Vaginal moisturizers are an excellent alternative to hormone treatment for vaginal dryness. There are several types of moisturizers on the market today. Moisturizers are typically inserted into the vagina every 3 days and hydrate the vaginal tissue to deliver moisture for days supplementing the body’s natural lubrication. Regular moisturizing can help prevent dryness from recurring similar to the way using moisturizers on your face and hands.
Vaginal dryness may be caused by many factors including hormonal changes, prescription and over the counter medications (including antihistamines and antidepressants), stress, heat, breast feeding, compromised immune systems, soaps, douches and many other things. Vaginal fluid is important because it contains certain key enzymes and proteins that help fight irritations, infection, itching and odor.
Below are three moisturizers that can be found in drugstores or online and that we recommend to patients.
- Replens: contains a bioadhesive that allows it to attach to dry, compacted cells and deliver continuous moisture until those cells are naturally regenerated (about every 3 to 5 days). This allows the vaginal tissues to absorb moisture leaving them hydrated and rejuvenated. Contains carbomer, glycerin, hydrogenated palm oil glyceride, mineral oil, polycarbophil. No parabens.
- KY Liquibeads: is the first and only vaginal moisturizer to use the less mess OVULE® insert. The premium quality silicone formula creates a barrier that preserves a long-lasting cushion of moisture. Once the OVULE® it begins to dissolve within minutes, locking in your body’s natural moisture and keeping vaginal tissue hydrated while enhancing comfort. Contains Dimethicone, Gelatin, Glycerin, Dimethiconol
- Luvena Prebiotic: the prebiotic formula contains key ingredients to keep a healthy flora balance of “good” bacteria, mainly lactobacilli (similar to the ones in yogurt). These “good” bacteria help prevent yeast infections. It is a paraben preservative-free and glycerin-free product. This product can help prevent the causes of vaginosis, yeast infection and bad odor. See this blog for more info on probiotics (link appropriate?)
All of these moisturizers are estrogen free. They can help maintain beneficial flora and correct pH levels. They all provide moisture for 3-4 days and can allow you the freedom to be spontaneous and ready for intimacy at any time. I definitely recommend trying one of the moisturizers above if you are experiencing vaginal dryness. If you are prone to yeast infections, I would recommend the Luvena Prebiotic.