Natural vs estrogen-based vaginal creams

When it comes to choosing the best treatment for vaginal dryness, the cause and level of severeness should be considered in order to decide. Always consult with your doctor if you experience severe symptoms like bleeding, pain during intercourse and if your vaginal dryness is affecting your daily life. Over the counter alternatives can help you when you experience milder symptoms of vaginal dryness and could be a good place to start.

Over the counter alternatives available for milder symptoms of vaginal dryness

For those who suffer from vaginal dryness, itching or burning, painful urination and pain during sex, a non-hormonal moisturizer may be the right option. Some of these symptoms can also be helped by vaginal estrogen but should be discussed with your doctor first.

Estrogen creams are very effective treatments when the cause of vaginal dryness occurs as a result of a drop in the estrogen levels and added estrogen can help restore and rebuild mucosal cells. The method depends on preference, but for long term use more research is needed and someone who has severe symptoms should always consult with a doctor. Treatments containing estrogen are not always advisable for women who are for example breastfeeding and who have a history of breast cancer.

Non-estrogen moisturizers and lubricants can also help reduce symptoms and discomfort and treatment options are available over the counter. Milder symptoms of vaginal dryness can be treated with non-hormonal alternatives and the effectiveness thereafter evaluated.

Consider medical history and cause for vaginal dryness when choosing treatment

Depending on how severe your symptoms are, as well as what is causing your vaginal dryness, you can explore treatment options that are over the counter to begin with. Milder symptoms can be treated with alternatives found over the counter. For long term use, and when your symptoms are affecting your daily life more severely, always consult with a doctor to find a solution that works best for you.

Estrogen-based treatments are not for everyone, depending on medical history and the cause behind experiencing vaginal dryness. These can also trigger certain side effects, which is worth being aware of and taking into consideration.

Non-hormonal options for milder symptoms and short-term use

Vaginal estrogen can be taken in different forms, such as:

  • Tablets
  • Creams
  • An estrogen-infused vaginal ring

Topical estrogen therapy is medication applied directly to the area, instead of taking the medication as a pill to relieve symptoms of vaginal dryness.

Examples of non-hormonal ways to treat symptoms of vaginal dryness include:

  • vaginal moisturizers without estrogen or other hormones
  • a water-based lubricant before intercourse
  • spend extra time for sexual foreplay to build up moisture
  • only use un-perfumed soaps and toiletries adapted for vaginal use when washing
  • look into your underwear fabric, cotton is preferable

When to see a doctor

Contact your doctor to get advice on how to move forward if:

  • you are experiencing unusual discharge or bleeding from the vagina
  • bleed in between periods or after sex
  • it is affecting your daily life
  • you have tried different treatments on your own for a couple of weeks and are still suffering

Trying a non-hormonal alternative to start could help you decide whether you need to proceed exploring further options. Consulting with a doctor can always be reassuring when trying to find a solution for vaginal dryness. There are solutions available to relieve symptoms and help you focus on other areas of your life! 

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