Q. I’m a newly-wed, and I have severe vaginal dryness all the time. Everything there is so dry that it itches constantly and it really hurts when my husband tries to touch me to “get things started.”
I tried using a moisturizer (Cetaphil) and it helps temporarily but the relief is short-lived. Could extra-virgin olive oil help me?

A. First, check in with your gynecologist to make sure there is no infection causing the symptoms. Oil may be helpful, but only if you and your husband are not using latex barrier contraceptives. If you are, look for a water-based lubricant that would not destroy latex.
Olive oil is not the only option. We heard recently from a reader in Great Britain: “My girlfriend and I have used pharmaceutical-grade coconut oil as a sexual lubricant for five years. It is inexpensive, pure, tasteless, odorless and glides beautifully. It also has fantastic antibacterial properties that discourage yeast infections and soothe delicate skin.” For more details and a variety of other approaches to ease vaginal dryness we are sending you our Guide to Menopause.

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  1. Deborah
    Reply

    My husband and I have been using organic coconut oil for several years with no problems. It is much better then any other lubricant we have tried. It can go rancid, but we usually have the jar for a year or more at room temp without any problems. It also works well as a lotion for very dry skin.

  2. Amy
    Reply

    I have tried coconut oil as a lubricant a few times. No problems occurred. However, this last time, I developed a raging UTI. I don’t know if it was a coincidence or if it is a result of using the coconut oil. Any ideas? I am hesitant to try it again, that’s how sick I became.

  3. Ronni B.
    Reply

    My interest and studies on the healing properties of food (nutrition-related and otherwise) led me to follow this string of comments regarding “natural” lubricants and moisturizers. In response to the posting on Abolene as a lubricant, several of the product ingredients have been associated with potential harm. For example, petrolatum has been implicated in dry skin and chapping, paraffin products labeled as poisonous, and ceresin listed as a potential concern by the Environmental Working Group.
    Readers might take precaution is using this product in such a sensitive and porous area as the vaginal walls. If you wouldn’t ingest it, you might think twice about applying it to your skin.
    References:
    http://www.organicconsumers.org/bodycare/toxic_cosmetics.cfm
    http://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/poison/paraffin-poisoning/overview.html#Poisonous-Ingredient
    http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/701212/CERESIN/

  4. slwhite74
    Reply

    Before I say this, I agree to see a specialist. I suggest you to see someone who deals specifically in hormonal problems and pelvic issues. I know someone who could not have sexual relations for years and everyone thought she was just “Frigid” or stick in the mud, or just wanting attention. But it turns out she had a severe hormonal problem. You seem too young to just have a drying out issue. The person I know saw a doctor in Maryland.
    Thanks.

  5. DWD
    Reply

    Abolene is a moisturizing cleanser for make-up removal. We first heard about it right here on The Peoples Pharmacy. It has only 5 ingredients: Mineral oil, Petrolatum, paraffin, ceresin, beta carotene. You can find it in the make-up section of drugstores – probably places like Kmart and Walmart as well. Bought our first container from Eckerd Drugs and second from Rite Aid which took over the Eckerd stores. Have not had to shop for a third container.
    It comes in a 12 ounce container and it will last you a long time. We transfer an ounce or so at a time to a smaller screw lid container that is more convenient for travel and bedside use. It has a balance of mineral oil and petrolatum such that it liquefies when you rub it on skin.
    I just worked in concrete today, and that stuff really dries out your hands so guess what I used a little dab on my hands.
    We have tried adding a little olive oil in the past, but have gone back to pure abolene.

  6. CS
    Reply

    What is abolene and where do you purchase??

  7. DWD
    Reply

    Hey, thanks for the replies. I had the same question. It will be interesting to try. We still prefer Abolene to other lubricants. My only thought would be that coconut oil is organic like vegetable oils and would turn rancid, so don’t buy it in large quantities. Abolene has lanolin, but no vegetable oil so it does not seem to turn rancid.
    On another note on Abolene, I like beeswax based hand balms, but they are a bit stiff to get on your hands. I found out that mixing those balms 50/50 with Abolene make them apply easier.

  8. Connie D.
    Reply

    I have found it in Health Stores, where you buy vitamins and such. Sometimes supermarket carry it if you go to the ‘health lane’ along w/ vitamins etc.

  9. CH
    Reply

    Where can you order/get this pharmaceutical-grade coconut oil from?
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: THE PERSON WHO WROTE LIVES IN GREAT BRITAIN AND GETS IT FROM A CHEMIST, IE PHARMACY.

  10. CMR
    Reply

    Where does one get pharmaceutical grade coconut oil and how does it differ from organic coconut oil?
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: WE DON’T KNOW WHERE TO GET PHARMACEUTICAL GRADE COCONUT OIL IN THE US. THE COMMENTER LIVES IN GREAT BRITAIN. ORGANIC COCONUT OIL FROM THE GROCERY SHOULD WORK AS WELL.

  11. a.s.
    Reply

    where to get this pharmaceutical-grade coconut oil?

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