Are you wondering why you are experiencing dryness, shrinking, or painful sex?
Don’t worry, you are not alone! From our medical team to our active “Pelvic Health Allies Community”, we are an entire collective willing to help you in this journey.
Now, before showing you a safe way to address these conditions, let's take a closer look at what might be contributing to your dryness, shrinking, or painful sex.
Why can vaginal dryness, shrinking, and painful intimacy be difficult to reverse?
Vaginal dryness, shrinking, and painful sex are usually not a disease but an aging outcome, often associated with menopause. The reason for dryness and shrinking can be the reduction of estrogen (“the female hormone”). Factors like menopause or some cancer treatments, like total hysterectomy and antiestrogen therapy, can lead to decreased estrogen production. This can contribute to the sensation of vagina discomfort.
You might have seen a wheelchair-bound handicapped man with atrophied legs. Disuse can cause muscle atrophy. If one day this man stands up and walks again, his legs may grow muscles back by the exercise of walking. Likewise, vaginal atrophy might also be managed. But it is a little bit different from growing back atrophied muscles.
As you can see, dryness, shrinking, and painful sex can be a result of aging. Therefore, in the same way, reversing vaginal atrophy can be compared to reversing aging. It is an uphill battle. It is like to smooth wrinkles (“atrophy of the skin”) with cream. After wrinkles are already formed, it is hard to reverse them.
While Botox can smooth wrinkles, it can come with some potential toxicity and side effects. Likewise, the female hormone estrogen has been known to help address vaginal discomfort. However, you should be aware that estrogen carries more serious side effects than Botox because estrogen has an increased risk for breast cancer, heart disease, stroke, and blood clots.
Great! Now that you know a little more about the reasons for your dryness, shrinking, or painful sex, let's see if your case is stubborn and the known treatments for these concerns.
How to tell if my vaginal discomfort is a stubborn case?
If your vaginal atrophy is not improved after 3 months of treatment, you may have a stubborn case.
The support methods include:
1) Estrogen and its derivatives like Premarin, Osphena, Intrarosa, Estrace, Vagifem, and Imvexxy.
2) Energy-based devices. These devices focus the energy to heat the tissue. The heat can cause internal injuries. Injuries trigger a wound-healing response to start tissue reconstruction or rejuvenation. Some examples include MonaLisa Touch, ThermiVa, and FemiLift.
Many of my patients ask me what causes vaginal dryness, shrinking, and painful sex difficult to treat. Well, the cause is unknown, however, there are many factors that may increase the risk of stubborn vaginal discomfort:
1) Age may be the most common factor. As women grow older, reversing certain changes can become more challenging. Think of it like the wrinkles of the skin, they often become noticeable after 40, but some young people start skincare routines even before they reach 12. Why? Because prevention can be the key. Wrinkles are more difficult to reverse than to prevent. The best investment in beauty is to apply the cream on the face early. Likewise, the best investment in women’s love life might be to apply NeuEve early. But what if you are postmenopausal? Is it too old to improve your dryness, shrinking, or painful sex? The answer is a big NO. NeuEve can still be beneficial for you, although it may require a bit more time and consistent use. To date, the oldest woman who has benefited from using NeuEve is 88. So if you are younger than 88, you are in a great position, and even if you are older, you could be our next star!
2) Early onset of menopause. If a woman is experiencing menopause at an earlier stage, this might imply that her estrogen level has been low for a long time. If that is the case, vaginal dryness, shrinking, or painful sex might have occurred at a younger age.
3) Total hysterectomy with bilateral oophorectomy. Removal of ovaries can lead to a reduction of the woman’s estrogen production. However, it’s important to note that adrenal glands and fat cells can still produce a low level of estrogen.
4) Pelvic radiation and antiestrogen therapies for cancer. Unfortunately, these may be the worst factors. While radiation kills cancer cells, it can unintentionally affect adjacent tissue cells. Antiestrogen therapy, like Tamoxifen and a aromatase inhibitors, works by blocking estrogen receptors or reducing estrogen production. Both therapies might cause the vagina to shrink.
5) Malnutrition. Today, overnutrition is a big problem, however, malnutrition still affects certain groups of people. These include women on diet, picky eaters, as well as those who have anorexia or bulimia. Health issues like depression, dementia, alcoholism, substance abuse, and mental health conditions can also reduce a person's appetite and desire to eat. After menopause, many women may be short of calcium because of insufficient intake. Without supplementation, calcium deficiency may become a concern. Furthermore, lack of sun exposure during winter may cause vitamin D deficiency. Calcium and vitamin D deficiencies can contribute to vaginal dryness and atrophy.
