Bottom Line/HEALTH: Dr. Lucille, what are your favorite lubricants to counteract vaginal dryness and the pain that occurs with sexual activity through menopause?

Holly Lucille, ND, RN: First of all, one of my favorite lubricants is water. Honestly. You’ve got to stay hydrated. When you think about dryness anywhere – dryness of your skin, dryness of your eyes – that’s the first place to start. We are always thinking about the least invasive methods, right?

Also, a great way to plump that up down there is circulation. You don’t use it; you’re going to lose it. So things like Kegel exercises and self-massage in the area. I know people are thinking, “Wait, what?” Sure, into your vaginal canal. Because when you have the tug and pull of that tissue, it increases circulation, it increases nutrient delivery, and it’s going to help.

There are also some great natural suppositories that you can get that have things like vitamin E and vitamin A in them that are very healing for that tissue, and you can find those easily online. They’re out there, pretty readily available if you just do a search there.

And then fenugreek, actually. Fenugreek tea is estrogenic and it’s very plumping. So drinking fenugreek tea. Also avena sativa, which is milky oats, is another botanical that has been shown to really help in this process as well.

Bottom Line: But how about also just on the spot, are there K-Ys that are good? Or I’ve heard coconut oil suggested.

Dr. Lucille: Yeah, coconut oil is great, and I would do alternatives to the synthetic ones that are out there, and I’ll tell you why. Especially around menopause, we see this whole idea of estrogen dominance, and we’re thinking, “Wait, what’s going on?” Mostly what we have to understand are stronger estrogens, and a lot of them are in products like that. They’re fat soluble, so they pass through our skin quite readily, and they start provoking our receptor sites. This can lead to dangerous diseases and also uncomfortable menopause.

So, I would go as natural as possible. Coconut oil is one of my favorites for sure, and there’s a lovely product – and I cannot remember the name – by a company called Emerita. It’s all natural, it’s got a little bit of aloe vera in it, and it’s really, really, really nice. It can be warming, too. They actually have a warming one, which is always fun.

Bottom Line: Can somebody just use aloe vera?

Dr. Lucille: Absolutely.

Bottom Line: All right, great. Thank you so much.