olive oil, your dry mouth

Q. I stopped using estrogen last summer, but now I am suffering with vaginal dryness. This is causing me a lot of discomfort and is making relations with my husband difficult.

I remember reading in your column that one woman said she is using olive oil for this problem. Does she ingest it, or does she use it directly in her vagina?

A. She applied the olive oil directly as a personal lubricant. When she had a pelvic exam some months later her doctor thought she was taking hormones because of the difference olive oil made.

We can’t explain why olive oil would make such a difference to vaginal tissues, but others have shared a similar story:

Q. I read about olive oil improving a woman’s sex life. Vaginal dryness is the only symptom I have ever suffered due to menopause. My gynecologist has recommended almost everything, including the topical application of Vitamin E oil, but it left a distinctive residue after intercourse, which I found to be very undesirable.

I love olive oil and use it in my daily cooking. It has a distinctive smell, though, and I don’t care to smell like an antipasto salad for any length of time.

The vaginal dryness is playing havoc with our love life, because intercourse is painful. I try not to let my husband know that. I love sex, but it’s difficult to enjoy anything that hurts. I am willing to try olive oil, but just how do you get rid of the residue?

A. We’ve heard from several readers that olive oil can be a good natural lubricant. One woman reported that just five drops for her and five for her husband worked. Such a small quantity should not leave much “antipasto” residue.

Another couple found that almond oil was helpful. It has relatively little aroma.
Then there is this:

Q. I am a 63-year-old woman who had estrogen-positive breast cancer 10 years ago. I had bilateral mastectomies, no chemo or radiation.

Now I am extremely estrogen deprived and cannot have sex because of the pain from vaginal dryness. My doctor will not prescribe estrogen to help with this problem because it might increase my risk of cancer recurrence. Is there some other way to treat these atrophic changes?

A. Applying a lubricant such as olive oil or coconut oil daily may be helpful. For intercourse, you might want to consider a water-based lubricant such as Sylk. It contains kiwi-fruit vine extract and is available on the Web at www.sylkusa.com or by calling (866) 831-2920.
There are those who also sing the praises of coconut oil:

• Coconut Oil for Vaginal Dryness

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  1. Lisa

    Has anyone experienced having yeast infection after using the olive oil as a lubricant? Thank you.

  2. Julie

    I am a two time breast cancer survivor that had recurrence after bilateral mastectomy so yes it can come back with no breasts. Chemo and radiation the second time. Sixty four years old and experiencing difficulty and pain with vaginal dryness. Going to try the olive oil so thank you to all for the info.

  3. Darla

    My boyfriend experienced a reaction (crying during a Broadway show) and a sudden inability to maintain an erection or ejaculate. He quickly deduced that these reactions occurred because the vaginal estrogen that had been prescribed for me to use with a pessary had been transferred to him. I am now planning to substitute coconut oil as a substitute for the possible vaginal dryness.

    I hope this will be helpful to others as well as for ourselves.

  4. Taylor

    Thank you all for the information. I have just started experiencing vaginal dryness with menopause & have tried a lot of things that did not work. I started using olive oil today & already the itching has started to subside.

  5. SO

    My husband and I were out of our regular lube. Boy were we upset lol! As a nurse, the search was on. I brought in the olive oil from the kitchen and had a good time. Folks, it’s natural and harmless. Besides, what do you think they used before all this new technology came about? I would advise pure extra virgin olive oil. Which is what I have. You do want it to be all natural and without fillers. I simply applied a small amt(3-4 drops) on my husband then myself. It worked perfectly. May even be better for those that are TTC. Try it, you will have fun.

  6. Anna
    United States

    I’m also looking for a reply as to how to use olive oil.
    Does she put an amount on a finger and coat the internal vaginal wall?
    Or does she only apply outside ?
    Please someone answer?

    • Carol

      Sometimes I use my finger to insert the oil into the vagina but I usually suction the oil into an eye dropper and insert it into the vagina.

  7. Raj

    can olive oil is use for male sex improvement ?

  8. Karol V

    I am looking for a natural alternative to Trimo-San. Use it for pH balance/pessory odor, which is not acceptable.

    What is a good natural odor control solution?
    I have used vinegar/water douche, and regular cleansing, but the odor still lingers slightly after bathing.

    The doctor inserted the pessary, and gave me Trimo San for odor and lubricant, which takes care of it but I would like something that is natural.
    I am not married so intimacy is not a problem and lubricant is no problem…. would appreciate any help or suggestions. Thank you.

