal discharge. Sure I went to the doctor, to my gynecologist, who basically just said: “Sorry dear but this is all normal. Your are in ‘that age’. All I can do is prescribe some pills to ease the symptoms.”
Well, that answer didn’t really comfort me. I’m not all that keen of pharmaceutical products and HRT hormone treatment at all. I was sure there must be a way, a natural way to treat vaginal dryness and to ease the pain during sex for women in perimenopause.
After reading tons of literature, and after trying a number of different methods that promised relief (of which some worked for me, some were useless, while some even worsened my problems), I believe that I am now obligated to reveal the methods that helped me cure vaginal dryness and painful sex. By doing so, I would like to help all women suffering from perimenopausal symptoms from all around the world.
How to treat vaginal dryness and painful sex in perimenopause
In order to find the best natural treatment for vaginal dryness and painful sexual intercourse, one must first understand what happens to a female body when entering perimenopause.
By understanding these physical changes, you will be able to treat the cause of your vaginal atrophy instead of just easing the symptoms.
Most women enter perimenopause (a transition phase leading to menopause) sometimes between 40 and 50 years of age. Perimenopause can last for about 4 to 8 years before an actual menopause occurs (menopause is the moment when a women stops having her periods).
In perimenopause noticeable hormonal changes start to occur in a female body. Most relevant to the case is a decline in the level of Estrogen and Progesterone. This is what causes the thinning and inflammation of vaginal walls, decreased skin elasticity, vaginal dryness and results in a painful sex, irritation and impacts your skin tissue strength causing vaginal tears (lacerations).
Perimenopause symptoms can be much different from one person to another. Some women have only mild symptoms, while other women experience severe discomforts. I definitely didn’t have the “mild version”, and was able to reduce the mentioned problems to a great extent. Now, let’s take a look at 6 things that every women can do to overcome Vaginal dryness and Painful sex without drugs.
1. Eating foods that have hormone balancing properties
“Your diet plays a crucial role in your vaginal health”
I was very surprised by the significance of what we consume, and the role that the food has in treating vaginal dryness. By sticking to the perimenopause diet you can get your hormones back to normal levels, and therefore ease, or in some cases, completely get rid of problems.
With “diet” I do not mean eating less. With diet I refer to eating foods that are proven to have positive effects on women in perimenopause. There are certain foods that greatly improve hormone levels and you should put those in your everyday meals. While avoiding foods that are considered bad.
Perimenopause diet (the good):
- Stick to organic and natural.
- Foods rich with protein.
- Lots of calcium.
- Drinking a good amount of water every day.
- Fruits and vegetables.
Foods to avoid (the bad):
- Processed foods.
- Trans fats (margarine, sunflower oil, …).
- Too much salt and sugar.
- Artificial sweeteners.
- Instant stuff.
It is astonishing how a few dietary changes can impact problems that women have with vaginal dryness. I remember that I only started avoiding processed foods and started enjoying more natural stuff, and in one week everything was already much better down there.
- Instead of pre-packed chicken, I would buy beef straight from the farmer.
- Instead of coffee, I would drink green tea.
- Instead of sugar, I would use Stevia or honey.
- Instead of alcohol, I would make myself a smoothie.
- Instead of vegetable oil, I would use lard for cooking.
- Instead of white rice, I would use Quinoa or Freekeh.
I believe there’s a common sense telling you, which foods are healthy for your body and which are bad. I bet that everyone here, knows exactly what foods they should cross off their list, and which ones they should include.
It is like putting bad gasoline into your car. The engine will eventually start having problems. So fill yourself up with good stuff instead and you’ll once again be able to function normally. Now is the time to do something about it.
2. Avoid personal care products and harmful chemicals
“Synthetic ingredients and harmful chemicals may cause vaginal problems”
The 2nd thing to do to overcome vaginal dryness and painful sex is to pay attention to what (and how much of it) you’re applying to your skin.
Women tend to think that washing vagina and keeping it clean at all times is a good thing. However, douching and cleaning your private parts extensively is what may lead to problems and cause even further complications.
In fact, many personal care products (shampoos, lotions, creams, moisturizers, sunscreens, etc.) include synthetic ingredients (read chemicals) that may do more harm than good to your most sensitive parts, while also contributing to imbalanced hormone levels.
