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I have been experiencing some vaginal atrophy and dryness.

Q. Dear Terry, “I have been experiencing some vaginal atrophy and dryness (due to menopause), which is making intercourse painful. While my primary physician has prescribed an estrogen suppository, I would prefer to use something natural. Do you have any recommendations?” — V.S. Lakewood, CO

A. Dear V.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 starting with a dose of 1,000 mg twice daily. Be patient - allow yourself several weeks before you begin to see peak optimal benefits. After that, you may adjust the dosage as you prefer – in time, you may be able to do well on 500-1,000 mg daily.

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.

Healthy Regards!

Terry . . . Naturally

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