Menopause: Going Through A Dry Spell

Dry River Bed © lynette sheppard

Menopause means moist in all the wrong places. You’re dripping on the outside while your skin and tender membranes are desiccating as if they were exposed to a harsh Southwestern sun, 24/7.

We have feedback on our outer skin. We see it crack and peel, feel it itch or flake. And we pour on lotions. By the tubful. All that money we save on monthly feminine supplies? It’s nothing compared to what we have to budget now just to keep a semblance of moisture.

Inside we are dry too. Our natural vaginal moisture disappears. For some of us, it is noticeable in painful sexual intimacy. We buy and use lubricants to regain a healthy sex life. And thankfully, there are many products now mimic natural lubrication (see the Menopause Marketplace for some of our favorites.)

When vaginal dryness doesn’t cause painful intercourse, however, it can still cause health problems. Vaginal atrophy and thinning of the lining may manifest along with dryness. One of our own Venuses was having problems with drainage and recurrent infections. Turns out that sexual intimacy was resulting in microtears in the lining that were then becoming infected. Even though she couldn’t feel that. Using lubrication and taking estrogen intravaginally has alleviated the symptoms.

One of our faithful readers and satellite Venuses wrote me with a brilliant solution of her own. She was having urinary and bladder issues (again, which can be part of this whole post menopausal syndrome). She did not want to avail herself of HRT and was trying to find a more natural alternative.

Evening primrose oil has been used by some women for a variety of Menopause symptoms. This goddess had taken the capsules at one time for general relief of hot flashes and the like, but had to discontinue them because of nosebleeds. (Evening primrose oil can be a blood thinner. Remember, just because it is “natural” doesn’t mean “no side effects.”.)

She wondered about inserting the capsules as a vaginal suppository, where there would be a local effect (relief of dryness) without the systemic effects (blood thinning). Google turned up little information, so she tried it on her own.

And… it worked! No more dryness, relief of urinary symptoms, and reduction of hot flashes. “It’s not perfect,” she tells us. “There is a bit of leaking, so you need some light protection, but all in all, I think it’s fantastic, and I thought you might like to pass it on to others.” I think I’ll give it a try as well.

Another reader shared that she started drinking dong quai tea and lubrication was simply no longer a problem. Another potential remedy to try.

This is what we are all about. Women sharing wisdom – what works and what doesn’t. Our thought processes, experimentations, successes, and failures. Let us know what works for you. And doesn’t. We’ll gather around our virtual kitchen table here and help one another through the worst and best of the Big M. The best journeys are shared.

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33 Responses to Menopause: Going Through A Dry Spell

  1. Kat Mortensen May 7, 2011 at 8:05 pm #

    I’m heading to the health food store for some dong quai tea.

    It’s wonderful when we can share our ideas and what works. This site is a great place of trust and honesty and we need to take advantage of it.

    Kat

  2. goodpix May 8, 2011 at 7:46 am #

    THE CAPSUELS MIGHT NOT LEAK IF YOU TAKE THEM JUST AS YOU GO TO BED…gravity and all…

  3. Lynette Sheppard May 8, 2011 at 2:52 pm #

    Great idea, Goodpix. Maybe there are some instances where gravity can be our friend!

  4. Sherry June 17, 2011 at 9:42 am #

    Dong Quai didn’t help me but Maca did. Maca, however, also gave me terrible stomach cramps! Let’s see, which do I choose, moisture or a calm stomach? ARGH!

  5. Sherry from Alabama July 14, 2011 at 7:23 am #

    I’ve had the same experiences as the other Sherry. Dong Quai didn’t help with dryness, Maca is the only thing that has helped but I had horrible stomach cramps while taking it. I’m just glad I’m not the only one that had the same reaction to the maca.

  6. Barbara May 27, 2012 at 4:57 pm #

    I’ve been taking Evening Primrose oil for hot flashes and it does seem to help a little. But oral consumption has done nothing for my vaginal dryness. It’s been a triple whammy – loss of desire, painful because of dryness, and the last time intercourse even caused some bleeding. And that was using the Sex Butter! I think I’ll try the suppository method and see if that helps. Thanks for the suggestion!