6) Osteoporosis. After menopause, women often develop osteoporosis due to calcium deficiency. If a woman does not take calcium supplements, she may also suffer from other complications such as facial wrinkles, vaginal dryness, shrinking, and painful intercourse. In fact, it is possible that vaginal dryness may occur because mucus secretion requires calcium.
7) Influence of certain diseases. Various conditions like lichen sclerosis, lichen planus, lupus, Sjogren’s syndrome, and Celiac disease, may cause vaginal dryness, pain, shrinking, and inflammation. These can also increase the risk of complications, such as yeast infections. If you are dealing with a yeast infection, you may be interested in Reset and Rejoice.
Among these contributing factors, aging is the most common, but it could be easy to overcome. In my opinion, the worst factor is pelvic radiation, because its collateral damage to the vaginal tissue can be difficult to improve. If you are dealing with this, you probably already know that there are many methods out there and none of them seem to work. Well, we have good news for you! NeuEve cream and Silk suppositories have shown promising results. In fact, doctors are now recommending NeuEve to their patients who have undergone pelvic radiation as part of their treatment.
After all this information tour that we have done, we can begin to review safe options to improve your vaginal dryness, shrinking, or painful sex.
So, how to support vaginal dryness, shrinking or painful sex?
Many women with stubborn vaginal atrophy are 60 and older. Some had a hysterectomy or are cancer survivors. As you probably already know, estrogen is the most commonly used product for relieving vaginal atrophy. However, it is important to acknowledge that estrogen does not always provide the desired relief. For example, many women with severe vaginal atrophy caused by pelvic radiation have tried estrogen but failed to find relief. We have seen these cases in our NeuEve community.
Besides this, perhaps the most worrying thing about the use of estrogens is its risks. It is known that estrogen may increase the risk of many diseases, such as breast, ovarian, and uterine cancers, uterine fibroids, stroke, and heart disease. Thus, women with a history or family history of these diseases should carefully consider their options and rethink the use of estrogen.
Additionally, some estrogen products are made from horse urine and may involve animal cruelty. Many animal lovers are against using this type of estrogen (including ourselves). We are actually very proud to say that NeuEve is cruelty-free 🙂
NeuEve is an innovative estrogen alternative for enhancing comfort, confidence, and happiness safely. It works by providing nourishing supplements to support the health of the vaginal lining. It is like how calcium and vitamin D help strengthen our bones.
Some women have used options like estrogen or MonaLisa Touch looking for relief. However, it is known that a lot of them have failed in this journey. Fortunately, NeuEve offers an alternative that may be the answer for them.
Within our community, we received the testimony of a woman who had turned to MonaLisa Touch with hope. She had received pelvic radiation and suffered severe vaginal atrophy. MonaLisa Touch didn't provide the relief she needed. However, she discovered a solution in NeuEve, which made a significant difference in her life.
NeuEve’s Community Voices: Firsthand Experiences and Insights
Based on our customer survey, an impressive 86% of women reported finding relief after using NeuEve for 3 months. This could also suggest that 14% of women may have more stubborn vaginal atrophy concerns. Please, see the chart below:
The journey to relief might take a bit more time and patience for some, and that’s perfectly fine. For stubborn vaginal atrophy, it may take a little longer time and some patience for recovery. A slow healing process is normal. Even if you took estrogen (assuming it was safe), you might not find relief in 3 months.
When it comes to addressing stubborn vaginal atrophy, we do not recommend the use of estrogen due to potential cancer risks associated with it. In the same way, we do not recommend energy-based devices, which can be both costly and unsafe. In fact, the FDA has issued a warning letter against using these devices. Our recommendation is to adopt a combination approach with safe methods.
Now that you have seen the big picture, we can answer the main question of this blog:
How to Relieve Stubborn Vaginal Dryness, Shrinking & Painful Sex SAFELY?
1) NeuEve Silk formula suppositories plus the NeuEve cream.
As we have said over and over, while we age vaginal health can face challenges like atrophy, dryness, shrinking, or pain. The NeuEve Cream is an alternative product that can improve and support the dried vaginal mucus glands. NeuEve suppositories are designed to address shrinking. The combination of these products can help boost your routine to counter the effects of aging. While using just one product may provide relief, it may take a bit longer. After you are on Silk for 1-4 months, you may move up a level to Silver. If you are in the 70+ group, you may consider reading this article.
a) One-A-Day Multivitamin W/Minerals Tablet. This is a great way to support your health and might prevent nutritional deficiency. There are specialized options designed for women based on their age. Some of them are for women over 50. If you haven’t added this to your daily routine, we highly recommend considering it. And even if you are already taking it, we have some additional supplement information for you to explore.
