Last Modified on Jul 22, 2014"Vaginal atrophy (atrophic vaginitis) is thinning and inflammation of the vaginal walls due to a decline in estrogen. Vaginal atrophy occurs most often after menopause, but it can also develop during breast-feeding or at any other time your body's estrogen production declines." Mayo Clinic
07/22/2014: Gettingoldsucks from Huntsville, Alabama: "I understand DHEA vaginal suppositories have yet to be approved by FDA (in third phase trial study). Those who have been using DHEA vaginal suppositories...can you tell me if you have experienced any side effects? Also, where do you purchase them if the product has not been approved?"
[YEA] 04/28/2014: Patricia from Denver, Co: "I had vaginal atrophy so bad sex became out of the question. I tried everything. Even forced myself to use hormone creams they made me feel terrible. They made me feel extremely grouchy. I even tried using progesterone cream vaginally. My husband was supportive, but it still felt painful. I read about using dhea in the suppository. So I tried it. This is what I do. I use the Carlson suppositories and cut them in half and and hollow a little spot out for 1/3 of a 5 mg tablet. I started with a half and it was too strong- I am pretty sensitive. I insert this every other morning. I wish I could do it at night, but the dhea keeps me awake. On the days I do not do this I use 1/2 suppository at night - just helps keep things moisturized. I have been doing this for six months and I am amazed sometimes I do not even need to use a suppository prior to intercourse. I would have never even tried it before. This is the answer for me. I normally don't write about this, but I hope it helps someone."Replies
04/28/2014: Vanna from Usa replies: "Patricia, you said you started with half of a 5 mg and it was too strong. How was it affecting you? Just curious because I started using the 5 mg every other day (started last Thursday) and so far so good. I just insert it as is in the morning. It's just so tiny, can't imagine trying to cut it into 1/3 or even 1/2 of a tablet. I understand everyone is different, so that is why I'm wondering how the strength 2.5 mg was effecting you. Thank you!"
04/30/2014: Marcy from United States replies: "I need help. I too suffer horribly from Vaginal Atrophy. I'm 55 and through menopause. Approximately 4 years ago I had a large blood clot in my lung, which the doctors said was probably caused by use of the estrogen patch (can't remember which one I used, I think Premarin). So, I cannot use anything hormone related. I've tried using a moisturizer/lubricant injected 3-4 times a week, at night but it did not help and it was very messy. When I saw the commercial for Osphena I thought this might work but my doctor said because of the blood clots, she would not risk giving me the prescription. I don't know where to start. Is DHEA a hormone and could this be something I might be able to use? Please, any suggestions, I'm desperate."
05/01/2014: Mama To Many from Tennessee replies: "Dear Marcy,
DHEA is a natural steroid. I do not know much about its use.
There was a post recently on the issue of vaginal dryness/atrophy and Damiana was used. Damiana, according to my book, Nutritional Herbology, is not an estrogenic herb, as say, Black Cohosh and Dong Quai are. It is something I would look into.
Jojoba oil and Magnesium seem like some other possible things to try that are not hormonal in nature.
Hoping others will have more feedback for you about the possibility of DHEA.
~Mama to Many~"
07/22/2014: Cathy from Tampa, Florida replies: "Hi, I am having an issue with vaginal atrophy-mainly on the external areas aggravated by urine.
My gyns prescribed estrace and estriol in a hypoallergenic base, but after spending $105 on the compounded estriol, the pharmacy still will not tell me what is in the inactive ingredients. I think its cetyl and stearyl alcohol, vaseline, and mineral oil. I have not felt comfortable with either option,
My gyns prescribe the estrace and estriol in a compounded hypoallergenic base, but it has cetyl and stearyl alcohol. Its also very expensive. $55 for a months supply that has to be refrigerated. Just never liked these options.
Just wondering what your symptoms are and if the gyn did any testing to determine it was va, like a swab test, or just by an exam?
Is sitting also a problem, or does the shower water irritate the area? Does urine also irritate the area near urethra or does it sting? Not like a uti, but the actual skin a few seconds later? Are most of the symptoms internal or external?
Glad the DHEA is working. Where do you buy the DHEA pills and would a gyn prescribe it?? Is it a suppository meant to be used that way, or is it an oral supplement?? Is it inserted in something? Have any of you tried estriol in olive oil drops from Womens International pharmacy?
Have any of you had any success with estriol in an olive oil base drops from womens International pharmacy? Is the DHEA little pill I am reading about made for vaginal use-where do you buy it and is it by prescription.
Have you all tried coconut oil unrefined, organic, I've heard from several ladies this has helped alot and it's not so expensive.
Is the vaginal atrophy affecting your life, like is sitting uncomfortable or the shower water irritate the skin also? The beach water stung like crazy.
For those of you who use DHEA vaginally-does it come with an applicator or do you put it in a Carlson vitamin e suppository?
Any of you used coconut oil or vitamin e oil? These are some alternatives I've heard from the health food store . Thanks, this va is new to me and trying to learn to cope with it and know what has worked.
[YEA] 05/31/2012: Sue from Cambridge, Oh, Guernsey: "I'm 60 and I have a histroy of fibroids and bioidentical hormone replacement. To make a long story short, I went off all hormones about 1 1/2 years ago (except for progesterone cream). Hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal atrophy. So I got on vaginal estriol oil, which worked well until about 3 months ago when I started spotting. Went off of it and--vaginal atrophy again with painful sex, but the spotting cleared up right away.
But I have found something. DHEA inserted vaginally. I am well lubricated and it does not hurt to have sex. I bought some DHEA, 5 mg. Then I break the tablet into four pieces with a pill splitter. So I am getting a little over 1mg which is enough vaginally. Also, it does to systemic because my skin is significantly oilier. I have been on this for about six weeks with no spotting (estrogen makes my fibroids grow).
