Whether it is dry skin or oily hair, we tend to try out different home remedies first. What about a natural lubricant for vaginal dryness? Well, olive oil works wonders on dry skin, as it can help to keep your skin hydrated. But can it be a safe solution for vaginal dryness too? Truth be told, it’s not ideal to experiment with different things down there. You never know when you might get an infection due to the wrong choice of product or home remedy. So, let’s find out if olive oil is the best natural lubricant for vaginal dryness or it’s just a bad idea!
HealthShots consulted Dr Rujul Jhaveri, Consultant- Obstetrics and Gynaecology, SRCC Hospital, managed by Narayana Hospital, Mumbai, to know if olive oil can be used by women with vaginal dryness complaints.
What is vaginal dryness?
Just like your face and arms, your vagina can also have dryness issues.
Dr Jhaveri says that vaginal dryness refers to a condition where the vagina lacks adequate moisture. When there is less moisture down there, it will feel dry, itchy and uncomfortable. It is quite a common problem that is experienced by women, especially during menopause or when they are breastfeeding.
Causes of vaginal dryness
Yes, hormonal changes during menopause or breastfeeding can lead to vaginal dryness, but the cause doesn’t end there. There are other causes of vaginal dryness too. Let’s find out!
• Certain medications like antihistamines or chemotherapy drugs
• Autoimmune disorders
• Certain hygiene products
• Medical procedures like radiation therapy or surgery
Health benefits of olive oil
Olive oil, which is a healthy fat, is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. It can be used in cooking (right way to use olive oil for cooking), as a salad dressing, or as a topical treatment for dry skin and hair, says the expert.
Olive oil for vaginal dryness
Olive oil is a natural lubricant that some women use to alleviate vaginal dryness, says the expert. While it can be helpful for some, it is important to note that using any oil-based product in the vagina can increase the risk of infection. So, Dr Jhaveri advises not to use it for vaginal dryness. Oil-based products can sometimes cause irritation and allergic reactions, and disrupt the natural pH balance of the vagina, leading to infections. Also, using oil-based products, including olive oil, can break down latex condoms. This in turn will increase the risk of sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancy.
If you experience persistent vaginal dryness, it is best to talk to a doctor for further evaluation and management. A doctor can help identify the underlying cause of your symptoms and recommend appropriate treatment options.
Can women use natural oils for vaginal dryness?
Coconut oil, almond oil, and vitamin E oil are commonly used as natural lubricants, but there is a catch here. They can increase the risk of infections and should not be used with condoms.
Tips to do away with vaginal dryness
To reduce vaginal dryness, women can try the following tips!
• Stay hydrated
• Avoid harsh soaps and hygiene products
• Use a water-based lubricant during sex
• Avoid douching, which means washing the vagina with water or a mixture of fluids to clean vagina and eliminate odors (side effects of vaginal douching)
• Consult a doctor about hormone therapy or other treatment options.