two coconuts, one split open

Q. You had a reader who wanted to know what to do for vaginal dryness. I’d like to respond.

From my experience, coconut oil is best. It is inexpensive and widely available at health food stores. It comes in a glass jar. Even though it is a bit solid in the jar, when it is allowed to warm to room temperature it easily dissolves into the skin. It is harmless to the tender tissues of the vagina and has antiviral and antibacterial properties that are very helpful.

A. Thanks for the recommendation. We have heard from several women who use olive oil for vaginal lubrication. As coconut oil is edible, it seems it too should be safe. Do keep in mind that oil of any sort is incompatible with latex and should not be used with diaphragms or condoms.

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  1. Vonnie

    Start by calling to see who specializes in this area. I use clobetasol ointment twice a day for about a week to get it under control, Then once a day for a week. Then once at night twice a week. Double rinse your cotton underwear. Mix organic virgin coconut oil with vitamin E oil and use it often as you like. If coconut oil does help, use Vitamin E oil and olive oil. I am gonna try some eucerin cream an vitamin E. Use moisturizing oatmeal soap and rinse well. Use hypoallergenic pads, no latex condoms. My doc prescribed gabapentin for the pain. Helps tons. Get checked every six moths because we have 5% chance of getting vaginal cancer which is rare. Cut down on sweets. Make sure you aren’t allergic to something you are eating. Make sure you don’t need estrogen. If you have insurance estring works pretty good. It’s 80% as effective as the creams but less of a problem. If too expensive get something off walmart list. You are not alone. You will get thru this! God bless.

  2. RD

    get refined organic coconut oil very soothing.

  3. Mrs.A.Gilbert

    HELLO! I’m starting to feel the same way about sexual intercourse since I had a hysterectomy around 10 years ago due to large fibroids and excessive hemorrhaging. I opt to just have the uterus and cervix removed my tubes and ovaries were just fine Thank God! Now I’m starting to go through perimenopa use and my vagina has thinned out and we use lubrication and my vagina is starting to feel pressure and pain… Damn what’s a girl too do?
    My husband say’s don’t worry about it, but I do…I know sex starts in the brain but damn it ain’t quite working in the body as it once did… I here it could be a combination of psychological and physical… I’m all for natural healing stuff!!! I started eating more omega 3 foods to see if that might thicken my vaginal tissues. Good luck with your situation….Pray!

  4. Bh

    Hi could you please tell me how the coconut oil is applied. Do you put it inside your vagina as a suppository? Or apply on the outside? Thank you

  5. AB

    I use coconut oil for lots of things. I tried using it as lubricant and several time it has caused a yeast infection or heightened my already lurking candida issues. I wasn’t sure at first, but this is the 4th time my symptoms has occured within a coule days of using the cocnut oil.
    I am using virgin, cold pressed, unrefined organic.. nothing cheap. I have an overactive immune system and believe to suffer from candida. I can have a few good months without issue, but using this.. for me… messes my bacteria up almost instantly.
    It sucks cause I love coconut oil for other things and it’s great as a lubricant. Just not for me. It does have antibacterial and microbial properties, so it seems logical that it can mess with the harmony of your existing bacterias.

  6. JED

    I’m not sure why u would take an anti-depressant for vaginal nerve pain. It certainly won’t prevent nerve pain. Have u talked to ur doc about this or seen a neurologist? The drug Neurontin is commonly used to suppress nerve pain. Valium or medical marijuana might also help. Don’t let the docs dissuade you from trying MM or Valium. Basically they are ignorant of what they themselves have not experienced…plus they all just want to cover their own behinds.

    • JTD

      Not sure where you get your information from. I suspect it is purely anecdotal. Neurontin and Lyrica are used for nerve pain and have different levels of effectiveness for different people. Cymbalta, an antidepressant, IS used very successfully for some nerve pain. One of the older tricyclic antidepressants, imiprimine AKA Tofranil, was, and occassionally still is, used to treat nerve pain. I have used both for chronic pain related to back and neck injuries.