Some people say DHEA converts to estrogen and testosterone. I do not know yet if it is converting to estrogen, but my body will tell me. So with that in mind, it probably would not be good for someone with cancer or who is prone to cancer. I would say to ask your doctor, but doctors generally don't know any more about this sort of thing than a fly knows about computer programming."Replies
06/01/2012: Lisa from Jax, Fl replies: "Thank you so much! I am going to try this."
[YEA] 06/05/2012: Sue from Cambridge, Oh replies: "It seems to work very well. But it hasn't done anything for my night sweats. My DHEA is not micronized and I was worried it would not work, but it works fine. Initially, I was wondering how to do this. I found two sites that have vaginal DHEA suppositories--sounds messy and they were about 2.00 each. Just using a piece of the tablet avoids the mess and the expense."
07/09/2012: Susie from Wheeling, Wv replies: "I also suffer from vaginal atrophy. Really miserable most of the time. I've been using a suppository made by Carlson. Combination of Vitamin E, coconut oil and palm oil. Use at night.... not very messy and seems to be working."
09/10/2012: Anais from Athens, Greece replies: "can you plz give me names of the two sites where you found the dhea vaginal suppositories? I live in Greece and can't find it here, and i've been searching all over the net. I've had vaginal atrophy and dyspareynia (painful intercourse) for more than a year and have tried lots of products (natural ones as well as estriol vaginal cremes) with little or no results. Have a strong feeling intravaginal dhea could work."
10/04/2012: Sue from Cambridge, Oh, Guernsey replies: "I buy my DHEA from a compounding pharmacist in Chicago, but I do not need a prescription. I use the tablets not the suppositories. It is much cheaper and less messy. I don't think I am allowed to give you a link or mention the name of the pharmacy on this site, since the pharmacy sells things.
The DHEA is 5 mg. You can use the whole tablets or break it in half or even less. I currently break mine in half. They are tiny little tablets that dissolve very quickly and leave nothing behind that I can find.
This has worked great for me. The only other thing that worked is estrogen, but I can't take that anymore. The various oils did not work at all for me.
If you do a search for "compounder" that should bring you to it with a little scrolling."
03/19/2013: Becky_neb from Newman Grove, Ne replies: "To the woman who used DHEA intra-vaginally (is that the correct term?), you said you broke a 5 mg tablet in four pieces. Did you use that once a day, or how often? Is that still working for you?"
05/07/2013: Sue from Cambridge, Oh, Guernsey replies: "Yes, it is still working for me. I have upped the dosage, so I insert a whole 5mg tablet every other day. It works great. Believe me, I've tryed everything--estriol oil, progesterone oil, various other oils, etc. Much too messy, estriol made me spot. This takes like one second and there is nothing there after it dissolves and it dissolves pretty fast. And it's not bad for the man like estrogens. I've been doing this for a long time and have no side effects."
11/22/2013: Mln from Texas replies: "To Quernsey: Is that a 5 mg tablet of DHEA and not 50 mg? So far, I'm seeing 50's instead of 5's..."
03/25/2014: Sheila from Birmingham Uk replies: "I am 55. I have Vaginal Atrophy severe. I have been taking Climagest 2mg and Vagifem suppositories for five years now. It changed my life. to be honest I was worried about the risk but my condition was so bad. I felt I had no choice. Due to be taken off them and I am in a state of panic worrying how I'm going to be, so bad I get emotional. However I have found this site and I feel it has been a blessing to me. New ideas to try. I am already trying out the Carlson Vitamin E suppositories and the DHEA are on order to be ready waiting yo use when my medication stops. Keep sharing the information it Helps to read good information. Will give you an update of how I get on."
04/14/2014: Jeane from Virginia, US replies: "To: Sheila from Birmingham Uk, Please let us know how it's going with the DHEA. Carlson's E has been around for a long time, I've used it but this is the lst time I've read about DHEA and I found the 5mg pills. I ordered the cream from Bezwecken and will try that lst. The more I read, it's like an epidemic this annoying condition!
Docs push Premarin and never research or suggest alternatives which seems wrong to me, ;when women have to go hunting for alternatives because we can't turn to our healthcare providers for them."
05/22/2014: Wen from Ma, US replies: "To sheila: why would one need to go off vagifem when it is not absorbed throughout the body?
My feeling is that the risks of low estrogen in that area [incontinence, infection, etc] far outweight vagifem risks. Just my opinion."
04/21/2013: Sally from Vernon, Canada: "Ladies, plz keep sharing it is simply good to know you're not alone. I feel so alone in all this. Reading tips and things to try really helps. I will and will continue to try these tips. I do a lot of my own research but this really helps with ideas and things that have helped other women. Perennial massage seems to help loosen things. Will keep trying this. Plz keep sharing, this page is refreshing."
03/02/2013: Izzie from San Diego, California: "I have tried to find topics on tightening the vagina but I have never found any. If kegel's exercises are not working what else may I use. I gave birth to four kids the natural way. Please may you cover that topic because I do live on natural remedies and any other suggestions you may give me."Replies
03/02/2013: Gavin from Manganui, Northland, New Zealand replies: "One of the old time remedies was to soak the area in alum, it tightened everything up."
03/30/2013: Glenda from Chicago, Il replies: "Please be very careful with the alum. It can really tighten a bit too much."
04/15/2013: Annie from Davis, Oklahoma replies: "I have heard my grandmother talk about using alum after having her children. As the one lady said, you might be cautious as to how much you use, until you see what will work for you as an individual."
04/30/2013: Joy from Battleground, Wash replies: "TIGHT is a product that is basically an astringent similar to witch hazel."
