Many women find that the decrease in estrogen that occurs during menopause causes the vaginal lining to become thin and dry, which often causes burning and itching and makes sexual intercourse painful. The thinning and drying of the vaginal tissues also creates an environment that is hospitable to vaginal infections.
Herbs in the form of oils and salves can be applied directly to the vaginal tissues to soothe and heal irritation. Calendula and comfrey salves are particularly helpful for vaginal dryness Calendula and comfrey both have skin healing and antimicrobial properties that help to fight infection. In addition, comfrey contains allantoin, a natural compound that spurs the regeneration of healthy skin tissue. You can buy calendula and comfrey salves. Apply the salve once or twice daily as needed.
Some women also find that vitamin E helps to heal irritated vaginal tissues. Try inserting a I,OOO-I.U. vitamin E gelatin capsule into the vagina every night before bed. The gelatin will dissolve at body temperature, allowing the vitamin E to coat the vaginal tissues.
To protect delicate vaginal tissues, stay away from anything that tends to dry the mucous membranes, including harsh soaps, bubble baths, douches, and feminine-hygiene sprays.
Also avoid taking antihistamines and diuretics, because they deplete the body tissues of fluids, and drink at least one quart of water daily.
To prevent vaginal irritation, wear natural-fiber clothing, which allows air to circulate and decreases the risk of vaginal infection.
Regular sexual activity keeps the vaginal tissues healthy by increasing blood flow and stimulating natural lubrication.