      I have also worked with many people suffering from chronic nerve pain and the antidepressants are effective. Opiates are fine for muscle pain or surgical pain but have had little to no impact on my nerve pain. Valium, along with the other benzos, may help muscle pain but is ineffective with nerve pain except it may help you to relax thereby reducing tension in the area of the pain. The only other thing it will do is make you not care. Keep in mind there is the potential for abuse, dependence and addiction with any of the opiates and any of the benzos.

      The jury is still out on medical marijuana although one of my brothers who had terminal brain cancer did rely on weed at the end of his life and it was the only thing that gave him relief. That, however, does not substantiate it’s medical effectiveness and the side effects can be, as with any drug, substantial, i.e., weed makes some people extremely paranoid. In any case, a person with any medical condition should seek the consult of their own physician and certainly not rely on the opinions of commenters in a forum like this. Even if you are a physician, you are not that person’s physician.

    • Lavender

      Just wanted to clear up the antidepressant for vaginal pain. I, too, took a low dose specific antidepressant for vaginal pain. My pain and irritation was extreme to the point that for several days after intercourse, my whole genital area would be painful and even throb at times. I had to take pain meds to keep it tolerable. I was eventually diagnosed with vulvodynia, and if I haven’t spelled that right I’m sorry, but you can find plenty of info online about it. Hence, the antidepressant (Amytriptaline), which works to reformat the mind out of thinking of pain when intercourse happens. It is used “off label” in this way, and was successful for the most part, in my case. I still suffer from irritation feelings and pain at times, but am on a changed HRT routine, and we use lubricant (as always, never stopped). I am very interested in using coconut oil, because perhaps it will take away that last bit of pain I feel and then we can enjoy our time together for a bit longer.

  7. rd

    I had pelvic radiation for anal cancer which resulted in permanent skin damage throughout my entire rectal area, as well as early menopause and vaginal stenosis. I was using prescription hydrocortisone/pramoxyn creme for my rectum but at $90 even with insurance I decided to try coconut oil.
    It’s doing a much better job and I can’t imagine going without it. I was also looking for a lubricant and vaginal moisturizer so I tried CO for that too, with great success and relief! While penetration is still very painful, I am enjoying sexual activity a whole lot more. I hadn’t thought of using it as a suppository but now I’m going to try it.
    It’s great to combat vaginal dryness too. And it’s EDIBLE! I tried to find info on the safety of ingesting commercial lubes and – surprise – there is none. I love the taste and smell. My husband is happy too. I also use it to remove makeup and moisturize my entire body. My skin feels soft and looks great for my age. Can’t recommend coconut oil enough! :)

  8. Julie

    You may not see this reply since it’s more than a year after your post. At any rate, maybe it will help someone else that comes across this thread.
    Your wife should seriously consider seeking a Lyme Literate MD to rule out Lyme Disease (or co-infections) as the cause of her Fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is a common misdiagnosis (as is MS, CFS, RA, and ALS) for many people suffering from Lyme Disease. Current testing for LD is pitiful at best, and a negative test does NOT rule it out. It is a clinical diagnosis, and it is best to seek a doctor that knows what to look for. Most regular practitioners are clueless about the prevalence of LD, and many times, tell their patients that LD is not in their area (it’s in ALL 50 states.
    To locate a LLMD in your area, you should contact the nearest Lyme Association, as doctors that treat Lyme Disease, do not advertise this for a variety of reasons.
    I was diagnosed in May 2012 after originally being diagnosed with RA in 2005, and then MS in January 2012. I am on a slow path to recovery, as the longer one has had the infection, the longer it takes to heal!

  9. rml

    how did this work out?

  10. rml

    Bottom line- over 2 years later – GREAT Lubricant and I swear my wife has less yeast infections. I know this for a fact, bc I am the one who has to go out and buy the medicine at night if she has one.
    Virgin, organic, coco oil avalailable in any pharm and a lot of supermarkets.
    The original topic/thread here is for dryness, and if you have not tried Virgin COCO oil -woman you are missing out!

