Do Natural Vaginal Creams Work as Well as Estrogen-Based Creams?
The vaginal cream market can be a confusing place. We already know that it’s important to only put stuff on your vag that was created to go there, but once you get to that point, you still have to choose what vaginal cream to use.
There are two types of creams that we will be focusing on within this article: estrogen-based cream and natural creams. Using the word “natural” in a product name often leads people to assume that it is not as effective, but that isn’t the case.
So, to answer the question to this article’s title, and one that brought you here, yes, natural vaginal creams work as well as estrogen-based creams. But there’s more to it than that; in many cases, natural creams are going to be the safer choice, meaning that for many women, they are even better than estrogen-based creams.
Estrogen Based Creams
These types of vaginal creams are typically recommended for women who experience vaginal dryness due to low estrogen levels. This most commonly occurs in women undergoing menopause.
When estrogen levels drop, the cells lining the vagina can become thinner, which can lead to dryness, itching, and pain with intercourse. In short, declining estrogen leads to a very unhappy vagina.
While menopause is the most common cause of declining estrogen levels, low estrogen levels can also result from a hysterectomy or chemotherapy/radiation therapy to the pelvis, among many other causes.
Estrogen-based creams are one of the safer methods of hormone therapy because less estrogen ends up in the bloodstream. However, it is still possible for some estrogen to make its way there from the vaginal tissues.
While this treatment is often recommended for those with declining estrogen levels, those who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not use estrogen-based vaginal creams. If someone becomes pregnant while using this product, they must discontinue its use immediately.
Natural Vaginal Creams
A natural vaginal cream uses natural ingredients, and no hormones, to address vaginal dryness. However, natural doesn’t mean that it only uses lubricating materials. Natural vaginal creams also include active ingredients that help to provide a long-term solution to vaginal dryness, all without using estrogen to solve the problem.
Natural vaginal creams offer an option for pregnant women who suffer from vaginal dryness, which is very common. As if pregnant women don’t have enough to endure! Whether you have to discontinue your estrogen-based cream or plan on becoming pregnant in the near future, natural vaginal creams are a safe option that ease your discomfort while not posing a threat to your growing baby.
In addition, not everyone who suffers from vaginal dryness can blame a drop in estrogen. Sometimes vaginal dryness is due to an allergy, whereas other times, it is due to a medication that you are taking. For these individuals, estrogen-based creams are not effective because their problem does not stem from a lack of estrogen, and supplying the body with more estrogen when it does not need it can cause future complications, the most severe of which is breast cancer.
Checking Out the Active Ingredients
There are some common active ingredients that you will find in natural vaginal creams, but’s let’s take a closer look at two of them and how they help improve vaginal moisture.
Benzoic acid is a compound with many benefits for the vagina. First and foremost, it is moisturizing, but it can also improve the vaginal tissue’s skin barrier function, which helps improve the skin’s ability to retain moisture. In short, benzoic acid makes it so your vagina has an easier time staying moisturized, which means less dryness for you.
Benzoic acid is also a preservative and helps to regulate the pH of products it is used in, which is especially important for the vagina, where changes in pH can lead to vaginal dryness and infection.
Lactic acid is a type of alpha-hydroxy acid safe enough for pregnant and breastfeeding women to use. It is a type of water-based chemical exfoliant that increases cell turnover and creates smoother skin while removing dead skin cells, a job that is typically completed by vaginal moisture, but for those with vaginal dryness, it does not happen.
In addition, lactic acid helps to hydrate and maintain the skin barrier, an essential role for improving the vaginal tissue’s ability to retain moisture.
Estrogen-Based vs. Natural Creams
Both estrogen-based and natural creams accomplish the job they need to of treating vaginal dryness and restoring the moisture level. However, natural creams do not have any considerations to remember, whereas those who use estrogen-based creams need to handle them with more care and avoid them in certain situations.
For those looking for the best non-estrogen menopause treatment, natural vaginal creams are the way to go. Not sure where to start? Vagivital has an active gel that improves moisture and alleviates irritation, all without the use of hormones.
Lee, K. et al. A study of facial wrinkles improvement effect of veratric acid from cauliflower mushroom through photo-protective mechanisms against UVB irradiation. Arch Dermatol Res (2016)