Here are just a few “honorable mentions” of harmful ingredients that may be the cause of vaginal dryness and painful sex:
- Parabens – Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben, … endocrine dysruptors.
- Glycerin – An ingredient that works as feeding source for Candidas, causing yeast infection.
- Formaldehyde releasers – DMDM hydantoin, Diazolidinyl urea, Quaternium-15, … cancer.
- Perfume – Synthetic fragrance ingredients (e.g. Lilial / Butylphenyl methylpropional) … irritant.
- Propylene glycol – Chemical connected to hyperosmolar products … skin irritant and an allergen.
- Mineral oil – Byproduct of an oil industry. High concern of contamination with PAHs.
- Triclosan – Chemical preventing products to expire. Endocrine disruptor, skin sensitivity.
Avoiding extensive use of personal care products is the best advice I can give. Get yourself natural and organic products, that do not include any of the above mentioned ingredients.
You should also know that vagina cleans itself. Therefore there’s no need for practicing techniques such as douching. Try keeping the exterior clean by properly cleaning your perineal area (area between your vagina and anus), by using plain, unperfumed soap or mere water.
Anyway, my vaginal health has improved, when I reduced the use of personal care products. And by this I mean everything, from makeup, nail polishes to other cosmetics, creams and shampoos. I now use only natural stuff, and I used it less frequently.
Also do not trust the front label. Always check the back label and go through the list of ingredients. Evaluate each ingredient by going to EWG SkinDeep database and avoid all ingredients that exceed EWG hazard rating of 3. It may not be a quick thing to do, but in the long run the time you’ll be putting in will be more than worthwhile.
3. Treating vaginal dryness with fresh Aloe Vera gel
“Aloe Vera can be used as natural moisturizer to treat vaginal dryness”
Aloe Vera has so many medicinal properties that people refer to it as “a miracle plant”. This extraordinary cactus like succulent, has been used for centuries to heal all kinds of skin type problems.
Used in beauty, skin care, vaginal health and many other fields of uses, Aloe Vera can have a truly positive impact for women suffering from vaginal dryness. Many personal lubricants include Aloe Vera extract, since it works soothing to even most sensitive skin.
However, the best and most efficient way to apply Aloe Vera gel is straight from the leaves. This is because Aloe Vera gel includes more than 200 bioactive ingredients, which won’t last long after you scoop out the gel from the leaves. In a matter of days Aloe Vera gel will lose its healing powers and become “less powerful”.
Now if you are wondering: “Does that mean I need to get a hold on the Aloe Vera plant?” – Yes, exactly. Don’t buy products that include aloe. If you really want to treat your vaginal dryness and find a solution for painful sex, you HAVE TO use 100% fresh Aloe Vera gel obtained straight from the leaves of the Aloe plant.
5 benefits of Aloe Vera gel for vaginal dryness:
- Provides soothing and healing effect to your sensitive skin.
- Hydrates the skin and improves skin’s elasticity.
- Increases collagen production in the skin.
- Easing any dryness down there and inflammation.
- Works great as lube if you’re experiencing pain during sex.
There are basically zero downsides when it comes to Aloe Vera, apart from its short expiration date. So I have to emphasize again, that it’s very important that you use the gel in a matter of few days.
How to scoop out the Aloe Vera gel from the leaves? – Simply cut the leaf off of a grown (mature) Aloe Vera plant. Open it by cutting the leaf longitudinally. Use a spoon to scoop out the gel from each half. Use sieve and water to filter “unwanted” parts, and to get the pure Aloe Vera gel. For easier presentation of the steps, see the video above.
Aloe Vera is an amazing skincare solution that can efficiently treat women’s vaginal dryness and solve a great deal of problems related to painful sex. If we look into history, both Cleopatra and Nefretete used aloe as their beauty care routine. They even believed at the time that the medicinal properties of this plant can make people immortal. This was supposedly due to its anti-aging properties and all the health benefits that come with Aloe Vera.
In my case Aloe Vera did wonders and helped me a lot.
4. Staying fit and living a healthy lifestyle in general
“Taking care of your physical health will have positive effects”
I am not saying that you have to be an athlete or sports fanatic in anyway. But even the smallest things, like taking a 30-45 minute daily walk on the sun, is soooo much better, than laying in the sofa watching TV and feeling sorry for yourself.