b) Calcium, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin D3+K2 are among the most important supplements to consider during your perimenopausal and postmenopausal stage of life. Without a good level of vitamins vitamins D3 and K2,, calcium absorption may be challenged. Additionally, vitamin D is connected to urogenital health in older women. As you know calcium is essential for bones, but it is also very important for mucus gland secretion. When osteoporosis is poorly managed, this can lead to the drying of mucus glands and vaginal dryness. If you are experiencing severe vaginal dryness and atrophy, it might be an indicator of osteoporosis. Please pay special attention to this matter before getting unexpected fractures!!!!!!!!!
c) Fish oil (or flaxseed oil) for omega-3. If you are not a fan of fish, you can opt for flaxseed oil pills as an alternative. However, if you like fish, its incorporation into your diet can give you omega-3 and also collagen proteins that support your skin.
d)Sea buckthorn oil for omega-7. This can help in revitalizing mucus glands and keep moisture in the oral cavity, eyes, and vagina. You can find this supplement at https://www.neueve.com/sea_buckthorn
e) Collagen and/or gelatin. Collagen is a major protein in your body, and gelatin is a degraded form of collagen. Both share identical nutritional values and may both improve your skin’s health. As we age, collagen synthesis naturally reduces, commonly resulting in signs like skin atrophy (like wrinkles) and mucosa issues (like vaginal dryness). Supplementing with collagen or gelatin can help strengthen the atrophied vaginal lining. These supplements are available in several forms, including powder, pills, and food sources like Jello, Gummy bears, Pork rind, or vegan collagen. For an adequate supplement diet, it is important to keep a daily dosage ranging from 2.5 to 15 grams of collagen or gelatin.
3) Dilation exercise
To grow back the atrophied vaginal tissue, dilators can be helpful. NeuEve is designed to work by providing nutrients to the shrinking tissue, so it can be supported. But, if you do not exercise, the atrophied tissue may grow back slowly. To speed up tissue recovery, incorporating dilator exercises can be beneficial. It is important to start with a smaller-sized dilator and gradually move up to a larger size. You may need to allow 2-3 weeks or longer time for each dilator size. Once you move up to the largest dilator without feeling pain, your recovery will be completed, probably ending the discomfort during intimacy.
We understand the desire for a quick recovery and the temptation to move up the dilator sizes rapidly or even try to start with the largest one. Please take into account that recovering vaginal health after vaginal atrophy is a gradual process. Advancing through the dilator-sized or skipping sizes can potentially lead to overstretching injuries and may be counterproductive. We advise against skipping sizes or attempting the largest dilator first. Patience is essential in your progress as well.
Physically, dilation exercises have similar movements to those in sexual intercourse. These movements (like the penetration movement) can sometimes mobilize bacteria that are usually on the skin into the bladder, potentially causing a urinary tract infection (UTI). To prevent UTIs, it’s important to urinate immediately after each exercise. Urination helps flush out any bacteria that might have entered the bladder during the dilation exercise. It is also advisable to drink a lot of water before your exercise routine to enhance the flushing process and reduce the risk of UTIs.
You can find a set of vaginal dilators on our website: www.neueve.com/dilators. Please remember that you need to start from the smallest size and move up one size at a time. A recommended exercise regimen is 20 minutes twice per day. We suggest considering magnetic dilators, since the magnet may promote local blood circulation and support the regrowth of the atrophied tissue. These dilation exercises can contribute to the development of collagen and elastic fibers within the tissue.
"Dilators are not our products. You can click the yellow “Learn More” button to reach the VuvaTech website and learn more."
4) Cough expectorant.
Consider taking Mucinex for vaginal health support. I know, it might sound strange… Let me explain. Taking one Mucinex pill before bedtime, even if you do not have a cough, can aid your dried mucus glands. This supports the secretion of mucus, not only in your respiratory tract but also in the vaginal area. If you decide to try this, we recommend you make sure that it only has an expectorant, without any cough suppressant. You can get it from Amazon or your local drugstore. Check out the image below for reference:
Usually, keeping up with your routine for a few weeks is all you need. Once you start seeing improved vaginal dryness and moisture, you can stop its use.
By following these four suggestions, you’ll be on your way to finding the relief you’re looking for. Remember, your well-being and health are essential, and exploring these simple steps can lead to great comfort, confidence, empowerment, and happiness!
We really hope that this is helpful for you! For more information and tips on getting the most out of NeuEve, you can visit www.neueve.com/faq.
Disclaimer: This article is for information purposes only. It is about natural products, nutrients, and/or methods for managing aging-related discomforts (not diseases). It is not medical advice for the treatment of any disease.
