I am a healthy post-menopausal woman, but recently I’ve started experiencing pain during intercourse.
Q. Dear Terry, “I am a healthy post-menopausal woman, but recently I’ve started experiencing pain during intercourse. I did some research and saw that it can be caused by a thinning of the vaginal lining. After visiting my OB/GYN, she prescribed an estrogen cream, but I want to try something natural. Do you have any suggestions?” — A. S., Cheyenne, WY
A. Dear A.S., You are not alone, vaginal dryness is a common problem for women during and after menopause. Vaginal dryness is a hallmark sign of vaginal atrophy — the thinning and inflammation of the vaginal walls due to a decline in estrogen.
I would recommend adding sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) seed and pulp oil to your daily regimen to help alleviate vaginal dryness. The fruit of the sea buckthorn, a hardy plant native to Europe and Asia, has been called a “nutrient bomb” because it is so rich in flavonoids, vitamins, and other beneficial compounds. In addition, the pulp contains exceptionally high omega fatty acids, including the rare omega-7 fatty acid (palmitoleic acid). One study looking specifically at post-menopausal vaginal inflammation and dryness found that ingestion of sea buckthorn oil resulted in almost double the amount of improvement in vaginal mucous membranes versus placebo. I recommend a dose of 500 - 2,000 mg daily. Allow yourself several weeks before you begin to see peak optimal benefits.
When looking for a sea buckthorn product, make sure it contains BOTH the seed oil and pulp. While both extracts are healthy, only the pulp contains omega-7. Believe it or not, there are sea buckthorn products on the market that contain absolutely no omega-7 fatty acids! So this is definitely a case of buyer beware.