05/28/2012: Tumbleweed2 from Houston, Texas: "Hi, I'm new to Earthclinic and I was totally dumfounded to read that some docs prescribe estrogens stronger than Estriol for vaginal atrophy. Estriol is the weakest of the 3 types of body estrogens and according to my OB GYN, the safest... Especially if you've had cancer. He also said that an estrogen stronger than estriol is overkill for vaginal atrophy. Know your body and take time to do your research!
Total Hysterectomy in 2001... uterine cancer.
Fact: I'm allergic to aloe vera and discovered that some of the compounds I tried contained aloe vera. So, I am going through the "process of elimination" to discover what is causing the irritation. Also, I do not want a "delivery" cream that contains paraffin, or alcohol. A delivery system can be 2 or 3 creams or a gel that is mixed with the estriol power (USP) to deliver via plunger.
I begain researching the contents of these creams and below is my findings w/ comments.
The 1st cream I tried.
USP Estriol and Vanicream (messy). Vanicream is an OTC cream.
After prices skyrocketed with my old pharmacy under new management, I switched pharmacies. So far, they are working with me, as noted below:
First compound from new pharmacy:
cream from MEDISCA and
a vanishing cream (?)
The cream did not absorb well and it caused a mild burning sensation... Vaginal walls got dry and thin... Sensation was like the beginning of a urinary tract infection
cream from MEDISCA (ingredients: Deionized water, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Laureth-7, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Polyacrylamide, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Tocophyeryl Acetate), and
Vanicream (continues to be messy)
Cream, still, was not being absorbed well - and burning continued. So, I asked the new pharmacy for the list of MEDISCA ingredients... Also, went to doc to rule out U. Tract infection.
Eliminated MEDISCA and Vanicream. MEDISCA contains aloe vera, and paraffins.
Currently, I'm trying
USP estriol and
Versabase gel (Ingredients: purified water, ammonium acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP copolymer, aloe vera, edetate disodium, allantoin, methylchloroisithiazolinone/methylisothiazolinone (preservatives)
I'm still in the trial stages of the gel. It's too early to draw a conclusion that the atrophy has been eliminated. I'm not aware of any burning sensation.
FYI: Another pharmacist I spoke with said that after hearing my HRT history, a suppository would work better.
I'll continued on with my research.
Good luck to you."
06/20/2014: Jrenee from Ohio, US: "Found new estriol product by bezwecken that isn't too expensive and really helps my vaginal atrophy. They're called "bezwecken hydration cubes". Directions say to rub cubes on skin but I insert them vaginally and have had great relief!! I also had good results with the former product e3 but this is no longer available. Good luck to all dealing with this issue!!!"
[YEA] 09/08/2009: Kah from Aurora, Ontario, Canada: "I am at the end of menopause and suffer from Vaginal Atrophy. My Dr. suggested a hormone creme but I was wary of the effects. I looked around at some other sites and spoke with the owner of my local Health Food Store who suggested JoJoba Oil. She had been to a Naturopathic Gyno who told her to use the oil as it was the closest to the oil we produce ourselves. I insert a few cc's every two or three days before bed and things seem to be back to normal. I was also told to use a vibrator to work the oil in and move the muscles around a bit."Replies
11/14/2009: Fran from Philadelphia, Pa, Usa replies: "Do you use a syringe to insert the CC of Jojoba Oil? Where do you find one?"
EC: Try the baby section of a pharmacy!
05/29/2010: Denise from Evan, Il, Usa replies: "How long did it take to cure your vaginal atrophy. When I say cure I mean how long was it until you were able to have intercourse without the horrible burning feeling? Thank You"
10/06/2010: Kay from Toledo, Oh replies: "I've had vaginal atrophy, terrible chafing/dermatitis, been to 2 gynos, dermatologists, U of Michigan, no one could help. I found Jojoba Oil on-line, after a couple of weeks I am seeing improvement. I am so relieved!"
12/20/2011: Heather from San Jose, California replies: "Jojoba oil? Does it really work? I have had breast cancer and was prescribed premarin cream and then an est ring for vaginal atrophy.... I am too scared to use either.... So, I am going to resort to listening to all of you out there who have tried alternate sources... Evening of primrose oil? Let me hear some more personal testimonies, please!"
12/21/2011: Sarnrse from Houston, Tx replies: "Look into the "The Orgasmic Diet" by Marrenna Lindberg. There is a synopsis of it at this link, but it is better to get the whole book: http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/orgasm-diet"
03/09/2012: Greatful from Anaheim, Ca replies: "I read all emails about JoJoba and tried it and it works! I couldn't believe it. I am post menopausal 54 yrs old and I get dryness and had a history of cervical polyps. I notice when I use the oil I don't have symptoms of unusual discharge. I may have a small polyp developing although the oil is keeping symptoms under control. Try it I know you will like it. It's natural what better than that?"
03/18/2013: Joy from Battleground, Wash: "Hi, I have been pondering the use of aluminum for tightening the vaginal region ( I wouldn't use it myself). Aluminum has been used in talc powder for years and cheaper baking powders... Anyway........ they are not sure if it contributes to alzheimer's.
I began WONDERING if anyone has every used a topical of milk of magnesia or another form of magnesium.... to get the vaginal/core muscles firmed up ? Or maybe a magnesium douche... Would there be bad consequences from using it this way?
They call magnesium the heart mineral because it treats muscle conditions. Most people eat more calcium than magnesium and further throw their body out of balance.
It used to be we got more magnesium from the soil into our food, not anymore, and when a person gets stressed the body takes water and minerals to produce fight or flight hormones....thus draining the body/system further.....