  11. S.S

    M. Allen, most people on here are saying that coconut oil cures or prevents yeast infections. Most of the ones on this thread that have current yeast infections have not tried the coconut oil yet; they were just inquiring. Out of all these posts, there was only one who said she got a yeast infection after using coconut oil. All the others say it has either cured their yeast infection, or they did not get one.

  12. Laura

    @ Nicole on lichens sclerosus:
    I have this skin disorder, and I want you to know I recommend 1) you see an OBGYN trained in vulvovaginal area. This is to get the right diagnosis and thus, the right treatment for symptoms to decrease or go away. Medication can stop lichens from getting worse, and I also see a physical therapist specialized in women’s health to help with pain during sex. Many years passed before I got the right diagnosis. Thankfully, my skin isn’t doing too bad, has improved, and I feel good that I’m moving in the right direction. Go see an expert! Don’t self diagnose!!!

  13. SLB

    My wife suffers from Lichen Sclerosis and at times it is better than others. It is often missed and misdiagnosed and you are correct, it is forever.
    However, we have found great success with treating with acupuncture, but it must be from someone who is very skilled that you trust. We also use supplements based on eastern medicine, Omega supplements and some others.
    Don’t give up, but keep seeking solutions. This can be controlled.

    • kj

      How long has your wife had acupuncture? Where are the needles positioned? Thank you

  14. MLB

    Coconut oil is the best lube ever. Spent big bucks on the best and evco beats it hands down. Plus it’s good for you. Smother and cover!

  15. BRZ

    Actually, coconut oil prevents yeast infections as it destroys the yeasts. Look around at a few other sites; I know there is one that gives an amount, I want to say a teaspoon, that it suggests to take every week or twice a week for several weeks to help clear out any yeasts which are internal.

  16. WDL

    Hi Anita, Have you tried it already? Virgin Coconut Oil is the best organic treatment as Antifungal and Antibacterial, and can be tried for yeast problems (as proven by other users here). Better not use any scented or flavored, pure is better. However, the coconut smell is nice.
    Virgin coconut oil are well spread globally for it’s dietary purpose of cleaning or “healing from within.” It’s edible and normal intake is one tablespoon every meal. Small dosage are recommended on initial intake so as not to disturb your bowel.
    They are available at groceries or Health Care Stores.
    Nice Day! Cheers.

  17. Nw

    Yes yes yes. I use coconut oil for extreme dryness on my scrotum…. for years I had still cracking skin that was very unattractive, itchy, and painful. NOTHING worked, or if it cured the dryness caused unbearable itching or stung…. coconut oil has 100% cured it! I also use it in food and other dry skin areas….. still trying to determine if refined is unsafe due to the beginning process. Definitely go organic though.

  18. Me

    I’ve tried organic cold pressed almond oil and sesame oil as lubricants. I normally gets irritated and slightly fungal after sex but with these oils, specially the sesame oil it feels much better and non irritating(compared to “normal” lubes), I recommend it! I also have to try coconut oil nov ;)

  19. anita

    i have read all the comments with great interest, but i’m a little confused by all the options with coconut oil, refined or unrefined ?, virgin or organic virgin ? lol….can somebody tell me what i actually need to get for vagina dryness please, and where is the best place to get it, health food shop ? or supermarket ? and i live in the uk so bare that mind with your answeres please. thank you

  20. M.Allen

    I am an RN for 36 yrs, who has worked Obstetrics/Gyn, and the only problem I could foresee with the coconut oil is that it does contain some natural sugars indigenous to the coconut, therefore you would be “feeding” the yeast, setting you up for a yeast infection, which is why some people are complaining of this. Flavored body creams /lotions labeled “natural” can also do this, as they may contain a fruit derived flavor base (as opposed to artificial) that could also contain fructose or other sugars that will leave you prone to a monilial (yeast) infection.