  7. Diane October 27, 2012 at 8:57 pm #

    New Chapter Super critical Omega-7 is very good for vaginal dryness. I also use New Chapter Wholemega Fish Oil along with Vitamin E. I find these products keep my vaginal area very lubricated.

  8. LynetteSh November 2, 2012 at 2:35 pm #

    Good to know, thanks Diane.

  9. Delia January 24, 2013 at 1:24 pm #

    I am about 1.5 years into menopause, I have been taking evening primrose for about one year. I can feel the difference if I don’t take it. The only symptoms of menopause that I still experienced were the mood swings. So, a friend suggested I use evening primrose topically, pin hole in gel, rubbed into the vaginal area. Also suggested was to use it on the face for help with your cosmetic purposes. So far, so good. It has only been a week. I noticed an immediate relief of mood swing after application to vaginal area. Delia

  10. R. Melndz April 23, 2014 at 3:17 am #

    just got diagnosed with vaginal atrophy after thinking it was everything from yeast to god knows what. now trying ovestin estrogen cream. in the meantime it feels like i’m riding a red hot poker to hell. lol i’m 63, american, living in new zealand. my friend sent me some replens from the states. i’d been naughty and not taken estrogen cream in about a year. it all hit me at once! pain and discomfort. thanks for letting me share…….

  11. LynetteSh May 8, 2014 at 4:55 pm #

    So sorry to hear – hope it feels better soon. Believe me – it’s more common than we ever thought. Sheesh!

  12. rosemary May 8, 2014 at 6:53 pm #

    thanks lynette! after ten solid days of ‘shooting up ‘ estrogen cream it got better, now i’m never going to give it up and my replens! i can’t imagine a woman being silent about this condition. it gets to the point you can’t even walk and feel physically ill. girls get help!

  13. Elsie January 5, 2015 at 10:40 am #

    I am allergic to progesterone and strogens. last time i put a estrogen cream it burned my insides so i put ice cubes insde to help. Painful intercourse and no sex for 15 years due to lasting pain when touching that area and after sex, never tried again but itching is terrible, i use jock itching cream which helps somewhat, I wash vaginal area with oil soap and water three times a day to soothe the area.
    reading hot romances helps me sometimes, i feel desire then but acting upon it i am afraid the pain will return, so doing nothing.

  14. LynetteSh January 9, 2015 at 1:39 pm #

    Oh Elsie, I am so sorry for all you are going through. There is a gentle healing and lubricating salve called Loverslube Personal Lubricant – made by Moonmaid Botanicals. I use it for intimacy, but also for healing and soothing the effects of dryness. All natural herbal salve – love it. Try it for soothing the dryness as well as their Vital V Wild Yam Salve for the vulva – external use for this one. Let us know how it works for you – and good luck, darlin’! Here’s hoping intimacy returns soon. (Also Google holistic MD’s to see what other options might be available from a good practitioner.) Go to MoonmaidBotanicals.com for the salves.

  15. Sara r August 5, 2015 at 1:35 pm #

    Thanks so much for the suggestion of inserting the evening primrose oil capsules. It worked after only a couple of days. I’m in early menopause at 43 and intercourse was very painful. I tried vagifem but became very irritable. This has been a lifesaver for my health and marriage.

  16. LynetteSh August 5, 2015 at 1:38 pm #

    So happy to hear that, Sara. Sometimes it is the simplest things that work the best. Stay cool! Lynette

  17. Lisa August 16, 2015 at 4:03 pm #

    How wonderful to find this blog and all the wonderful natural information here. EPO experiment is underway. I have managed the pause so gracefully with Yoga, Ayurveda and Meditation until the onset of severe intravaginal dryness. I’ve got a wonderful GYN and here’s the thing: the last time I was there, I was faithfully taking EPO. She asked me why I was no longer taking it. Now that’s a big step for Western Medicine. Once you actually MENTION you want some natural options, hopefully you have a great GYN that works WITH you. She even is going to talk with a pharmacist about getting applicators fabricated for women who make their own coconut oil suppositories…same for EPO suppository- I think you’ve got to get the product high enough in the vagina.

