Vaginal dryness and cramping episodes can be triggered by a variety of factors but generally the symptoms are most commonly experienced by women during menopause due to changing hormone levels. However, vaginal dryness and cramping can often be treated naturally by initiating lifestyle changes and taking herbal supplements. Neither symptom has to be endured in silence.
Why Do Vaginal Dryness and Cramping Occur?
Vaginal dryness and cramping usually occurs in women experiencing estrogen and progesterone imbalances. Thus, when a woman's hormone levels fluctuate during menopause, she is likely to encounter vaginal dryness and cramping.
Vaginal dryness occurs because the membranes that secrete moisture are controlled by estrogen hormones. Consequently, when estrogen hormone levels are low, there will not be enough moisture in the vagina, triggering vaginal dryness.
Cramping usually occurs when the hormone prostaglandin is released into the uterus and causes it to tighten and contract. For many women, cramping disbands when hormone levels rebalance. However, if women suffer from severe cramping, they should visit a medical practitioner to ensure there are no underlying issues.
How Can Vaginal Dryness and Cramping Be Treated?
There are varying methods of treating vaginal dryness and cramping, however, it is advisable that woman try to treat their vaginal dryness and cramping naturally before opting for prescribed medications.
Natural ways to treat vaginal dryness and cramping
The following treatment methods can alleviate your condition in safe and effective ways:
- Eat a healthy and balanced diet
- Exercise regularly
- Use pH balanced soaps
- Take warm baths
- Use a water-based lubricant
Alternative ways to treat vaginal dryness and cramping
If the above lifestyle changes prove ineffective, you may wish to consider the following methods:
- Use a hormone cream designed to prevent vaginal dryness
- Take anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen
- Use a vaginal estrogen ring to prevent vaginal dryness
Natural supplements that ease vaginal dryness and cramping by boosting a woman's estrogen and progesterone levels can also be highly effective. These supplements can largely be divided into two categories.
Firstly, phytoestrogenic herbs, which are thought to replace the hormones the body lacks because they contain natural compounds that mimic its effects. Although these can be highly effective, they can also cause the body to stop producing its own hormones.
Alternatively, hormone-regulating supplements work by prompting the body to produce more of its own hormones. Some women find these supplements to be particularly effective when used for the treatment of vaginal dryness and cramping.
If a woman experiences acute vaginal dryness and cramping, or if her symptoms proving difficult to treat, she should visit a doctor to discuss the medications that are available.
Three Approaches for Treating Vaginal Dryness and Cramping
Broadly speaking, three approaches are available for the treatment of vaginal dryness and cramping. These include: lifestyle changes, alternative medicine, and medications. It is advisable that women attempt to treat their symptoms with the least invasive approach first before proceeding to the next level only if necessary. Click on treatments for vaginal dryness and cramps to learn more about your options.
- "Vaginal Dryness". Mayo Clinic Health Resource. 2007
- The Changing Body: Menopause Handbook."Vulvovaginal Symptoms".Retrieved from www.menopause.org
- Love, Susan M.D. Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.