  21. SF

    Hi Nicole,
    I think you might want to seriously look at getting the Candida under control. I’m twice your age, but not yet menopausal. Several years ago I began experiencing similar discomfort…including and especially the itching (scratching in my sleep to the point of drawing blood). Not very sexy, as you can imagine! But in addition to that, I noticed itching sensations deep inside my ears and redness and swelling across my hands.
    I began to notice that there seemed to be a connection between the reaction and certain foods. First I eliminated anything that contained high fructose corn syrup, and that helped a lot. Avoiding HFCS really means I can eat very few processed food products and I think that has been the biggest help. I found that after giving up those types of foods, I even want to cut sugar in homemade recipes because I can’t tolerate the excessive sweetness. You might find you can cut back on sugar to a point that is tolerable for your body without having to give it up all together.
    Good luck!

  22. Tink

    Jeez! You hit the nail on the head! Men need to woo women, and they both are turned on by it. I just see schulmps everywhere. I want to meet a MAN.

  23. nicole

    Thank you S.A.
    I just looked into lichen simplex and it is less frightening than looking at lichen sclerosis. I feel that it is more in line with what I am dealing with as well.
    I have been using the diva cup for the last 6 years, only using natural pad alternatives when I am too sore to use it. Also I try to use non-scented natural, very simple laundry detergent, soaps, cotton underwear, etc…. but as I am in South America right now, I am having the hardest time even finding unscented soap, much less laundry detergent. This is probably why it’s more bothersome than usual, and also because I am spending far more time than normal not being busy!
    Ok, when I get home I will give the Vitamin E a go, start doing some yoga and more exercise and i think overall business will help me out! Thanks for your suggestions! Just got to get a hold on the psychological aspect of it all I think!

  24. S.A.

    @ Nicole: I have lichen simplex (I think) and my Dr.’s main advice was to try and destress. At least, that’s what messes me up. Stress can lead to dryness and infections. Yoga or other exercise is great for stress. Also, I hear some people get relief by giving up sugar to cure their yeast infections but I could never do that.
    Actually, three things that REALLY have helped me have been:
    Giving up mainstream menstrual products – I use cloth lunapads because the chemicals in regular pads can be irritating (the divacup is a great alternative to toxic tampons). And has great deals and tons of info.
    Ditching synthetic lubricant (or soap, or baths, or clothes. Really – scent free laundry soap, cotton underwear, no baths with soap – only oatmeal or Epsom salt bath with essential oils.)
    And insertive a vitamin E suppository after sex. They are made by Key-E and Whole Foods sells them. If I don’t I get irritated afterwards.
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: Test the vitamin E carefully first. It can cause dermatitis for some people when it is applied to the skin.

  25. nicole

    I am wondering if any of you who complain of vaginal dryness have it to the extent that I do. I am 24, so I hope it isn’t related to menopause. This has been an ongoing issue for me for the past two years at least. My parents own two health food stores and I work at them and at another one while I’m away at school.
    I feel like I have tried everything (emu oil, seabuckthorn oil, tamanu oil, shea butter, almond oil, mama’s bottom balm, etc.) and have been to different doctors (which I normally avoid but this issue really scares me as it affects my desire to be intimate with people). A couple of the times, the doctors have said its a yeast infection, and I have tried those medications which provide relief for maybe a couple days before the problem returns. I have also tried cortisone creams which I am against because I know they weaken the skin and don’t actually cure the issue.
    One dermatologist said that the problem is just from scratching and if I could stop scratching for a week or so, the problem will be gone and won’t come back. The prescription of anti-histamines and his cortisone and menthol cream did not solve it either. I have just started trying coconut oil as I have run out of tamanu and am not in North America so I can’t buy anymore.
    The coconut oil actually does feel much better than most products I’ve tried. Some of the products I try provide relief at first and then begin to itch more than before I applied them. My skin is constantly tearing and peeling, bleeding, itching keeping me up at night. One doctor mentioned the word “lichen sclerosis” and I looked it up and broke down as basically it was a sentence to have this forever and it talked of the vagina actually closing up, unbearable child birth, etc.
    Does anyone have these issues and have any advice for me? I have a constant candida problem and do need to get that under control, I know. I have also been told by a spiritual counselor that my issues are emotional damage and that I need to learn how to love myself and then this problem will go away.

    • Jaye

      How would you suggest testing it? On the skin of your inner arm or someplace like that?

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