Is there any natural alternative to estrogen cream?
Q. Dear Terry, “My gynecologist has recommended estrogen cream for vaginal dryness and painful intercourse but I have read that it can increase your chance of breast cancer. Is there any natural alternative that you could recommend?” — J.L., Allentown, PA
A. Dear J.L., Since I am not a physician, I cannot in good conscience recommend and/or offer an alternative treatment to the estrogen cream your doctor has prescribed. That said, if you were one of my family members, I would have concerns and highly recommend that you do some homework and look at the consequences of taking the estrogen cream. However, I am happy to give you nutritional advice regarding the vaginal dryness you are experiencing.
I would recommend adding Sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) seed and pulp oil to your daily regimen. 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. Dose is important when it comes to sea buckthorn oil – start with the clinically studied dose of two 500 mg capsules, taken internally, twice 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.
Terry . . . Naturally