At Elle Sera we are always trying to break the stigma surrounding women’s downstairs issues and discuss all manner of side effects of ‘the change’. A common but seldom spoken of symptom of the menopause is a dryness of the V.
It’s an uncomfortable symptom which can affect a ladies’ everyday life. Discomfort during physical activity, burning, irritation, itching, painful sex - the list goes on.
It’s caused by a drop in oestrogen levels during the menopause.
A few do’s and don’ts to help matters are listed here…
- using vaginal moisturisers, like lubricants (more listed below)
- wash with non-perfumed soaps
- engaging in foreplay before intercourse
- trying vaginal estrogen products, such as a ring, tablet, or cream
- refraining from bubble baths and scented products in and around the vaginal area
- avoiding certain antihistamines, which can reduce vaginal lubrication
- trying phytoestrogen supplements, which can reduce vaginal dryness (like Elle Sera)
HRT and estrogen replacement can help resolve symptoms, but may be contraindicated or not desired by all women. It’s not the only answer though.
So is Omega 7 - (Seabuckthorn oil) for helping intimate dryness.
You can also use lubricants. In fact I believe most women should use lubricants during sex (and round the clock if need be). It doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you or your partner is doing something wrong. It just makes everything more moisturised.
You need to start thinking of your intimate skin the same way, you do your face. Most women wouldn’t dream of not moisturising their faces to ensure healthy skin and your V skin deserves the same treatment.
Lube also creates better sensations, can make foreplay fabulous, intercourse intense and adds more pleasure.
So without further ado, here’s your 411 on lubricants.
Most over-the-counter vaginal moisturisers and lubricants can ease the symptoms of vaginal dryness. However, the ingredients and chemical composition in the products can vary enormously, so you need to find one that’s right for you.
There are three main types of lubricants women should consider.
Water-based lubricant: This is a common type of lubricant. Some water-based products will contain glycerin, while others are specifically glycerin-free. Water-based lubricants can also contain other ingredients, such as preservatives and antimicrobials.
Silicone-based lubricant: Silicone-based lubricants are hypoallergenic, so may be the most suitable for people with sensitive skin. This type of lubricant is long lasting, so a person may not need to apply it as often as water-based lubricants if they intend to use it to relieve vaginal dryness during the day. A person can also use silicone-based lubricants with condoms. However, this type of lubricant is not suitable for use with sex toys, as it can degrade them over time. Also, it could stain clothes.
Oil-based lubricants: Oil-based lubricants provide a slippery feel and last a long time. As with silicone-based lube, a person may find that oil-based lubricants stain fabrics and are difficult to clean up. An older 2013 found a person may be at a higher risk of developing a yeast infection if they use oils inside the vagina. As such, oil-based lubricants may not be suitable for people susceptible to yeast infections. Individuals should not use oil-based products with latex condoms or other latex-based products, as they are associated with an increase risk of condom breakage.
Gennev Intimate Moisture: This product is made specifically for vaginal dryness caused by menopause. It is an all-in-one water-based lubricant and moisturiser. The manufacturer claims it does not contain parabens, fragrances, flavours, or hormones. Additionally, Gennev states that the product is PH balanced.
Lola Personal Lubricant: This lubricant is hypoallergenic, water-based, and created with natural ingredients. The company claims that it does not contain parabens, glycerin, flavours, colours, or fragrances. The bottle features a one-handed pump system to reduce mess. The formula is pH-balanced for vaginal health, and the company claims that the product has approval from gynaecologists.
Sliquid Organics Natural Gel: This product is a thick, organic aloe vera-based lubricant. Sliquid states that it is vegan-friendly, nontoxic, hypoallergenic, and free from gluten, parabens, and sulphates. There is also no flavour or scent. Made from recyclable packaging, this product is all-natural and the online product description states that it has a similar consistency to silicone-based products.
Pink Silicone Lubricant: This silicone-based lubricant is available in three sizes or a single-use packet. The manufacturer says it is hypoallergenic and free from glycerin and parabens. Pink Sensuals also states that this lubricant is safe to use with latex condoms and non-porous sex toys. According to the online product description, the formula contains aloe vera and vitamin E for their restorative and healing properties.