Last Modified on Jun 22, 2014
If you are suffering with atrophic vaginitis, you know the issue is sensitive and requires specific treatment. This condition is one that can have a major impact on your quality of life, which is one of the major reasons we’ve done our research to find effective natural cures for you. Some of the most effective treatments include coconut oil, olive oil, and vitamin E.
What Is Atrophic Vaginitis?
Atrophic vaginitis, also known as vaginal atrophy, is a condition that involves the thinning, drying, and swelling of the vaginal walls. The condition typically occurs after menopause; however, some women experience the condition during breast-feeding or at any other time your body’s estrogen production decreases.
Atrophic vaginitis can range in severity from moderate to severe. Depending on the severity, you’ll experience different symptoms. Nonetheless, vaginal dryness, burning, discharge, genital itching, burning during urination, frequent urinary tract infections, urinary incontinence, bleeding after intercourse, and discomfort during intercourse are common. Additionally, decreased vaginal lubrication during sexual activity as well as shortening and tightening of the vaginal canal are common.
What Causes Vaginal Atrophy?
The underlying cause of vaginal atrophy is a decrease in estrogen production. As your body produces less estrogen, your vaginal tissues become thinner, drier, less elastic, and more fragile. A decrease in estrogen production often occurs after menopause, in the years leading up to menopause, during breast-feeding, after surgical removal of the ovaries, following pelvic radiation therapy or chemotherapy for cancer, or as a side effect of hormonal treatment for breast cancer.
Can I Treat Atrophic Vaginitis Naturally?
While you should seek out a qualified medical professional to best diagnose and manage your condition, you can take steps to treat atrophic vaginitis naturally as well. Options such as coconut oil, olive oil, and vitamin E oil help lubricate and rehydrate the vaginal walls while herbs with phytoestrogens, such as fenugreek and fennel, help restore the natural levels of estrogen in the body.
1. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a healthy fat that helps restore the body’s natural level of hydration. This treatment can be used as a lubricant or supplement to treat your condition.
2. Vitamin E Oil
Vitamin E also helps restore the natural balance in the system. It helps lubricate the vaginal walls and reduce sensitivity as well as inflammation.
Fenugreek is especially effective but should not be used by pregnant women or those who have had hormone-related breast cancer. This treatment helps restore the levels of estrogen in the body and relieves the condition naturally.
Atrophic vaginitis is not just something you should ignore. Try one of our suggested treatment options or search our database below of reader-contributed options and let us know what worked for you!
[YEA] 11/25/2012: Gr0m1t from Magnetic Island, Queensland, Australia: "Douching with Bicarb of Soda may be a remedy for vaginal dryness.
I heard about someone who cured herself of cervical cancer by douching with bicarbonate of soda solution for 20 mins daily. As I was having problems getting a PAP smear because of vaginal atropy, I started douching with bi-carb. I didn't do the whole 20 mins, just douched. Within a couple of weeks, I was able to have a smear test with no problem and it continued to improve with the douching.
I am a sample of one, so there are no guarantees. Would be interested in others' experiences."
[WORKED TEMPORARILY] 02/04/2010: Magee from San Mateo, Ca, Us: "Coconut Oil helps my vaginal dryness problem. I use it as a lubricant for intercourse. It works great for that as a temporary solution. I like using it, because it's easily applied as a solid but melts with contact. Safe, odorless, nice and soft, not runny or goopy like some commercial products. Plus I know I'm not using any weird chemicals. And a small amount goes a long way. But, it doesn't provide any permanent solution in the strengthening of the skin. I wish it did. I still have problems with occasional tearing other times."Replies
[YEA] 11/16/2010: Nan from Tulsa, Ok replies: "Per Magee's recommendation, I tried the Coconut Oil for vaginal dryness problem during intercourse. It is a great relief to the increasing discomfort (pain) I was having, and my husband and I are most happy about it. Coconut Oil has a lovely fragrance and the solid does dissolve into a nice light oil which feels great on the skin especially on delicate tissue. Thank you EC for providing a great service. Thank you, thank you, thank you!"
04/21/2013: Gert from Anon replies: "As a lube for sex, I take some coconut oil in a measuring spoon (maybe a 1/4 tsp measure) and put it in the fridge to get good and solid, then use it like a vaginal suppository. Easy to get far up inside, then melts and coats everything. Too much can get kind of messy on the bedding."