  18. LynetteSh August 19, 2015 at 12:49 pm #

    Thanks so much for sharing your experience, Lisa. I couldn’t agree more that we need to find trusted, enlightened health care partners. Keep us posted on your experiment!

  19. Nan January 28, 2016 at 12:17 pm #

    Evening primrose oil, as a suppository, worked wonders for me with the dryness. I also had burning during intercourse, and it cut down on that as well. It was a little scary to insert the gel capsule…but it was all good. I swear by the stuff now

  20. Tanya March 3, 2016 at 4:32 pm #

    Hi Ladies,

    I came to your site a few months ago. I got the tea mentioned above and I tried the Evening Primrose as a suppository. The EP worked OK, but not as well as I wanted it to. So, I kept looking. Well, I saw an oil mixture for almost $100.00, I did not get it, however, I read the ingredients and so I added to the Evening Primrose vitamin E. Between my husbands ED and my vaginal dryness and pain… so much pain there was nothing happening in our bedroom or anywhere else, it was months long stretches in between because of the pain. So, I went to my GYN and he suggested Osphena and the lubricant Luvena.
    Well, as I read the side effects of Osphena I said nope, nope. So, I decided to try cutting the EP and the Vit E capsule open and apply to my vaginal walls/lining and use the Luvena together. Messy but I don’t care as long as it works. The first time after months it was still a little painful. But once we got going all the pain was gone, I was so happy about that. Well, we tried again. We are busy, but since we have somewhat a solution in my mind we need to keep it going…. so it has been a week and I said let’s try again. So, a little while ago we tried again, hardly no pain at all!!! I have to believe that it will only get better and better the more we have intercourse. We have a reason not to let so much time pass between intercourse now. I think it will only get better. I just wanted to pass on the success, The EP 1300 and the Vit E 1000mg was less than 25.00 bucks. You apply only when you are about to have sex. PERFECT!!!!!

  21. Ashley Jeanne Ross March 5, 2016 at 1:21 am #

    Thank you for sharing your story and great recommendations with us, Tanya. Now we all get to benefit from your research. Vaginal dryness can take the joy right out of intimacy – and can put a strain on our relationships. I’m glad you figured out such a simple, albeit slippery, solution. Vitamin E and our vaginal tissue simply love each other – women have used it to repair cervical damage effectively too. Enjoy, Ashley

  22. Patti Cole June 16, 2016 at 3:26 pm #

    Lisa
    Will you share the name of the Pharmacits that manufacture the applicators for COCONUT OIL? Thank you!!

  23. Rita July 17, 2016 at 1:13 pm #

    Hi. I’ve been using vitamin e vaginally for the past several years. It helps with daily comfort but hasn’t helped with sexual pain. Haven’t tried EPO vaginally and am curious if it will be better for my needs. Currently using 800mg of vitamin e – what is the recommended amount of EPO for vaginal application? Thanks!!

  24. LynetteSh August 1, 2016 at 12:37 pm #

    Most women I’ve talked with use 1-2 500 mg capsules of evening primrose oil. Start with one and give it time to work. Good luck! Keep us posted.