Just curious.... ARE THERE ANY TESTIMONIALS OF USING MAGNESIUM FOR PROLAPSED ORGANS BY USE OF TOPICAL OR INTRAVAGINAL?"Replies
04/29/2013: Joy from Battleground, Wash replies: "I was doing some reading in this site last night and found a site that stated that magnesium citrate goes right to the muscle unlike other magnesiums. I have found this to be true for me. My muscles all look amazing and I don't work out , and using very little hormone since my whole body has gotten turned around with the multi minerals and vitamins and use of hormone creams up to this point
( I used progesterone for 6 months and then added phytoestrogen and then added estradiol and then stopped them for a solid month while added full spectrum minerals and then used 1/8 tsp of progesterone cream for two weeks and none in the past three weeks............. And NOW
I add to this post that for three days with the use of witch hazel put into the vaginal cavity with my finger.... This morning is day three and my bladder is UP
(I put it on my finger and insert into cavity and rub around and then repeat 3-5 times in a row) ONLY if the bladder has dropped down .
The mag has also made the outer part of the vagina come back to life and the tissue in the muscle is full and well hydrated."
10/07/2012: Mountain Lady from Rocky Mountains, Colorado: "I sure appreciate all the information that everyone here has posted. Lots of research has been done! And James, you're a sweetheart for researching this issue for your wife--not many husbands are so caring.
I've had most of the same problems. I'm at the end of menopause, I think... Was on replacement hormone therapy, which worked great for hot flashes and night sweats; but then I got a blood clot in my leg, and had to stop the hormones. I've tried Estrace, but it's very expensive, and it doesn't seem to work, and it's messy, and the applicator ("plunger") is really hard to clean.
As a consequence, my poor husband and I haven't had good sex for many, many months. But now that I found this website and read all the good info, I'm encouraged.
I'm going to try the E3s first, and I'll report back."Replies
04/18/2013: Pam from Dundee, Oregon replies: "I am 68, same problems with dryness, burning, pain during intercourse. I have been prescribed Bezwecken (sp?) E3 suppositories by two different Naturopaths. One supp. per wk after initial week. Nice to know from James that I can find them online, since I just moved and have lost my doctor.
I am interested in the info about Jojoba oil, but my question about that is does it help with just vaginal dryness or all over dryness? The E3's help with both, mostly vaginal dryness and hotflashes. Also with sleep issues.
Also very helpful is using coconut oil (solid form) for lubrication during sex."
05/03/2013: Keala from Kilauea, Hi replies: "I am having trouble finding the Bezwecken E3 vaginal suppositories on line. All my former resources are no longer selling them. Does anyone know why or where I can get them again."
05/10/2013: Dee from Central, Oregon replies: "Apparently the E3 by Bezwecken has been discontinued. Very unhappy to hear this..."
11/11/2008: Janis from Renton, US.: "For all that are suffering from vaginal atrophy. Keep in mind that there is a drug in clinical trials right now called Ospemifene. Ospemifene is one of a class of drugs called selective estrogen receptor modulators. In tests ospemifene appears to have an estrogen like effect on the vagina and it is supposed to be absolutely safe to be used for vaginal atrophy. I am just wondering if anyone else has heard of this. I am waiting for this to become available to try. Also wondering if anyone has figured out what can be used in the meantime until I will be able to try the ospemifene."Replies
05/26/2009: Serenity from Oswego, IL replies: "Has anyone tried this medication yet. I have vaginal atrophy and need help with what to do."
06/14/2009: Teri from Dallas, TX replies: "Evening Primrose capsules help amazingly well with vaginal atrophy. through trial and error, trying over the counter,perscription drugs, and other natural methods, I finally came around to trying Evening primrose capsules and it was the perfect solution for me. Most of the medical and holistic formulas I tried caused an allergic reaction in my vagina. But a simple Evening primrose capsule once at night brought the tissue back to normal. I suggest inserting it at night so it can absorb while you are sleeping. Otherwise you will need to use a thin pad for protection as your body heat melts the capsule. Good luck."
08/12/2009: Louise from Detroit, Us replies: "Has anyone used vitamins e capsule for vaginal atroph?"
08/19/2009: Chica from Detroit, Mi replies: "Did you take the evening primrose capsule orally? It sounds like you used it as a suppository... so did it help with the atrophy of the outside vaginal tissue?"
11/14/2009: Mary from Mukilteo, Washington replies: "Does anyone know the brand of a vegetarian Evening Primrose gel capsule? Thank you"
03/17/2010: Sally from New York, Ny replies: "I've been reading about Ospemifene which will be marketed under the name Ophena. Can anyone tell me if it is produced without cruelty to animals? I was horrified when I found out how estrogen is produced from pregnant horses urine and the suffering that many tens of thousands of mares go through, not to mention the foals that are slaughtered."
04/05/2010: Janis from Renton, Washington replies: "Vaginal Atrophy-A new drug application with the FDA is planned to be filed for Ospemifene in 2010 and if approved, Shionogi & Co,headquartered in Osaka, Japan will have worldwide marketing rights."
01/06/2011: Patrice from Dublin, Ireland replies: "hi, patrice here , I too suffer with athropy and I have just been reading about Ophena, it sounds like the answer to my problem, can anyone say where I can buy it as it might take ages to be on the shelf in ireland..patrice"
02/10/2011: Janis from Renton, Washington replies: "I am waiting for Ophena also. I wish someone could find out if it has been approved yet. The last I heard was that a new drug application for Ophena was to be applied for in early 2010 with the FDA."
09/28/2011: Leigh from Brownstone, Usa replies: "I have just returned from my GYN and she prescribed an estrogen cream called "Estrace", to be inserted vaginally once a week. Said it would help atrophied tissues regain elasticity. Sounded like a good solution until I checked for side effects. NOT good, especially with other health issues going on. Geesh!
I'll prefer to try other natural remedy suggestions posted here first, and suffer through if necessary as opposed to causing myself a stroke, breast cancer, cysts, pancreatitis, and a myriad of other serious maladies. Makes me wonder how many older women, already compromised with aging effects, are actually making their conditions worse, or killing themselves. We all should be very wary and not blindly follow medical advice using prescriptions such as these."
