Vaginal dryness, which can occur as a result of lowered estrogen production during menopause or as a side effect from medical procedures and certain medications, can make sexual intercourse uncomfortable and even painful. Women who are not aroused during sex also can experience vaginal dryness. There are a number of adequate over-the-counter products to treat vaginal dryness that are both inexpensive and effective, report doctors at the Mayo Clinic.
Water-based lubricants such as Astroglide and K-Y Jelly can relieve vaginal dryness for hours with no side effects. The lotions can be applied directly to the outside and interior of the vagina or rubbed on to the penis of the woman's partner. Other popular lubricant brands include Probe and Gyne-Moistrin. Condoms that come pre-lubricated with Nonoxynol-9 also can provide for smoother penetration and relieve soreness during intercourse.
Over-the-counter moisturizers developed specifically to treat vaginal dryness include products such as Replens and Lubrin. These lotions imitate the natural vaginal lubricant and can provide moisturizing effects for up to three days following an application, report Mayo Clinic doctors. Pharmacists at Walgreens also note that vaginal moisturizers can help to balance the Ph levels inside the vagina to maintain proper acidic levels and avoid infections. K-Y also produces long-lasting vaginal moisturizers and many pharmacies, such as Walgreens, carry generic store brands.
Many conditions, including menopause, cause extensive drying all over the body. Doctors at Power Surge, an information site for menopausal women, recommend including one tablespoon of oil to the daily diet to ease vaginal dryness. Canola, sunflower, olive and soybean oil can help to lubricate the body.
Soft-coated vitamin E capsules can provide natural lubricant when needed. Women can inset a vitamin E capsule directly in the vagina and let the Ph in the body dissolve the capsule prior to sexual relations, or break open the capsule and apply the oil directly to the vagina. Consultants at Power Surge recommend using capsules with no sharp edges to avoid scratching or damaging the vagina walls.
Fruit and vegetable oil are safe to use in the vagina as long as they don't have any added alcohol or other ingredients that could irritate the vagina. Almond oil and apricot oil can provide pleasant, non-medicinal odors while lubricating the vagina.