Perimenopause and Vaginal Dryness

This month in my social media posts, I have been focusing on the common health concerns that affect many perimenopausal women, such as, hot flushes, night sweats, low libido, crazy mood swings and weight gain. The not so known or spoken about health issues, such as, vaginal dryness, light bladder leakage and dry skin (all over our bodies), during the perimenopause transition into menopause is where I'm focusing on this month for my blog topic. 

There is a lot more discussion and openness around the topic of vaginal dryness and vaginal irritations along with vaginal atrophy and women are becoming more proactive in getting the right treatment solutions and are seeking the help of a qualified Naturopath and other health professionals, that work in the women's health field.

A lot of people say vagina when they really mean vulva. Your vagina is actually just one part of your vulva — specifically the inside part. The vulva is the part of your genitals that’s on the outside of your body, like your labia, clitoris, urethra, and vaginal opening.

In this blog, I'm talking about itching and discomfort that affects either the vagina, vulva, or both.

Understanding Perimenopause 

Perimenopause is the transitional period leading up to menopause, and it can bring a host of changes to your body. This transition needs to be embraced and celebrated and not feared as something dreadful that is 'only happening to me'.

Here's the link for my previous blog on What is Perimenopause? – Katrina Froome Naturopathy

Vaginal Dryness 

During perimenopause, your body goes through hormonal fluctuations, particularly a decrease in oestrogen levels. This can lead to a thinning of the vaginal tissues and reduced lubrication. As a result, many women experience vaginal dryness, which can cause:-

  • Discomfort - like you could be getting thrush as an example, 
  • Itching - another feeling that you can experience if you are susceptible to thrush,
  • Swelling - this can be quiet painful and can be very uncomfortable when sitting down, and
  • Pain during intercourse. 

Vaginal dryness is not always related to an underlying condition. It may be caused when your oestrogen levels drop in the following conditions-

  • Childbirth and breastfeeding
  • Radiation or chemotherapy treatment for cancer
  • Surgical removal of the ovaries
  • Anti-oestrogen medications
  • Anxiety
  • Irritants
  • Smoking

The Gut and Vaginal Connection

The gut and vaginal microbiomes are both important for maintaining overall health.

The gut microbiome is the collection of microorganisms that live in the digestive tract, while the vaginal microbiome is the collection of microorganisms that live in the female reproductive tract. The main occupants of the vaginal microbiome are, the bacterial species such as Lactobacilli, including L. Acidophilus, L. Crispatus, L. Rhamnosus, and others usually dominate the vaginal microbiome of healthy, women of reproductive-age. 

The gut microbiome supports digestive health, immune health, hormone production and vaginal health. Studies have shown that promoting a healthy vaginal microbiome can help alleviate bacterial vaginosis (fishy smell), yeast infections (thrush), vaginal dryness and urinary tract infections (UTIs).

The vaginal microbiome plays a key role in keeping women healthy by helping to keep the environment acidic and discouraging other bacteria, yeast and viruses from thriving. The primary colonising bacteria of a healthy vagina is called lactobacillus. On the other hand, disruptions to the vaginal microbiome can occur due to various factors such as:-

  • Sexual activity
  • Lubricants
  • Semen
  • Scented condoms or latex condoms
  • Hormonal contraceptive
  • Menstruation
  • Antibiotics


Chemical irritants, like those found in everyday products that come in contact with the vagina and vulva, can trigger an allergic reaction, known as contact dermatitis. We’re talking alcohol, dyes, fragrances, etc.

If an irritant is to blame, your vulva and vagina might be itchy, red, and sore.

Products that often contain such irritants include:

  • Scented pads and liners
  • Menstrual Cups if not cleaned properly after use
  • Sex toys once again if not cleaned after use
  • Scented toilet paper
  • Soaps, shower gels, and bubble baths
  • Feminine sprays
  • Douches
  • Topical contraceptives, like spermicide
  • Creams, lotions, and ointments
  • Detergents
  • Fabric softeners

If you experience incontinence or light bladder leakage, urine can also cause itching and irritation.

Naturopathic Solutions 

As a Naturopath I am here to guide and support you through this journey. I use a holistic approach that addresses the root causes of these symptoms. Some natural remedies and lifestyle changes can include:

  1. Diet and Nutrition: Incorporate foods rich in healthy fats, such as avocados and flaxseeds, to support skin health and hormonal balance. Prebiotic and probiotic foods are also great to add into your daily meal plan along with eating a whole food diet and staying away from high sugar, highly processed foods. 
  2. Herbal Supplements: I formulate your own herbal formula that is based on your body as a whole and what symptoms you are experiencing. 
  3. Hydration: Stay well-hydrated to combat dryness from the inside out. Herbal teas like chamomile, nettle leaf and red clover can be soothing. Alcohol along with soft drinks and too much caffeine can cause issues with your gut and vaginal microbiome.
  4. Moisturising: Use natural, fragrance-free moisturisers and lubricants for both your skin and intimate areas to ease discomfort. I have some new products in clinic that work brilliantly.
  5. Testing: Sometimes we need to find out a little bit more as to why you are having discomfort, as there can be an imbalance in your 'healthy' vaginal microbiome. Hormonal flare ups can be causing these issues, STDs can be a cause of these discomforts along with them re-occurring more frequently during perimenopause. 
  6. Consultation: Most importantly, consult with our naturopath to create a personalised plan tailored to your unique needs.

Remember, you're not alone on this journey, it can be very complex as it is such a deep topic and there can be many contributing factors. There are natural ways to find relief and feel your best during perimenopause. I am here to support you every step of the way! 💚

Reach out if you would like to have a chat if you are experiencing any of these conditions or if you would like to book your consultation, here's the link:-


Work With Me – Katrina Froome Naturopathy


Yours in health and wellness,


Katrina xxx

katrina froome naturopathy, womens health, vaginal health, gut health, sibo, ibs


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