  9. margret k.

    I am grateful and I’m willing to give it a try.

  10. karen s.

    I use mineral oil works EVERYTIME!!!

  11. BB

    I have been suffering from painful intercourse since menopause – I am 65. I am beginning to wonder if it is not the actual dryness that is bothering me thinking that perhaps the pain is caused by the pressure on the edge of the perineum where the stitches after childbirth were. Any one else have pain there? Any solutions? I am using coconut oil, and olive oil but not much change yet and frankly, the darn thing just won’t go in! Anyone think that castor oil might help? Thanks

  12. ljh

    Replens does not work for me. I want to try olive oil and coconut oil but have 3 questions. How to apply, how much, and how often?
    Thank you!

  13. K.L.

    To the person who wondered about getting breast cancer again if there has already been a double mastectomy. I’m currently undergoing breast cancer treatment. I had a lumpectomy but you can have a recurrence with a mastectomy in the chest wall.

  14. KJK

    The thing that works for me is Replens long-lasting vaginal moisturizer. You apply it 3 or so times a week with an applicator (no mess) and you are good to go anytime. It’s made with mineral oil- (same as baby oil; check ingredients)- some of these moisturizers are made with a silicone-type chemical instead. A little Ky can be used with this at time of intimacy if needed.

  15. B

    We have been using olive oil for lubrication for some time now and it is great. It is better than any off the shelve lube that we have tried and it lasts a long time unlike many of the other popular lubrications which tend to dry up after several minutes. The consistency is very close to the natural lubrication and as far as we know there are no side affects with using olive oil.

  16. JWM

    My wife an I have found regular cooking oil, Mazola corn oil, to be a great lubricant, and never had a problem with it. I put it on me, not her, although either or both should be OK.

  17. ck

    My gyn mentioned Crisco, olive oil and personal lubricants sold OTC at drugstores. Try one at a time; sooner or later you’ll find the one that works for you. Good luck.

  18. JEM

    I have found Apricot Kernal oil to be very effective. It is very light and won’t stain. Although Apricot Kernal oil has no “aroma”, I will add a drop of lavendar extract sometimes. Also works great as a massage oil and moisturizer.

  19. JM

    In search of an organic lubricant, I began using olive oil & highly recommend it. It’s nice that it’s ingestible, too.

  20. Fannie

    I’m 65 years old and had to see my doctor for dryness and bleeding use olive oil and have no more dryness or bleeding.

  21. Cindy B.

    I, too, had that exact same problem after the “Dreadful M” thing.. I started taking Hyaluronic Acid after reading how good it was for lubricating joints from the inside out (I have bad knees), and for moisturizing the skin. Hyaluronic acid is usually taken orally, in capsule form, but I think there are also topical preparations. I take it orally. The package directions say to take “2 to 4 capsules daily,” and I take the 4. Yes, it’s a bit pricey but not unreasonable.
    Well, not only has hyaluronic acid helped my knees a lot — it’s also given me much more vaginal moisture! That was a wonderful fringe benefit! You may still need some lubricant — but it does make a world of difference. At least it did for me.
    PS: RE the 63-yo lady who had breast CA but bilateral mastectomies: how could she get a recurrence of breast cancer with no breasts? Or does having had ANY cancer give you a greater chance of getting some other cancer, and THAT’s what her doctor was worried about? I’m just wondering…

    • Sandi

      Just an FYI as a breast cancer (and colon cancer survivor), breast cancer or any cancer for that matter, only needs one cancer cell anywhere to begin to multiply and spread. Breast cancer can recur, or a new cancer begin, after mastectomy, commonly in a node or tissue under the arm. But treatment and surgeries can lessen our risk. This is why patients are checked closely the rest of our lives.

    • Gay

      Breast cancer, like other cancers, can spread to other parts of the body. My type of breast cancer was estrogen driven. My oncologist told me that if it comes back, it won’t come back in my breasts but either my bones, lungs, liver, brain or eyes. Even with chemo, surgery and radiation, cancer cells can still survive.

  22. Jean S.

    Did you not also recommend Corn Huskers hand lotion as a good lubricant?

    • Dave S.

      I’m not certain, but I don’t think Cornhusker’s is intended for internal application.

  23. ark

    This should help lots of couples for intimacy. Thanks.

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