[YEA] 04/24/2014: Molly from Baltimore: "Hi Ladies,
I am nearly 50 and seem to be approaching menopause. My periods are spacing out. I have had an increase in vaginal irritation over the last several months. At first, I thought I was having trouble with reoccurring bladder infections or yeast infections (which I “treated” with natural methods), but over time noticed a sensation that could be described as either itching or burning in the vaginal area. It was becoming more uncomfortable and the feeling was like that of wearing too tight jeans, even though I was wearing lose fitting clothing. Looking here at Earth Clinic, I realized that I am probably dealing with vaginal atrophy or vaginal dryness due to menopause (Maybe it is the same thing?). Since I had some in the house, the first thing I tried was the herb, Damiana, since it increases blood flow to the reproductive organs. I took one capsule morning and evening. It actually worked! If I forgot to take it, the burning would return. Taking a Damiana capsule would help it to resolve in an hour or less. My symptoms are not as severe as some I have read here. It does not keep me awake, though I would notice it more at night. Well, since Damina was working, I decided I must need “more.” So I started to take some Black Coshosh, which is also good for menopause. Probably I should have left well enough alone. That seems to have made my period last longer, so I am quitting that. For the record, Damiana is not recommended for pregnancy, not that most ladies at 50 are too concerned about that, but if some younger ladies try this for the same symptoms, they should be aware. All your stories are so helpful I thought I would pass along mine. Molly"
01/31/2010: Kerry from Portland, Oregon: "I always come to your site to find solutions to all my problems (well, health problems anyway) and was slightly disappointed that vaginal dryness was not on your list of ailments. Is there any way I can get some posts started on this topic? I know someone mentioned something on vitamin E on a different page, but wasn't sure if this is something common or just worked for her personally. thanks."Replies
02/03/2010: Susan from Dallas, Tx replies: "Try coconut oil as a lubricant. It is natural and healthy for this delicate area."
04/07/2010: Meg from Seattle, Wa replies: "Any herb with phytoestrogens could help this problem. A phytoestrogen is a plants form of estrogen, creating an estrogen-like effect in your body. Some of these plants include: fenugreek, pueraria mirifica, fennel, black cohosh, and dong quai. These herbs are also used in natural breast enhancing pills. You can get most of these at vitamin stores, and fennel you might even find in your kitchen!
*IMPORTANT* - Pregnant women should not take these, they can relax the muscles in the uterus and potentially cause a miscarriage. Some are even used to induce child birth!
I take 610mg of fennugreek three times a day in capsule form, you can also open the capsule into hot water and make tea with it! This works out great for me, it also supports the sugar metabolism, which is good for keeping your blood sugar low. Fenugreek has been used traditionally to treat diabetes, fever, coughs, congestion, high blood pressure, diarrhea, flatulence, anaemia and arthritis. It also helps to produce more breast milk in nursing mothers.
puereria mirifica (also known as white kwao krua) grows in Northern and Northeastern Thailand, it is more difficult to get a hold of than the other supplements I listed, to my knowledge it is only sold online. This plant can boost your libido, and increase vaginal wetness. Many have said that pueraria mirifica had a beneficial effect on the hair, skin and also breast increase. On a side note, the region where this plant is grown is remarkable for its low rate of breast cancer and impressive longevity.
Fennel is great for its phytoestrogens and has many other medicinal uses. Fennel also can help with: Anemia, indigestion, flatulence, constipation, diarrhea, colic, menstrual disorders, and eye problems. The Anethole in fennel has repeatedly been shown to reduce inflammation and to help prevent the occurrence of cancer. I chew on about a half a teaspoon of fennel after eating (it is great for freshening the breath) and sometimes make fennel tea at night.
I don't know much about black cohosh or dong quai other than that people take them for their estrogen-like effects.
My advice is to look into these herbs more and see which one could be right for you. There is no exact daily value or 'dosage' for herbs, so be careful and don't take too much. When in doubt, follow what is recommended on the bottle."
06/22/2010: Julia from Bryson City, Nc replies: "The only problem I have with phytoestrogens, is if you've had breast cancer, and your cancer was hormone related, estrogen will feed your cancer. So you have to be careful with these phytoestrogens as well as soy."
11/14/2011: Pahlee from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania replies: "Is vitaim e good for vaginal atrophic?"
02/02/2012: Kimberly from Fl, Usa replies: "My gynecologist suggested using Olive oil. He says it soaks into the skin and will help with intercourse. As mentioned earlier a little goes along way. I guess either oil would work."
06/27/2013: Andrea C from Cardiff, Wales replies: "Ladies, do not use Replens. That's the name for it in the UK. I do not know what name it has internationally. It contains Trans Fatty Acid evild stuff. It is commonly prescribed for vaginal dryness over here. Check out drugs.com and it should bring up the name for it in other countries. Love Andrea C"
02/08/2014: Sharon from Scottsdale, Az replies: "I agree! REPLENS is not the answer for vaginal dryness. I am pursuing taking the herb puereria mirifica. I am a little concerned since I don't need larger breasts at all but I am willing to give this a shot for the vaginal dryness issue. I'll check back and let you know in a month how that's going."