10/15/2011: Helen from Newcastle, Australia replies: "I'm devastated at my post menopausal life due to the atrophy. Sex is unbearably painful and I feel like less of a woman. My GP prescribed vagifem which hasn't really worked and I'm wary of its side effects in any event. Really happy to have found this site so I don't feel so alone and will give some of your suggestions a try. Thanks
01/01/2012: Sue from Dubuque, Iowa replies: "Helen, ditto all of your remarks. So happy to have found all of you. Still looking for answers to questions that have been posted above."
03/07/2012: Pearl from Renton, Washington replies: "Just read that an NDA, new drug application will be filed in the first half of 2012 for ospemifene, also refered to as Ophena for vaginal atrophy and if all goes smoothly then this drug is expected to be launched in the US the first half of 2013."
03/20/2012: Jeanne from Kansas City, Kansas replies: "I was reading all of your comments about vaginal atrophy, dryness, etc. And how this is wreaking havoc with intimacy in our "later years. " I was a subject in the phase III part 2 clinical trials for Ophena back in 2008. It worked!!!! The only problems I had during the trial was cramping in my hands and legs. I too have tried all of the estrogen creams, pills, suppositories and nothing worked. I have been following the progression of Ophena's approval and am afraid I will be too old before it ever gets approved."
03/28/2012: Kelly from Tarpon Springs, Fl replies: "Hello everyone. I was recently diagnosed with Vaginal Atrophy. I am 23 years old and have been suffering with it since I was 16. I could have possibly had it before but that's when it all started because I became sexually active. Sex has never felt good for me but instead has been extremely painful. I have spent a lot of time crying during intercourse. I gave birth about 7 months ago and the atrophy has only become worse. I can no longer wear tampons. I have been seeing my doctor for a few months now but I still don't see much improvement. I am on Ovcon50 birth control. I am also using Vagifem, Estrace, Clobetasol, Desitin clear, Claritin, Witch Hazel, etc. I wish I knew how long until I see positive results. It's affected my life in so many ways and it's very hard to deal with at times. Before I found my current doctor I seen a few others and they told me it was all in my head. At that time I believed it because after all they were doctors and I thought they knew what they were talking about. Although Vaginal Atrophy is more common in older women going through menopause, it does happen to younger women like myself. For all of you suffering, you are not alone!"
05/15/2012: Lisa from Jax, Fl replies: "Hey Kelly, Have you ever done the spit test to see if your hormones need correcting? I have vaginal atrophy also, but I'm 54 and even with natural hormone creams (biodenticals) I still suffer. But at one point, it all disappeared with the creams. I can't figure it out. Not sure what body change occured, but I do have candida problems also. But you are younger and would probably have a better response! I love Tarpon Springs, btw!"
07/15/2012: James from Denver, Co, Usa replies: "So glad I found this thread. My wife's 63, and is experiencing vaginal atrophy to the point that she tells me she experiences irritation or pain everytime we're intimate. Well, just like I was the one to do the progesterone cream research several years ago, now I find myself the researcher yet again.
So I found this study that said 250 or so women used DHEA suppositories intravaginally for 12 weeks and reported that vaginal atrophy symptoms were relieved. They used varying strengths, to see if that mattered. As it turned out, the 3.25 mg DHEA ovule or suppository seemed to have pretty good results. I found a pharmacist that reported some of their customers had success with 3.25mg DHEA vaginal suppositories (or ovules), inserting 1 suppository nightly for 12 weeks, then 2-3 times per week thereafter. Has anyone tried this?
Another study I came across, the participants utilized a vaginal suppository containing hyaluronic acid sodium salt 5 mg, vitamin E acetate 1 mg, and vitamin A palmitate 1 mg. Dosing was a suppository intravaginally every night for 14 nights, then tapering to every other night for 14 nights. Of 150 women, 126 women completed the study in full. The study assessed efficacy of the study medication in the areas of burning, itching, inflammation and irritation. Results showed that any symptom that was reported as severe initially was resolved to either mild or absent at the end of four weeks. Anyone ever heard of this?
My wife's in a very demanding job, and doesn't have time to research this, so I'll be checking back to hear from you as to what works for you, while I continue to research further and report anything new I find."
07/27/2012: James from Denver, Co, Usa replies: "Update - I learned, from doing more research, that 1mg Vaginal E3 Suppositories were more commonly used than the DHEA ones (that is, they have a longer track record; the DHEA suppositories, though, are up-and-coming it seems. ) So I ordered some E3's on-line, after searching for E3 suppositories, or 1mg E3 Vaginal Suppositories. One Naturopathic Doctor who was kind enough to reply, suggested starting out with 1 a week. So, this is our first week. I'll report back later."
08/14/2012: Chenoa from Miranda, Ca replies: "Does anyone know if the therapeutic use of dilators (with lubrication) will eventually bring the vaginal tissue back to health (without the use of estrogen creams)?
I've read that severe vaginal atrophy is less likely to occur in menopausal women who engage in regular intercourse, as it stimulates blood flow to the delicate tissue and keeps the area more elastic. Perhaps dilators could do the same for women who, for whatever reason, may have stopped having intercourse at menopause and are now suffering from vaginal atrophy. Dilators, anyone?"
[YEA] 09/09/2012: James from Denver, Co, USA replies: "Me again, with an update. We've gone from theory to experience. My wife has been using the 1 mg E3 vaginal suppositories by Bezwecken (available over the web - just search for them). She used them nightly for 2 weeks, and then tapered off to 2 times a week (last week). Happy to report that the discomfort she felt is almost totally gone. Several months ago it was actually painful for her sometimes to have sex. But last night, she reported that there's only minor tenderness. That's awesome progress. After buying these suppositories over the web, and starting to use them, she decided to meet with a Naturopath to be safe. It was fun to have her prescribe the same thing she was already using. Ideally (or supposedly) we can taper off to 1 a week. Just had to post an update, because it sure helped things."
