herbal equivalent of vagifem?

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herbal equivalent of vagifem?

Postby SwordLilly » Mon Dec 08, 2008 8:39 pm

Hello, all. This is my first post so hopefully I'll do this correctly. I have a question regarding pain during sexual penetration for menapausal women. I've been experiencing this since late August.

I've had to significantly reduce the size of the sex toys I use but even a size I could easily accomodate earlier in the year causes severe pain now. I use Liquid Silk regularly but even that doesn't work.

This morning my gynecologist prescribed vagifem which is supposed to help with this issue. It's expensive--$40 insurance co-pay for a month's supply and I'm supposed to take it twice a week from now on or for as long as I wish to have pain free sex.

He said that the problem was lack of Estrogen in my body. I don't take HRT and don't want to start. I consider menopause a normal bodily function and I want to take natural products for hot flashes and so forth.

Any advice or feedback about vagifem is very much appreciated.

Best wishes to all.

SwordLilly (once the name for gladiola)
Well being does not depend on outside events but rather on how we interpret them.
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Postby Tamara » Thu Dec 18, 2008 5:46 pm

Hi SwordLilly ( I like the name) Welcome! The pain that you are experiencing...is it from dryness? I have never heard of vagifem before. Is it a pill then? Have you tried drinking oatstraw infusions? I have heard that a natural oil like coconut oil....makes a great lubricant. Is it pain just at penetration or all during sex? You are wise to want menopause to be a natural experience. Take your time, experiment and adapt to what feels pleasurable. It's not fun if it's painful.
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Postby crystal woman » Fri Dec 19, 2008 12:42 am

Hi SwordLilly, welcome to the forum.

It sounds like your doctor is prescribing for atrophic vaginitis.

I didn't know anything about Vagifem other than it is low dose estradiol, a plant derived estrogen, and that it's fairly new on the market. I'm stunned that it would cost so much.... maybe it's because it's such a new product on the market and gets used differently from other products???

Anyway, I found a site that has some good information about Vagifem and Estring and how they work, plus mentions some natural alternatives.

http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/ ... ekey=51285

Here's a discussion on another board about the Vagifem suppositories:
http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/me ... 20907.html
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Postby persimmon » Sat Dec 20, 2008 2:59 am

There's no herbal equivalent of Vagifem. Vaginal tissues get thinner, less lubricated and more delicate when there's less estrogen in the body (aka atrophic vaginitis, although that's not a very nice name, I think). The pain you have been having can be addressed through adding back estrogen or through other routes--your doctor prescribed one of the estrogen options, and if you want to use an herbal option you must know that it won't be directly comparable. Not inferior, but also definitely not the same. You could, for example, focus on strengthening or lubricating tissues, or maybe using soothing, moisturising preparations on the vulva.


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Re: herbal equivalent of vagifem?

Postby Bat in the Gloaming » Fri Jul 17, 2009 4:43 pm

Sword Lily,

I'm new to this forum and found your question. I don't know if you've found solutions since it's been many months since your post. I have the same experience you described. It doesn't help to add lubricants. It seems that the skin can't stretch with out breaking. Too painful for pleasurable interactions. I'm just beginning to research. I'm not willing to go the conventional route, of using synth. hormones, not sure about topical 'natural' hormones. My husband is supportive and loving no matter what. I'm thinking that being patient and focusing on improving foundational nourishment is the best beginning place while I research. I'm pretty sure my adrenals are exhausted and I have hypothyroidism. So I'm taking nettle and Red clover infusions daily, just started. I'm in the menopause phase. I feel a deep relaxing mode when I approach this issue as a new part of my journey with curiosity and gentleness I am exploring.

Have you made any discoveries?

Bat in the Gloaming
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Re: herbal equivalent of vagifem?

Postby sapphire kate » Sat Jul 18, 2009 6:32 am

Bat, dryness and adrenal exhaustion can be symptoms of yin deficiency (a Traditional Chinese Medicine classification, that is about a lack of yinness on many levels, lack of fluid, too much yang, whatever). Nettle may aggravate dryness, so keep on eye out for that pattern.

There's some other threads on nourishing moisture in the body. Search for yin +deficiency
It's all good (except for the crappy bits).
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Re: herbal equivalent of vagifem?

Postby Bat in the Gloaming » Sat Jul 18, 2009 8:24 am

Hi SK,

Thanks for the idea to search 'yin deficiency'. I will take a look. As for nettle infusion being drying...I will watch for that. I've only just begun drinking it. I'm alternating between red clover, oat straw and nettle and will be adding comfrey leaf soon. I'm pleased that i like them all and love red clover. A few years ago I tried them and could barely get them down.

Do you have any suggested reading for basic understanding of Traditional Chinese Medicine? I've skirted the edges of it for years. It always seemed very complicated and I was studying with an older Japanese couple who had a different use of some of the same terms used in TCM. Thought I'd better stay with one system to best understand what it had to offer.

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Re: herbal equivalent of vagifem?

Postby amazoneagle7wise » Sat Apr 13, 2013 11:01 pm

thankyou so much wise women for this forum ! i was searching for alternative to vagifem as i have used it for a couple of months on recommend from gyno specialist. it did address some of the above mentioned symptoms (i do dislike the medical model of "disease and symptoms" for menopause...ah well). but i do not want to continue using or rather even intermittently use vagifem. so the herbal teas mentioned have reminded me of a gentler alternative that will build estrogen slowly but more balancing for my bod. i decided to use a combo of red clover, oat straw, comfrey leaf and alfalfa as a brew, each day. so will let you know how it goes. i also went out to find some black cohosh in a supplement that will work on adrenals, as pretty sure mine are shot also.
again thankyou susun weed. i have your book and will go and pull it out of storage...to use again ! xo
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