Vaginal dryness is primarily caused by low oestrogen levels. The reason for this could be hormonal imbalance, breastfeeding, menopause, being on medication for blood pressure, antidepressants, birth control pills, surgical removal of ovaries or chemotherapy. Even patients suffering from breast cancer may experience vaginal dryness as they are prescribed medications that lower oestrogen levels after their treatment.
Women suffering from vaginal dryness experience soreness, itchiness or a burning sensation during and after physical relations. They may also see a discharge and feel bruised in the area. According to the statistics available, almost 50 percent women experience vaginal dryness at some point or the other in their lives, though a lot might not be comfortable discussing it. Although, there are medicines available to combat this situation, making lifestyle changes and eating certain foods that are rich in phytoestrogens and omega 3 fatty acids, helps to relieve vaginal dryness.
Here are some foods that can help tackle vaginal dryness:
Cranberries are a rich source of antioxidants, vitamin C and vitamin E. All these, combined with the acidic compounds in the fruits, are strong infection fighters. They are highly recommended for women suffering from chronic urinary tract infections (UTIs).
2) Soy Products
Soy products are rich in phytoestrogens, which are essentially plant-based oestrogens. Additionally, these are hydrophilic in nature meaning that they encourage the muscles to retain water. Women experiencing vaginal dryness can use minimally processed soy products like tofu, tempeh and miso to increase lubrication in the vaginal region.
Flaxseeds are also loaded with phytoestrogens and omega 3 fatty acids. Including these in your diet, helps to increase oestrogen levels which in turn lubricate the vagina.
Yoghurt has good bacteria that helps balance the pH level of the vagina. A disturbed pH level can lead to infections and vaginal dryness. Include yoghurt and other probiotic foods, such as kimchi and kombucha, in your daily diet to reap their benefits.
Rich in omega 3 fatty acids, fish is also a great food to fight vaginal dryness and its symptoms. Fish like Rawas (Indian Tuna), Katla (Indian Carp), Rohu (Carpo Fish), Bangda (Indian Mackerel), Hilsa (Herring) and Surmai (King Mackeral) are good sources of omega 3 fatty acids.
6) Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes are packed with vitamin A which helps to strengthen the uterine walls, improve the health of the vaginal muscles and promote overall good vaginal health.
7) Leafy Greens
Leafy greens are great for vaginal health as they increase stimulation and help circulate dietary nutrients. These dietary nutrients help in dealing with vaginal dryness.
Staying well hydrated is also important to combat vaginal dryness. Ideally, a woman should drink 6-8 glasses of clean filtered water every day to stay well hydrated. One can also infuse the water with cucumber or citrus fruits for added flavor.
Though lifestyle changes can improve vaginal dryness, if the symptoms do not go away in five days, you must visit a gynecologist. She would conduct a physical examination to determine the cause of the discomfort and advise accordingly.