11/05/2012: Barbara from Elma, Ny replies: "I finally found some relief from vaginal dryness with Bezwecken E1 suppositories and now I cannot find them. When I ordered them the company I ordered from was only able to send me 2 boxes as that is all they had left, so I found another supplier, ordered 6 boxes but they could only send one as that was all they had left. Everyone is saying it is no longer available and I'm ready to cry because I was finally able to have somewhat comfortable relations with my husband and all I have left is 2 boxes. Does anyone know where I can purchase more of this item?"
11/13/2012: Kymom from Louisville, Ky replies: "I too am wondering why the Bezwecken vaginal suppositories are no longer available. I had found relief and will not know what to do if I can no longer get another box when I run out. Why is this product suddenly unavailable?"
11/18/2012: Elfgoo from Buffalo, NY replies: "Check out Dr Greenbean website which explains reason you can't find E3. http://www.drgreenbean.com/topics/hormone-balance/ look under heading New Evidence Supporting Safety of Bioidentical hormones. It's FDA that pulled the plug because they're more interested in giving Big Pharms more money than helping people."
11/19/2012: Downs from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma replies: "I have been following the story on the DHEA but have not hear any more on it. I am a nurse of 23 years with vaginal atrophy after a hysterectomy 20 years. As a nurse I can tell you how afraid of hormones I am. But I had to have something due to prolapsed of vaginal vault and bladder or have surgery. I have tried the E3 and thought my heart was going to stop. My chest hurt for days. My breast hurt so bad I could not touch them. Vaginal vault hurt and burned with positive for blood when void. I would like to know if there is any more news with the DHEA. I have got to try something or have the surgery. I have read all on the internet and research papers."
11/19/2012: Timh from Louisville, Ky, Usa replies: "Downs: if you haven't found any info on the use of DHEA for your specific condition, then simply give it a personal trial. Also search your condition as it relates to the mother hormone Pregnenalone and sister Progesterone. Since these are bioidenticle hormones in the human body in synthetic or supplement forms, there are virtually no negative side effects. So the question becomes not "should I supplement DHEA" but "how much". There are a growing number of health professionals and clinics using these Bio-identical hormones in the treatment of many common age-related illnesses. Search Bio-identical Hormone Therapy as opposed to Hormone Replacement Therapy (which has negative side effects). I use a Pregnenalone or DHEA supplement daily as I have a degenerative condition. Since these hormones are "parent" they don't create an imbalance or, testosterone or estrogen dominance; you simply get an increase of both (which is the purpose). I take either 25mg Pregnenalone or 50mg DHEA daily w/ noticeable good results (increase stamina). It's advised to begin w/ small doses and gradually increase to desired results. There are also a number of herbs that are helpful in promoting hormone synthesis in the body.
Also, you may also consider an B-12 / Folic Acid deficiency as that can have negative consequences in the Cervical / Vaginal area."
11/19/2012: Kathy from the USA replies: "I have just discovered that my prolapse was due to ingesting gelatin capsules. I am sixty-four. Both of my babies (born '84 and '86) were breech and only one was caesarean. I, too, had a hysterectomy in 1992 and never had a problem with prolapse until I started taking the stool softeners. I learned years ago that I cannot ingest the gelatin capsules so I had always opened them and took the contents. You cannot do this with stool softeners. They taste nasty!
I started using them in Dec of last year and I started to experience POP (pelvic organ prolapse) a few months later. Once I figured out it was due to the capsules and stop taking as many my prolapse began to subside. I would not like to post anymore detail here so you may email me. I don't know whether Earth Clinic has a method to provide email but I would be okay with that. Since they advise not to post email addresses I don't know how people connect. I do not use the social networks."
11/20/2012: Mmsg from Somewhere, Europe replies: "Timh, you mention herbs that are good for hormone balance. What are they?"
11/20/2012: Timh from Louisville, Ky, Usa replies: "Dong Quai / Angelica, and Siberian Ginsing / Eleuthero Root."
11/21/2012: Downs from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma replies: "Timh, have you had any negitive side effect from the DHEA? What I have read make me concern. Some say great hair loss, palpations and anxiety, on and on of course, the benefits are equal. My prolapsed is do lack of hormone to strength the vaginal vault, and no cervix, due to vaginal histerectomy. I an sixty years and I am tired of having surgeries. Not one surgery seams to help just makes another problem. There is a co. (not china )that makes a 5 mg sublingual. My state doesn't compound the DHEA or will not without script. I think I am going to try this. I will break them in fourth. Any advice."
11/22/2012: Timh from Louisville, Ky, Usa replies: "Downs: Most health food stores or pharmacies carry otc DHEA, so yes, start w/ low mg and work your way up. I would recommend also using the herbs I suggested. Rotate from one to the other on a weekly basis while also taking the DHEA.
Also consider Growth Hormone boosting as it could compliment the other recommends and you would increase your chances of a real and lasting benefits. The Amino Acid GABA boost Growth Hormone production as much as 40% (take one grm before retiring). I take the GABA in conjunction w/ YouTube Growth Hormone Release or Pituitary release harmonics. Athletic trainers have discovered that quick burst exercise (also found on YouTube) has dramatic Growth Hormone release. Speaking of hormones, make sure your Thyroid is good. Supplement Iodine."
12/02/2012: Downs from Oklahoma, Oklahoma City replies: "Anyone like to give a update on E3 and the DHEA for atrophy?"
12/28/2012: Downs From Oklahoma from Oklahoma City, Ok replies: "For those who would like to try DHEA there is a lab called Douglas lab that does not use China Vitamin and is a very reliable co. whom make DHEA 5 mg that you can use. It is a sublingual that I divide into fourth. You can't get DHEA compound here without script."