Taking care of your body, does not only have physical benefits, it also makes wonders to your psych. I for example started jogging (slow paced run) and I remember feeling much happier about myself after finishing with my exercise.
Not only did I look better, fitter, with a nice figure after few months of doing my routine, I also felt happy about myself. I viewed the world from a more positive perspective and friends started to ask about what I’m doing that I’m emitting such positive energy.
I stopped smoking, I stopped drinking coffee, I stopped alcohol completely … and began doing sports. Not much, but I did somehow find 1 hour 3-times a week to do my jogging routine.
So if you are having vaginal problems (like I had in severe version), I believe that a few lifestyle changes and a bit of sport activities can show to have a great deal of benefits to solving your problems.
Go out, become active, embrace the sun, and drop off bad habits that surely aren’t helping you in any way whatsoever.
5. Reducing stress can have a great impact on your hormones
“Painful sex and vaginal dryness can be caused by stress and anxiety”
To overcome vaginal dryness and painful sex you need to work on your mental strength. Being under stress non-stop, having stressful job, living in a stressful environment, … all these psychological things can have negative impact on your vaginal health.
When my perimenopause symptoms occurred, I was employed as an accountant at this private company, employing only around 40 employees. The owner (also the CEO) was without any respect for human beings. All he cared about was money, and his default expectation was that you should work at least 10 hour a day (without registering those of course), or you are lazy and disloyal to the company.
Most people in the company hated his personality, everyone there stayed only for the money (he was generous when it comes to salary). However, many employees broke down under pressure, and some even quit and got a hold of a less stressful job for lower salary somewhere else.
There was nothing different in my case. I worked 10-12 hours every day, busting my ass off, only to be yelled upon and insulted by the owner at least once per week. I began to believe in my head, that maybe I am really an incompetent person.
After 8 years of suffering there, I finally decided I had enough. I decided that my mental health is more important than what that company is giving me. I secretly began searching for alternatives.
At least 10 interviews were behind me, when I finally got something that I liked and that the company was searching for. I am now head of accounting in a bigger company (500 employees), my salary is even better than it was, and while there’s still some pressure, most people there behave with respect. I feel like I am contributing and adding value with my work.
If you are stressed out, if you are not happy with your life, you need to make a decision and go for some changes. I know how scary that may be, but once you do it, you think to yourself: “Why didn’t I do this years earlier?”
I believe that depression, stress, anxiety … feeling bad in general, can play vital role when it comes to persons health. And that women can experience vaginal issues due to that same reason. I believe that the changes I made helped me overcome vaginal dryness and painful sex, while improving the psychological state I was in prior to that.
6. Don’t hold back on being intimate (have more sex)
“When sexual intercourse is painful it is a mistake to stop having sex”
What happens in most cases when a woman faces pain during sex, we tend to back away from having it … at least not as often as we would if all was fine. However, reading through literature and trying it out later myself, I found out that that might be a mistake.
I remember before I started having these problems (prior to my perimenopause) me and my husband would have been intimate once or twice per month.
Of course when I started hurting down there, this changed dramatically. I know that I already annoyed myself when my husband wanted to start something and I would come up with a reason why we simply can’t have sex at that moment. It sounded like I’m having excuses, even when I actually did have serious problems.
I believe we didn’t have sex for more than 6 months at one point. He was supportive from the beginning but after a year or so he started getting annoyed and even suspicious, which I can understand.
Not having sex probably only worsened problems for me. My body wasn’t used to it anymore. My vagina wasn’t used to getting penetrated. I was a “virgin” all over again. But at some point I decided to suffer through it, I told my husband I want to have sex every week, and even though the first few times was truly painful, after 3 or 4 attempts I was again enjoying the whole thing, with a lot less pain.
Therefore, my final tip for women suffering from vaginal dryness and painful sex is: “Don’t hold back on sex!” – Yeah, it’s that simple (although it’s not really simple at all).
Thank you all for reading my article and I hope these 6 things to do to overcome VAGINAL DRYNESS and PAINFUL SEX will help women from all around the world who may be facing this problem.
Yours truly, Jenny