Customers' review on stubborn vaginal atrophy
By Valerie. Reviewed in the United States on July 10, 2021
"I was using a vaginal estrogen cream after I went through menopause, and it was working fine. However, I developed breast cancer last year, and am now taking an estrogen blocker. I had no idea the problems this would cause me. It became impossible for me to have intercourse because of extreme (and I mean very extreme!) pain. Nothing my doctor recommended was helping, and I did not want to go back on the estrogen cream. I found this product doing research online, and decided with hesitancy to give it a try. I am amazed at how much better I feel! It took 3 months, and now I feel back to normal. I highly recommend this product!"
I ordered these for my mother in law and this is what she has to say:
"My urologist told me to get these! I was having constant UTI's for the past few years, I'm 58 and after being diagnosed with breast cancer at 49 and then being told to have my ovaries removed I had everything was taken out except my VA after that it was much too painful for any of that kind of fun! I do believe in miracles and maybe your product will make it possible again!!! Your product has made me feel so much better! I don't have the horrible feeling of am I getting a UTI anymore or any dryness and not one UTI since I started!!! Which is huge!!! So thank you for caring enough for women's health to make such a wonderful product!!! This is such a hard subject to discuss no one talks about it and not something I normally would but I think I need to tell you it's working so far! The price is expensive but I will just have to save somewhere else!!! It's been about 6 weeks since I started and I can feel the walls of my VA are starting to soften which had hardened ( I've even had surgery to clip scar tissue that was like rings actually closing my VA). I didn't even know if I could get one of your suppositories in!!! But had no problems!!! I felt I needed to write this because it's the first thing that's worked!!! I'm not sure I would have tried this because of the price if my doctor hadn't told me to, I think if you were to give some samples to doctors so more women could try them more women would be using them even if they tried them once they could see how they could change their lives too!!! Please know you really are helping women like me and I just have to say Thank you again!!!"
"This suppository is fantastic! I have had all the symptoms of menopause: dry, odor, and sexual pain. I have not had sex with my husband for years. The doctor prescribed vaginal estrogen suppositories, but they did not work for me. I used only 3 NeuEve’s suppositories and all my issues are gone. I feel great and can enjoy sex again. It has really saved my marriage."
"I am 35 and am healing from an Auto immune disorder. Along with Autoimmune came fertility issues. Vaginal Atrophy and low estrogen being one of them. I cannot use hormone related products to help with the Atrophy, the hormones make my Thyroid levels drop immediately. So I researched and researched, until I found this amazing product!!!! yay!!! My husband and I can have sex again. We are seeing significant success after just 2 applications of the silk line. I plan on going through the whole line up to GOLD!!! Can’t thank this amazing company enough!!!! I love y'all!"
"I have been using the silver along with the cream...I love it! This has helped me more than anything that I have ever tried. I am switching to the gold in hopes that I will only have to use once per week. I will switch back to silver if it doesn't work for me.....I had a hysterectomy nearly 20 years ago and have suffered from atrophy, BV, burning and itching associated with dryness. This all went away after one use!...I have tried vaginal estrogen, lubricants, vitamin E and nothing has helped until now. NeuEve is amazing...I cannot thank you enough!"
"Trust Me! This Really Works! I suffered from mild dryness and BV ever since I turned 50 now I'm 52. Estrogen patches and pills did not work for me but I was determined to find something since I am in a loving relationship with a 34 year old man! (need I say anymore...) I found this product 2 months ago and started with the silver since I was not having painful sex. I immediately noticed feeling lubricated from the inside out and I stayed that way for 5 days. Sex is beyond amazing and we make love twice a day sometimes more! So I decided to order the gold formula and had trouble receiving my package in fact I didn't receive it. I called NeuEve customer service and who answers the phone? Dr. Chang herself the founder of this amazing product! She helped me track my product and when I still didn't receive it she shipped me more free of charge. She also sent me a personal Email to check on me a few days ago to make sure I received it! Change your life and try this product as a nurse of 28 years, I have never experienced such a transformation ever!"
"I was really skeptical at first. I didn't want to spend this much money and then if it did not work. But I was desperate. The doctors' estrogen creams did not work anymore. I tried the hormone pellets and they worked great for about 4 years then it started back again. Nothing seemed to help. I was using the hormone cream daily and still no relief.
I went ahead and ordered the Gold. I wanted the strongest one. To my surprise, by the third day all my symptoms were gone! I have used the product for 3 weeks now and am about to reorder. I use it once a week and the dryness, the itching and the odor are gone! The only thing of course I wish the cost was less or they offered a discount if you got on autoship or bought a larger quantity."
"I have used Neueve silk suppositories and cream for 2 months now and it has worked great! In the past I have been on every estrogen product available with little relief. I finally have a sex life after 2 years and I am only 57 Thanks Dr. Chang another marriage saved."