01/16/2013: Babs from Palmyra, Va replies: "I am 47 and had am postmenopausal. I suffer from severe vaginal atrophy and pain with intercouse. I have been to the doctor and prescribed estrace... Did not help. I have also dried Emerita Progesterone cream helped for a while, but then subsided and I noticed fast weight gain. I have been reading all the studies on intravaginal dhea. Many reputable sites are saying this is safe. Has anyone tried using dhea tablets intravaginally?"
01/17/2013: Hashiaussie from Melbourne, Australia replies: "Hi Babs, After reading about DHEA on this site last year (http://www.earthclinic.com/cures/vaginal-atrophy.html#DHEA) I researched and took the pub med link below to my Dr. This is my second remedy, the first being estrogen cream. I had previously suffered months of atrophy (and unbeknownst developed a cystocele). I am now on pessaries into about month 2 and I can say they are definitely working to get everything in working order. I have more to do on the cystocele (weight, special exercises) but getting there I hope. No increase in libido from the DHEA though. Also on thyroid medicines.
I also read Dr Mercola's recommendation of pessaries against oral doses of hormone. Pessaries, however, are expensive, (about 1 dollar each here)and 1 is used every night. They each contain 5mg of Dhea and were made for me by a compounding chemist. The dose may need adjusting and back to Dr for further review in a month or so. I am 54 with hashimotos disease and my abtibodies are a bit high and T3 is low at the moment so not a perfect scenario for libido. (See Dr Sandra Cabot's advice as well on libido). I had been on the typically prescibed internal estrogen cream before this and it was also working (plus a libido) but like you, and with a background in estrogen dominance and a bit of left breast pain reappearing, the risks looked too high to me. I have a great Dr and she is doing some more research on this to see if she can help her other patients. Hope this helps. Thanks to EC for this site."
01/20/2013: Babs from Palmyra, Va replies: "Thank you so much for your reply. I read the links and I am going to try breaking a sub lingual 5mg tablet of DHEA in half and insert it vaginally. From the research I read, this mode of delivery (vaginal) will not increase the blood serum levels of hormones systemically. I hope it works and I hope things improve for you as well."
02/04/2013: Bonnie from Victoria, Bc replies: "So pleased to have found this site. I reluctantly tried Vagifem for a few days but didn't like the side effects (bloating, cramps and spotting). I'm currently using something called "Belly and Vaginal Balm" produced by Indian Herbal Meadows in Maine. I'm pleased with the results but am going to try the DHEA also."
02/15/2013: Babs from Palmyra, Va replies: "I wanted to update my earlier post about using dhea vaginally. I have been inserting 1/4 of a 5mg dhea tablet (sublingual and purchased off of Amazon) vaginally for 4 weeks now. The results are fairly dramatic. The dryness and pain with intercourse is GONE!! I have also notice an increase in my libido. I have had no other side effects and would recommend this to anyone who is suffering with vaginal atrophy and dryness"
[SIDE EFFECTS] 02/24/2013: Downs from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma replies: "How often do you use this? I am having a little anxiety from it if I use it everyday. And a little meanness. I think I will try every other day and suggestions"
02/28/2013: Joy from Battleground, Wash replies: "I have been reading a lot of hormone books the past two years and my bladder is fallen, pressing on my nerves. I applied E...... brand progesterone cream for 6 months and slowly increased the dose, then added vit D , when my blood test revealed it was VERY LOW, (D is a hormone ), then added magnesium citrate and that helped the muscle tone as well.
Then added the same brand of phytoestrogen and later added estradiol to the mix, since the body has three estrogens in it.
Now as far as you feeling aggressive or mean, the body will produce hormones if given the right environment/products to produce them in/with,
BUT NOT PROGESTERONE and that is the hormone that is calming. Maybe you could add it and find the right balance.
I am hoping to try adding DHEA next , thanks for your inputs... hope this helps you ...."
03/04/2013: Carol from San Mateo, Ca replies: "Joy, are you saying you use vitamin d, magnesium, progesterone, etc. on your vagina?"
03/06/2013: Joy from Battleground, Wash replies: "NO, I use the vitamin D , magnesium citrate , and other vitamins and lots of coconut oil orally. I used progesterone for 6mo with no other vits or mins or creams and got new p - hair that was not grey, then added some phytoestrogen , a little dab on the outer vagina and then recently added a small dab estradiol right above the hairline to pull up the bladder.
I am prone to yeast infections , so no creams work inside with hormones on them. I have added products--- one a month, after 6 months of progesterone alone, and each has improved my muscle tone over my whole body. I wouldn't stop using any of them unless the problem was completely resolved.
Magnesium citrate from S..... Giving me dramatic changes toward youthfullness and intestinal health. Constipation wreaks havok on pelvic floor muscles.
I am still reading up and adding some new things. There is a pessary that inflates to fill the cavity to help a person get some exercise called INFLATOBALL.... ANYONE KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT IT ? Also has anyone done the allum soaking with good results?"
03/06/2013: Gavin from Manganui, Northland, New Zealand replies: "If you google "alum and vagina", there is a utube video that gives all the details. I bet the alum would give a nice cheap face lift as well."
03/06/2013: Joy from Battleground, Wash replies: "I went to the utube site, it answered some questions. thanks for the input......"
03/07/2013: Carol from San Mateo, Ca replies: "Joy, where do you apply the progesterone? I rubbed it on my wrists for 8 months but got spooked with a saliva test showed me way too full of progesterone. I wondered if it softened my ligaments, resulting in a tiny sinking of the organs."
03/07/2013: Carol from San Mateo, Ca replies: "Does anyone else experience major pain when you use any of the hormones inside the vagina? I've stopped the DHEA pill because I felt I could feel it in my head. Testosterone---even a tiny amount---feels like heat. Estriol and Bi-Est stung. Yet perhaps this is what's needed to regenerate."
