If you need help getting things lubricated, something in your supplement cabinet might just help.
Here’s what science has to say about taking supplements to help vaginal dryness.
Before you go rummaging through the supplement aisle, check in with a medical professional. They can make sure any vitamins or supplements you may want to try are safe options for you and your vag.
1. Vitamin E
You may notice that vitamin E is an ingredient in many lotions and moisturizers, bringing its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to skin care. These same properties have the potential to increase vaginal lubrication.
In a small 2016 clinical trial, participants dealing with vaginal atrophy (a condition where the vaginal lining gets dry and thin) took 100 IU of vitamin E suppositories for 12 weeks. Based on participant-reported improvements, vitamin E was 76.9 percent effective at addressing the dryness.
Bottom line on vitamin E
Vitamin E is believed to play a role in estrogen stability, so it could be beneficial for vaginal atrophy. Research suggests vitamin E suppositories are a promising option, but it’s unclear whether oral vitamin E can do the same.
2. Vitamin D
Ahhh, the sunshine vitamin. In addition to impacting bone health, immune function, and inflammation, vitamin D is (SURPRISE!) believed to play a role in hormone balance.
In a 2015 study, participants who used suppositories containing 1000 IU of vitamin D showed a significant improvement in vaginal dryness after 56 days compared with the control group.
If you’re hoping for a non-suppository option, a 2019 review of six studies found that oral supplements could also decrease dryness during menopause.
Bottom line on vitamin D
Very few foods naturally contain vitamin D, which is why 28 percent of peeps age 2 and older take dietary supplements containing it. (You’re also more likely to have a vitamin D deficiency if you live in a colder, cloudy climate.)
Taking a vitamin D supplement or using a suppository will likely have more impact on vaginal dryness than relying on food.
3. Fish oil (omega-3 fatty acids)
Omega-3s are an essential type of fatty acids that are important for many functions, including in your heart, lungs, immune system, and endocrine system (basically your hormone center).
In a 2019 study, participants had increased levels of estradiol after taking a supplement combo of vitamin D3 and 300 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids for 8 weeks. Estradiol is a form of the hormone estrogen, which drops during menopause and can be a factor in vaginal dryness.
Another 2019 study found that higher intakes of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), two types of omega-3s, helped relieve menopause symptoms, which can include vaginal dryness, itching, and discomfort.
Estrogen keeps the female reproductive system regular, and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA for short) is an important source of estrogen.
Your body actually makes DHEA. Production starts increasing when you’re 10 years old, reaches its peak in your 20s, and then declines from there.
A 2016 study found that 6.5 milligrams of daily suppository DHEA helped improve vaginal dryness in women after 12 weeks.
Bottom line on DHEA
Again with the hormones (do you see a pattern here?). DHEA is a hormone precursor that’s important for estrogen creation. Your body naturally makes DHEA, but your levels decrease with age.
Taking a DHEA suppository may benefit dry bits, but more research is needed to find out whether oral supplements may have the same effect.
5. Sea buckthorn oil
This natural supplement comes from the leaves, seeds, and berries of a shrub called the sea buckthorn plant. Thanks to its fatty acid content, sea buckthorn oil helps prevent your skin from losing water while strengthening your skin barrier.
Since vag dryness can come from the thinning of vaginal mucus, a small 2014 study investigated whether oral sea buckthorn oil could help with “mucosal integrity.”
Participants who took 3 grams of sea buckthorn oil daily for 3 months had “a tendency toward improvement” in mucus quality compared with the placebo group. But this was just one small study, and more research is needed.
Bottom line on sea buckthorn oil
You may find improvements in skin AND vag health with sea buckthorn oil, thanks to its essential fatty acids that prevent water loss. Supplementing with it may help if you’re struggling with dryness.
6. Hyaluronic acid
You’ve probably heard about hyaluronic acid’s benefits for your face, but what about your vajayjay?
A 2011 study in 42 postmenopausal women found that those who used vaginal tablets of hyaluronic acid sodium salt for 8 weeks had significant improvements in vaginal atrophy compared with those who used estradiol tablets.
A 2021 review also concluded that hyaluronic acid could be an alternative treatment for those who can’t use hormone treatments to improve dryness. Studies in the review found that both hyaluronic acid and estrogen treatments improved vaginal atrophy.
Bottom line on hyaluronic acid
More research is needed to find out whether hyaluronic acid can truly help dampen your downtown. But hyaluronic acid suppositories, gels, or supplements might give you positive results to avoid hormonal treatments.
Boron is a nonessential mineral, but it’s still found in many foods, including leafy greens, prunes, raisins, almonds, and coffee. There’s still uncertainty as to how boron can benefit your body, but some research has linked it to sex hormones.
Estradiol levels are lower in women who are going through menopause, and low levels can create vaginal dryness, irritation, and itching. But more research is needed to figure out whether boron can really have an effect.
Bottom line on boron
More research is needed to find out whether boron is a viable option for addressing vaginal dryness. Health experts have noted that 1–13 milligrams a day is a safe range of boron intake for adults.
Want other ways to keep things au naturel in the name of lubrication? These natural remedies may help your vag go from the Sahara Desert to the Pacific Ocean:
- Avoid *certain* products. Soaps and feminine hygiene products with fragrances and dyes can dry out your vag. Your hoo-ha is self-cleaning, and soaps can eff with all the good bacteria. Oh, and skip the douche too.
- Don’t skimp on foreplay. Taking the time to get the blood flowing and boost arousal can help with moisture production.
- Stay hydrated. Alcohol can cause dehydration, which means less fluid for lubrication. If you regularly hit happy hour, make sure to also drink plenty of H2O.
- Nosh on phytoestrogens. These estrogen-like compounds found in plant foods like soy, tofu, nuts, and yams *might* help get your levels back on track to get things flowing.
- Check your birth control. If you’re on hormonal BC like the pill, it may be the reason for your dry downstairs. Check with your doctor to see if switching to a nonhormonal option might help.
A little vaginal lubricant is often enough to create a WAP. There’s more than one kind of lube on the market, so be sure to pick one that works best for you and your bits.
- Water-based lubricants. These are often the cheaper options in your local pharmacy. They may or may not contain glycerin (a natural moisturizer that comes from oil or animal fat). A few downsides: Glycerin may contribute to yeast infections, and it could make dryness worse when warmed up (since it dries up itself).
- Silicone-based lubricants. They cost a bit more, but silicone-based lubes have their perks: They’re fine to use with condoms, they last longer, and they’re hypoallergenic. They may leave a little residue, but they get the job done!
- Oil-based lubricants. You can choose between natural oils (think coconut, avocado, or even vegetable oil) and synthetic oil-based lubes (Vaseline or mineral oil). Big warning 🚨, though: Don’t use them with latex condoms, because those condoms will get destroyed.
Still dry? Talk with your doc
If vitamins, natural remedies, and lube still aren’t cutting it, chat with a medical pro about vaginal dryness. They can help you figure out what’s up and recommend over-the-counter or prescription treatments like estrogen creams.
Grab your partner and get ready to head to pleasure town. Research suggests certain vitamins and supplements may be beneficial for vaginal lubrication. Other natural remedies can also get things lubed up.
Just make sure to chat with a medical professional before starting a new supplement.