Vaginal Dryness, also known as Vaginal atrophy or Atrophic Vaginitis, is a common and distressing condition which afflicts many women in the course of their lives, causing embarrassment, a sense of loss and at times, extreme physical discomfort.

A comfortable, naturally moist vagina which responds to sexual arousal with a surge of vaginal lubrication, can feel like a woman’s birthright. The loss of this, temporary or otherwise, can come as a shock, and be capable of undermining a woman’s sense of her innate womanliness and desirability.

‘If you are reading this, I know that you are on a mission to try and find an answer to overcome vaginal dryness. As a healthcare practitioner, and a woman, I understand just how debilitating vaginal dryness can be; and how much it can impact on your ability to relax and enjoy true intimacy with your partner.

Having searched extensively for the past few years to find a product, or products, which contain no chemical nasties, and will truly help alleviate this painful condition, I have finally found these beautiful products which I am more than happy to recommend because they absolutely can make a difference’ – Karen Featherstone, Clinical Nutritionist & Natural Fertility NZ Educator

What Causes Vaginal Dryness/Atrophy?

Vaginal tissue is kept moist, elastic and comfortable by lubrication which is naturally created by glands at the neck of the womb, and governed by the body’s production of estrogen. When the ovaries’ production of estrogen is disrupted, which can happen for a number of reasons, the vagina can feel itchy, dry and irritated. The resulting discomfort can be debilitating, and impact the comfort and pleasure of sex.

The commonest cause of a decrease in estrogen levels is menopause. The ovaries make less estrogen during this transition which leads to a thinning of the vaginal tissues and a reduction in the number of lubricating glands. In time, the vagina can become drier, shorter and less supple. For some women, these changes may occur without causing particular discomfort, while for others, distressing symptoms may develop.

For women who are experiencing vaginal dryness but are certainly not perimenopausal, there are many other possible causes. These include life events, such as childbirth and its aftermath, hormone treatments, such as HRT and contraceptives, illness such as cancer and its treatments, medications such as anti-depressants and hay-fever remedies, reaction to substances such as nicotine and alcohol, intolerance to preparations used in the vulvar area such as douches and harsh soaps and deep emotional upsets which can affect hormone production.

The following can all account for a change in estrogen levels:

Pregnancy · Childbirth · Breastfeeding · Post episiotomy · Heavy Cigarette smoking · Oral contraceptives · Post menstruation · Hysterectomy · Radiation and chemotherapy · Early menopause through cancer treatment · HRT, or coming off HRT · Ovulation · Anti-depressants · Candida Albicans · Emotional disturbances · Alcohol · Stress · Immune disorders · Allergy and cold medications · Douching

Symptoms that accompany Vaginal Dryness/Atrophy

  • Dryness, burning, stinging, swelling, chaffing and bleeding
  • Discomfort if the vulva is inflamed and sore
  • Pain when you have sex (Dyspareunia)
  • Infection and discharge may be experienced. The normal vaginal mucus, acidity and tissue elasticity protect against vaginal and urinary tract infections. When these are reduced, so are the natural defences, and infection meets less resistance. If you feel you have an infection, like a urinary tract infection, thrush, or bacterial vaginosis, please see your doctor.
  • Itching provokes scratching, which aggravates the itching, which leads to more furious scratching – or to the intolerable effort of not scratching. The sensitive skin around the vulva when weakened is prone to inflammation and itching.

If you are struggling with vaginal dryness, discomfort, pain or atrophy let me introduce you to your new best friend(s):

YES VM – Natural Vaginal Moisturiser

YES VM is a long lasting, organic natural vaginal moisturising gel. Designed to match the typical vaginal environment with none of the skin damaging or concerning chemicals typically found in vaginal moisturisers.

For those of my clients with chronic vaginal dryness/atrophy using YES VM every few days has brought longed for relief, and is a great alternative to vaginal estrogen creams which can have serious side effects – Karen Featherstone, Clinical Nutritionist & Natural Fertility NZ Educator   

YES VM Key Features:

  • Relieves vaginal atrophy and dryness, rapidly
  • Alleviates irritation, itching and burning
  • Moisturises and soothes dry and sensitive vaginal tissues
  • Gentle and long-lasting rehydration
  • Non-hormonal, estrogen-free
  • Lasts up to 3 days per application
  • Case studies show YES VM relieves vaginal dryness, itching, irritation and discomfort rapidly
  • pH matched to restore and/or maintain vaginal health
  • Bio-adhesive so releases moisture where needed
  • Odourless, colourless, no stickiness or fallout
  • Designed to match tissue osmolality* (this is important, see below)
  • Gynaecologist recommended

How does YES VM work?

YES VM lubricates the vaginal vault, the natural hydrocolloids (gums) are bio-adhesive, they gently hold on to the dry walls of the vagina and release water, where needed, rehydrating dry mucosa. When used regularly, YES VM will restore the natural protective acidity of the vagina.

*We mentioned osmolality. A vaginal moisturiser is in contact with sensitive and dry tissues for much longer than an intimate lubricant, so it is even more important that the vaginal moisturiser is designed to release water where needed and to be formulated from ingredients that are gentle. YES VM has been designed to match these vulnerable tissues in two ways. Firstly the pH is balanced to match typical vaginal pH (fairly acidic at pH3.7-4.5) and secondly the strength and concentration of the ingredients used in YES VM also matches these tissues. This ingredients’ strength or concentration is called Osmolality. YES VM is iso-osmotic to vaginal tissues, this means that it will rehydrate tissues that need it, but will not pull or push water into the tissues, unlike strongly hypo or strongly hyper osmotic moisturisers, so minimising any chance of tissue damage.

A review article that discusses the importance of vaginal moisturiser and Lubricant Osmolality in more depth can be downloaded here. A more detailed explanation of Osmolality in personal lubricants can be found here.

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YES OB – Natural Plant-Oil Based Personal Lubricant

YES OB not only feels exactly like our own vaginal lubrication, but this fantastic product has a rich velvety texture which provides lasting lubrication during intimacy (it completely out-performs water-based alternatives).

 

In cases of chronic vaginal dryness/atrophy my clients have found complete alleviation of any discomfort during intercourse when using YES OB in conjunction with YES VM – Natural Vaginal Moisturiser every 3-days ~ Karen Featherstone, Clinical Nutritionist & Natural Fertility NZ Educator

 

Those of us who have experienced vaginal dryness/atrophy can attest to the fact that many personal lubricants sting upon application, no matter how natural the product is said to be. Many of my clients have commented that YES OB does not sting upon application, and they find it incredibly soothing for hours after application ~ Karen Featherstone

 

YES OB Key Features:

  • Richly nourishing, providing soothing relief
  • Formulated for maximum lubricity and long-lasting glide
  • Imparts lavish and lasting lubrication
  • Rich velvety texture
  • Beneficial for skin, so no need to wash off
  • Gynaecologist recommended
  • Perfect for prolonged love-making
  • Natural plant-oil based alternative to silicone lubricants
  • Chemical and preservative free
  • Hypoallergenic: formulated to minimise the risk of allergies
  • Ideal for water play
  • Dual purpose intimate lubricant and massage oil
  • Safe for use with silicone toys
  • YES OB is NOT condom compatible

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YES WB – Water Based Personal Lubricant

YES WB offers a lovely alternative to YES Oil Based Personal Lubricant for those of you who occasionally struggle with vaginal dryness, or need to use condoms. Like YES Vaginal Moisturiser, YES WB balances vaginal pH, rapidly relieves dryness and discomfort, protects mucous membranes, and if necessary, supports healing, and is a nice substitute for the body’s own lubrications.

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