Dry and itchy vagina are quite common issues among women. If you are also struggling with it, here are 7 home remedies for vaginal dryness!

Vaginal dryness and itching are commonly faced by women who may be breastfeeding or going through the menopause phase. But to be honest, these conditions can affect women at any age. They can lead to discomfort, including painful intercourse and an increased risk of vaginal infections. Typically, the vaginal lining is lubricated with fluid that maintains its thickness and elasticity. However, vaginal dryness occurs when the tissues of your vagina become dry, thin, and poorly moisturised, often due to low estrogen levels in the body. Fortunately, you can manage these symptoms with effective home remedies for vaginal dryness.

What causes vaginal dryness?

Vaginal dryness is commonly caused by a decrease in estrogen levels, which can occur during menopause, after childbirth, or as a result of breastfeeding. “Other hormonal changes, such as those induced by certain medications (like hormonal contraceptives or cancer treatments), can also lead to vaginal dryness. Apart from these factors, a poor lifestyle, which includes smoking, excessive stress, and dehydration, can also exacerbate the risk of vaginal dryness,” explains obstetrician and gynecologist Dr Swati Gaikwad. Additionally, using harsh soaps, douches, or other irritating chemicals in intimate areas can disrupt the natural balance of moisture, resulting in dryness. Stress can also lead to vaginal health problems.

9 home remedies for vaginal dryness

When it comes to treating vaginal dryness, you must first find out the cause of vaginal dryness. For this, you should refer to your healthcare provider who will diagnose the problem and suggest treatment accordingly. Still, there are some home remedies that have found to be helpful in dealing with vaginal dryness.

1. Coconut oil

Not just skin and hair, but coconut oil can be used as a moisturiser for dry vagina. There is lack of scientific evidence to support the benefits of coconut oil for vaginal dryness, so one should use it with caution. Dr Gaikwad says, “Coconut oil has moisturising properties and can be used as a lubricant that does not disturb the vaginal pH levels.” Apply a small amount of coconut oil externally only. It should not be used inside the vaginal canal.”

Before you use it, you must ensure you’re not allergic to coconut oil. In case, you are thinking of using it as a lubricant during sex, remember that it can increase the risk of breakage of condoms.

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2. Stay hydrated

Drinking enough water throughout the day not only keeps hydrated and nourished, but also helps to flush out the toxins from your body, reducing the risk of vaginal dryness. Dehydration may make your vagina dry and itchy, increasing the risk of vaginal infection. You may also drink coconut water and herbal teas to keep yourself hydrated.

Woman drinking water
Staying hydrated is important. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

3. Vitamin E

According to Ob-Gyn University of Colorado, vitamin E is an antioxidant that may play a role in estrogen stability and can keep your skin nourished and protected, making it beneficial for vaginal dryness. You can use vitamin E oil directly around the vaginal area to soothe and moisturise the skin, or you can consume vitamin E-rich foods such as almonds, spinach, and sweet potatoes. Vitamin E supplements may also help, but consult with your doctor before you take it.

4. Aloe vera gel

Aloe vera is well known for its soothing and moisturising properties. Pure aloe vera gel can be applied around the vaginal area to relieve dryness and irritation. A study published by the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that aloe vera vaginal cream can be as effective as estrogen vaginal cream in the management of vaginal atrophy (vaginal dryness) in menopausal females.

5. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish oil, chia seeds, flaxseeds, and walnuts, are crucial for maintaining healthy skin and mucous membranes. “These fats help improve the body’s production of lubrication and can decrease vaginal dryness,” explains Dr Gaikwad.

6. Baking soda

A study published by the Journal of Nursing Science-Benha University reveals that baking soda is an effective home remedy for treating the symptoms of vaginal infection, which include dryness, itchiness, and a burning sensation during urination. To use it, add half a cup of baking soda to a lukewarm bath and soak for 15 to 20 minutes.

7. Probiotics

Probiotic supplements or fermented foods such as yoghurt help retain healthy vaginal flora by killing bad bacteria overgrowth and restoring pH balance. A study published by Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology found that probiotics, when combined with estrogen supplements, can treat vaginal dryness and dyspareunia (painful intercourse).

probiotic for vaginal health
Add probiotics to your diet to safeguard your vaginal health. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

8. Cranberry juice

Cranberry juice is considered one of the best drinks to improve your vaginal health. This American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study supports this claim. “Cranberry juice is effective in maintaining urinary tract health and can also help the vagina by balancing pH levels and decreasing dryness, says Dr Gaikwad. It is important to choose a pure cranberry juice that doesn’t contain added sugars or artificial ingredients.

9. Neem oil

Neem oil and neem extract have antibacterial and antifungal properties that can help maintain healthy vaginal flora. “Neem also acts as a natural moisturiser. For treating vaginal dryness, neem oil can be diluted and applied to the area, but it is crucial to test a small patch first to ensure there is no allergic reaction,” suggests Dr Gaikwad.

While these home remedies are recommended to get rid of itchy and dry vagina, remember that your vagina is one of the most sensitive parts of your body and is prone to infections and allergies. Make sure you always test a small patch first before using any remedy or consult with your doctor.

7 tips to treat vaginal dryness

Vaginal dryness can be uncomfortable. Apart from these home remedies, keep these 7 tips in mind:

  • Using over-the-counter vaginal lubricants can provide immediate relief, especially during sex.
  • Avoid perfumed products and harsh soaps that can irritate the vaginal area.
  • Choosing breathable cotton underwear helps maintain a healthy environment, reducing irritation.
  • Smoking can affect blood circulation and hormone levels, potentially worsening dryness. So, it is best to avoid it.
  • Maintaining hygiene during menstrual periods is crucial. Otherwise, it can exacerbate symptoms.
  • High sugar levels can imbalance the natural flora of the vagina. So, limit your daily sugar intake.
  • Last but not least, do not forget to keep your vagina clean and dry.

With these tips and remedies, you will be able to manage vaginal dryness and discomfort at home!

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