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Vulvovaginal Moisturizers: Effective Hydration and Relief | Image Courtesy of Averie Woodward via Unsplash
Vulvovaginal Moisturizers: Effective Hydration and Relief | Image Courtesy of Averie Woodward via Unsplash

Choosing the Right Vulvovaginal Moisturizer

Assuming you need one, make sure it's got the right ingredient list

There are many reasons why those born with female anatomy may require the use of a vulvovaginal moisturizer throughout their lifetime. As you age, the vaginal and vulvar tissues tend to become drier and less elastic. This change is typically seen around the time one goes through menopause due to the drop in estrogen that occurs. The vulvovaginal tissues are very sensitive to hormonal changes and estrogen is the hormone that controls vaginal lubrication, as well as tissue elasticity and thickness.

However, menopause is not the only time that one can notice a change in vulvovaginal dryness. Estrogen levels also often fall after childbirth, and if one chooses to breastfeed, can continue until cessation of nursing. Taking anti-estrogen drugs for the treatment of endometriosis symptoms or uterine fibroids can also lead to dryness issues. Vaginal dryness can also be a side effect of oral contraceptive pills. Dryness is also a common symptom of certain cancer treatments that may suppress the ovary’s secretion of estrogen. 

There are also non-hormonal causes of vulvovaginal dryness such as certain conditions like Sjogren’s Syndrome which causes dryness to all mucus membranes. Vulvovaginal dryness can lead to a variety of symptoms such as pain with intercourse, vulvar itching or burning or pain with urination.

For whatever reason that you may be having vulvovaginal dryness, a vulvovaginal moisturizer product formulated to hydrate these tissues is a safe and easily accessible way to provide increased comfort. Not all vulvovaginal moisturizers are created equal however - the moisturizer that you use on your face and body may not be the right choice for the vulvovaginal area. The pH of the vagina is naturally acidic, and many products are at a high - or more basic pH level. Introducing products that have a higher pH than the vaginal environment can lead to increased vaginal dryness, increased risk of infection such as BV, or yeast overgrowth. 

Below is a list of some of our favorite vulvovaginal moisturizer products! 

P.s. We have discount codes here if you’d like to save a few $$ (just scroll down to ‘personal lubricants’)!

Bonafide - Revaree:

Revaree is a suppository formulated with hyaluronic acid which is known to provide moisture, as well as plump up the tissue to allow for a more comfortable barrier for friction.

Revaree | Hyaluronic Acid Vulvovaginal Moisturizer


Good Clean Love - Bionourish Ultra Moisturizing Vaginal Gel:

This is another great option for a hyaluronic acid vulvovaginal moisturizer, however instead of a suppository, it comes with an applicator similar to a tampon applicator that allows for you to insert some of the product internally, mess free!

BioNourish Ultra Moisturizing Vaginal Gel | Vulvovaginal Moisturizer


Desert Harvest Aloe Glide - If your symptoms also come with itchiness, inflammation, or burning pain, this product may be a great choice as it is an aloe-vera based vulvovaginal moisturizer. 

V Magic Vulva Balm - The VMagic vulva balm is a great option for vulvar dryness and irritation. Due to it’s balmy texture, it can be applied mess free and is long lasting for application on the vulva. 

Not sure which of these products are right for your symptoms? Give us a call and one of our pelvic health physical therapists can evaluate you and provide you with customized product recommendations for vulvovaginal moisturizer and much more. 

References:

  1. Santoro N, Epperson CN, Mathews SB. Menopausal Symptoms and Their Management. Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am. 2015 Sep;44(3):497-515. doi: 10.1016/j.ecl.2015.05.001. PMID: 26316239; PMCID: PMC4890704.
  2. Casey PM, MacLaughlin KL, Faubion SS. Impact of Contraception on Female Sexual Function. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2017 Mar;26(3):207-213. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2015.5703. Epub 2016 Sep 13. PMID: 27622561.

What Our Patients Have to Say

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Testimonial by R.D., age 38

"I had a severe tear during childbirth that was not stitched together correctly and therefore healed poorly. Even after having a surgery a year later to remove the scar tissue, I was still having pain, and no one could explain why -- there was no overt 'reason' to explain the pain. I had tried other 'specialists' and even saw another physical therapist who had me do hip / leg stretches -- what a joke! I was about to give up and just 'live with it' until thankfully I kept searching online and found Heather.

Read more: Testimonial by R.D., age 38

Testimonial by T.C.

While pregnant with my twins, Heather took care with keeping me on my feet and pain free. She saved my back, my sanity and the holidays! I would recommend her to every “mom” looking to stay on her feet during pregnancy and post-partum.

-- T.C.

Testimonial by A.B.

Before I was referred to Heather Jeffcoat I was living in a nightmare. I had been married to my husband for three years and I was suffering from Vaginismus. That all changed when I visited my OBGYN and she said she knew of someone with a great success rate. To be honest I was hesitant at first because my first doctor had already told me that all I needed to do was order dilators from the internet and I should overcome my problem. She was wrong because I had followed the book on how to use the dilators with absolutely no advancements in my condition. However, that all changed when I went in for my first visit and Heather took the time to explain my condition and how we were going to work together to overcome it.

I remember leaving her office with a glimmer of hope that I could live a normal life. As my sessions continued I began to see immediate results. With only four sessions and a strict dedication to my home programs I was cured of Vaginismus. In the beginning of this process I was made aware that my health insurance company might not cover the costs, which was disappointing but today I can say one hundred percent that it was the best money I ever spent. Now thanks to Heather I am finally enjoying my life to the fullest with my husband. Thank you Heather, I can’t begin to tell you how much I appreciate all that you have done for me. I will never forget it. Those who are suffering from these types of conditions don’t be afraid because she makes you feel so comfortable and the end result is worth it. Good luck to you all and I hope you experience the success I have.
-- A.B.

Testimonial by R.M., Age 40

I can’t speak highly enough of the theapists at Femina Physical Therapy and how much they have helped me grow, discover, and love my body. I had had painful sex for my entire life, and didn’t know that there was anything that could be done about it. It was at the point where my husband and I were not having sex for MONTHs, because it was just too frustrating, and I hated feeling like I was the ONLY woman out there who had this problem, especially at my age. I finally brought it up to my doctor because I was turning 40 and my husband and I were barely having enough sex to conceive. And she brought up pelvic floor, PT. I didn’t even know this was a “thing”.

Read more: Testimonial by R.M., Age 40

Testimonial by M.M.

My husband and I were married for 5 years and unable to have intercourse, but I never knew why. After numerous awful experiences at doctor’s offices (where many doctors told me I “just needed to relax”), a surgery that didn’t fix the problem, and a year of owning dilators that didn’t get me anywhere, someone finally referred me to Heather for Physical Therapy. I finally had answers and information from someone who knew exactly what I was dealing with!

Read more: Testimonial by M.M.

Testimonial by M.N., age 28

A personal journey and testimonial from one of my patients:

I was diagnosed with vaginismus 4 years ago. I never heard of such medical condition until after I got married. At first my husband and I didn't know what to do, we didn't know what the issues were or how to overcome it. Being born and raised in Armenia and being Christian I wasn't that open about talking to sex with others and so it wasn't easy to seek help. But eventually I went to an Ob-Gyn and luckily she knew about the medical condition (not many doctors know). She referred me to a physical therapist and I couldn't believe it and thought it's something I can handle myself. I ordered a kit from vaginismus.com and started practicing with dilators. There was some small progress but wasn't much helpful.

Read more: Testimonial by M.N., age 28

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