03/07/2013: Joy from Battleground , Washington replies: "Hi, I have found that the progesterone creams are all different, I use the one made by E...... on my fat. Other brands made me moody.
I use 1 tsp. 3wks. a month - Plus 1/8 tsp. of the phytoestrogen .... (plus a small dab of the estradiol> I get a stiff neck with a bad headache if I use too much ).
At first everything on me tightened up and then it seemed less effective, but still an improvement. Then I started adding more things. I am cautious and add stuff slowly and journal results. Half the books at the library seem to recommend natural hormones and the other half are the advice you get from the ob/gyn.
I read the book by John Lee, he was an ob/gyn whos patients were symptomatic and he looked for answers. My hormones tested normal for a menopausal woman. I add the hormones based on the symptoms listed in the books I read. There are a lot of good books at the library about hormone imbalances with LISTS of symptoms based on each hormone deficiency or excess.
I like it when two books can agree on stuff. I go read book reviews on it... get other peoples opinions. I read reviews on the hormone creams and other products before I try them.
The magnesium citrate by S..... , is amazing for muscle and tone. I use a multi enzyme, all the B's. folic acid, selenium, mulit mineral, D-3, C, Betafood, Lecithin, coconut oil, yogurt, iodized sea salt, and I just learned today that I need to take amino acids in the form of protein powders (from rice, peas and soy) so my body can make collagen, so my skin can flex.
The alum is from aluminum and that would not be good for me.
I got a core ball a couple months ago . I get a good range of motion without hurting myself by overextending. I do motions like hoola hoop, sitting down and bounce and roll back and forth stretching muscles, firming up my core. I also walk an hour a day.
I can only say ..... read, read, read, and then try stuff.... like....measure twice before you cut."
03/10/2013: Joy from Battleground, Wash replies: "If it is causing discomfort it is probably doing more harm than good. I had to treat yeast overgrowth everytime I tried a dab of prem.... Two days in a row, and finally gave up. Used three prescriptions for yeast treatment in 6 months.
I felt so frustrated I didn't try hormones again for a year, when I tried something else.
Does using an oral dose of dhea help tighten your muscles. My sister uses it and says it helps her a lot. I haven't gotten up enough courage to try it yet. I add new products SLOWLY in low doses... And try one day, skip the next, then try again, skip the next. Some things work best one day a week."
03/11/2013: Voyager6331 from Dunedin, Fl replies: "I emailed Bezwecken... They discontinued the estriol suppositories for "business reasons".... Not happy!"
05/01/2013: Kim from Toronto, Ontario replies: "Thanks to all for sharing what you have discovered about vaginal atrophy etc. I work in the area of women's health and also have a great female ob/gyne. Someone asked about dilators - from all I have discovered, and from my doc's advice, "if you don't us it you lose it". When sex hurts us of course we avoid it, including self-pleasuring. And the lack of blood flow and tissue stimulation only makes everything worse. My friends and I have discovered that a whole range of things need to be used to help. We are usually low on Vit D, and as mentioned magnesium (oral)is very helpful to many (500mg). Using an oil vaginally (E, Jojoba... ) helps, and I need vagifem (only the 10mg) at times as well. And then to avoid or to fix labia fusion (where tissues fuse together) vaginal sex, on your own or with a partner, is critical. Use of a vibrator/dildo is good because it can stretch things open again. Can hurt so do it on your own, have a glass of wine first and a salts bath after! Then I have to get myself to keep up my routine... Just like flossing!"
04/20/2013: Joy from Battleground, Wash: "I was just googling around looking for some answers and was wondering if anyone has used the sea sponges intravaginally as a pessary and how effective they are... the site I saw also sells them to use as tampons."
06/25/2013: Jo from Newport, Ca, Usa: "I am 55 yrs old and had a complete hysterectomy in 2008. I have been diagnosed with vaginal atrophy. I am in constant pain, burning and pressure. No medical insurance! Cannot afford. Dr has me on premarin. 5 nightly for 3weeks. Then 2 times a week. I am into my 3rd week and there has been only a touch of an improvement. I am going crazy! I am single so I must work. I sit at my desk and cry. Please, any suggestions to help me? Thank you so much."Replies
06/26/2013: Joy from Battleground, Wash replies: "Try magnesium citrate first if you can tolerate magnesium.. Start on half a pill and work your way up to a higher dose... Or an epsom salt bath /soak, might move the bowels but goes right to the muscles to cause them to relax, calcium causes muscle contractions. Multi vitamin, mineral supplements, kegal or core exercise, Deep breathing to help you relax and reduce anxiety from pain, progesterone cream to reduce estrogen dominant symptoms of menopause, daily walks to refresh you and strengthen core muscles. Read more of the earth clinic vaginal atrophy pages."
06/26/2013: Rani from Berkeley, Ca replies: "I had a very mild case of this (and also had a hysterectomy a few years ago). I found by far the most helpful thing for me has been pelvic floor physical therapy. Look around for pelvic rehabilitation therapists. It's good to also work in conjunction with your GYN. I have found between some estrogen therapy and the PRT my issues have almost completely gone away. The PRT work has been amazing."
06/27/2013: Andrea C from Cardiff, Wales replies: "Try 1 Red Clover Capsule 3 times daily. Are you taking any opiate pain killer's at all??? They cause vaginal, anal, and bowel spasms."
04/30/2013: Joy from Battleground, Wash: "Astringents tighten things up and the vagina is no different , there are two plants known for these qualities and one is witch hazel. Put some into the vaginal cavity with your finger. Put some on a q tip and slightly put into rectum , just the cotton part to tighten spincter. Then use good multi minerals with 1-1 ratio of magnesium to calcium with trace minerals and good vitamin and omegas to get vaginal tissue youthful again."