  25. C Willcutt August 31, 2016 at 6:21 am #

    Women listen up! You have to do the research. I am like a lab mouse I TRY EVERYTHING before I share! Evening Primrose is the BEST! No chemical vag creams because they can give you cancer in the long run no matter how bio-identical they match our bodies! If they work for you great! Ok you get the primrose capsule poke a tiny hole in it put some on your clean finger stick it up there circle it around work it and put on your outter rose petals yep thats what I call it! Also take one every day IT WORKS NO MORE PAINFUL SEX, DRYNESS,etc. The trick is you keep a capsule in the bathroom on a paper towel hidden if you prefer , use it before you go to bed and in the mornning after you pee get back in bed if your husband likes it in the morning and take control of his member lol he will love you for it. Give it time to work its a fatty acid we all need in our bodies. Hot flashes you don’t want any well give up the caffeine, alcohol, and fatty foods GONE. Hey sorry its real easy. Your body temp. will go back to being normal! Try it for 2 weeks. Make sure you get natural primrose no synthetics anything ending in ide or ate leave it on the shelves! WITH ANY VITAMINS. Good luck

  26. C W August 31, 2016 at 6:29 am #

    Women listen up! You have to do the research. I am like a lab mouse I TRY EVERYTHING before I share! Evening Primrose is the BEST! No chemical vag creams because they can give you cancer in the long run no matter how bio-identical they match our bodies! If they work for you great! Ok you get the primrose capsule poke a tiny hole in it put some on your clean finger stick it up there circle it around work it and put on your outter rose petals yep thats what I call it! Also take one every day IT WORKS NO MORE PAINFUL SEX, DRYNESS,etc. The trick is you keep a capsule in the bathroom on a paper towel hidden if you prefer , use it before you go to bed and in the mornning after you pee get back in bed if your husband likes it in the morning and take control of his member lol he will love you for it. Give it time to work its a fatty acid we all need in our bodies. Hot flashes you don’t want any well give up the caffeine, alcohol, and fatty foods GONE. Hey sorry its real easy. Your body temp. will go back to being normal! Try it for 2 weeks. Make sure you get natural primrose no synthetics anything ending in ide or ate leave it on the shelves! WITH ANY VITAMINS. Good luck

  27. Delia Galindo November 15, 2016 at 5:33 pm #

    What helps my dry skin?

  28. LynetteSh November 21, 2016 at 4:02 pm #

    Alas, it is different for every woman – some swear by coconut oil, some like jergen’s or other over the counter products. Recently, my hair became dry – I tried commercial products and coconut oil with some success but then tried olive oil – left on for 20 minutes and then shampoo. A miracle. Good luck and keep us posted, Delia.

  29. Itzy January 20, 2017 at 2:30 pm #

    My dear friend, I used it vaginal and it really help with the hot flashes! I used to take it orally but I had a lot of bruises, but the results vaginaly are 90 %better! Good luck dear.

  30. kat April 11, 2017 at 1:52 am #

    I have just started using EVO for menopausal vaginal dryness. How often is recommended and many capsules should I be using?

  31. C Willcutt May 15, 2017 at 5:20 am #

    Yes evening primrose really helps. I got off of Estrace cream ! I just dont feel like taking chemicals which might give us cancer. Also the price is crazy 250 to 350 for a tube. Some insurance dont even cover it. Also take the primrose orally makes your skin beautifulllll its also great moisturizer . Good luck to all you women. A big plus get to working out and drink lots of water you will see a big difference. C Willcutt.

  32. Kate Andrews June 3, 2017 at 6:43 pm #

    Hi I use paw paw ointment externally as a lubricant. I find the perineal area is where I feel that dryness that needs some lubricant help when I make love. It feels more fragile and less moist. Also. someone commented on overall dry skin. An Ayurvedic doctor I visited recommended black sesame oil as a daily all body rub. I bought a huge bulk tin of organic black sesame and rub it all over each day/ after a shower but often as I go to bed. It really seems to be beneficial for my skin. I did a google and its not surprising as is full of nutrient for skin. In Ayurvedic medicine it is highly regarded treatment to deeply nourish us. I know its not on topic but they also mentioned a warm foot bath before bed and to rub the iol in after as a panacea for sleep difficulties. Its really great/ does help along with my fresh grown camomile flowers in tea

  33. LynetteSh June 11, 2017 at 2:30 pm #

    Wonderful info, Kate. Thanks so much for sharing.

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