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Any Natural Remedies to Replace Oestrogen?

By: Sarah Knowles BA, MA - Updated: 7 Nov 2013 | comments*Discuss
 
Vaginal Dryness Vaginal Dryness Natural

Q.

I am 62 and post menopausal. My GP has told me that I am lacking oestrogen which is causing vaginitis and a sore urethra. I have had HRT in the past but came off it as it was causing permanent spotting of blood. Sexual relations are becoming difficult with my husband as I feel sore and I really want to be able to have an intimate relationship with my husband. Are there any natural remedies to replace the oestrogen that is lacking?

(G.J, 1 May 2009)

A.

Pain and vaginitis are not a pleasant combination, and it is completely understandable why you don't want to be on HRT, or Hormone Replacement Therapy, if it has caused spotting in the past. Luckily, other alternative natural remedies are out there, and hopefully one will be right for you.

Women who have already gone through the menopause, or who are experiencing it now, often get vaginal dryness. This happens when a lack of oestrogen makes the vaginal tissues thinner, and also makes the amount of lubrication produced during intercourse reduced. HRT can help relieve that, so can over-the-counter water-based gels and jellies that do not contain hormones, such as KY jelly and other sexual lubricants.

If you have tried these remedies and they don't work well for you, you may want to consider foods that are rich in phytoestrogens, or plant-based oestrogens, which have been known to relieve vaginal dryness in many women.

Foods rich in such phytoestrogens are celery, chick peas, garlic, kidney beans, grains, lentils, flax or linseed, some herbs and spices, other fruits and vegetables and soy. A soy-rich diet can work as it mimics the action of oestrogen as it contains plant-based isoflavones. However, can take at least six weeks to see any effect.

You could also consider taking a supplement rich in phytoestrogens, or drinking certain teas which are known to help. The most popular ones remedies are:

Black Cohosh: This herb is a popular alternative to HRT, although nobody seems to know exactly why it works. Can be used for a variety of symptoms attributed to menopause, including hot flushes, mood disturbances and vaginal dryness. Please note that it is not always recommended for use by women with a history of breast cancer.

Dong Quai: Also dubbed the “female ginseng” because it has such a positive effect on balancing the female hormonal system. As it has several potential side-effects and cannot be taken by people with certain medical conditions, sensitivities or allergies, consult your GP first.

Vitamin E: Try topical creams or try a suppository containing Vitamin E for natural lubrication.

Motherwort, Calendula and Aloe Vera. Try these as topical creams to relieve dryness and itching of the vagina.

Dandelion and Oat Straw Tea: Some herbalists swear these teas can help with vaginal dryness. Try a cuppa and see if they work for you!

Remember that you should always consult your GP before taking any type of alternative therapies, even ones that are completely natural. They can still interact with prescription medications you may be taking, and can make them less effective. They can also, in some cases, be dangerous when mixed with other prescription meds and/or natural treatments.

Hopefully you will find something here that is of use. If not, you should have another chat with your GP, or perhaps consult a professional herbalist in conjunction with a GP consultation. Good luck!

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