beth israel deaconess medical center a harvard medical school teaching hospital

  • Contact BIDMC
  • Maps & Directions
  • Other Locations
  • Careers at BIDMC
  • Smaller Larger

Find a Doctor

Request an Appointment

Smaller Larger

Sea Buckthorn Oil and Sex

Posted 9/16/2014

Posted in

  I just love it when I have a catchy title for the day's entry. Hope you enjoyed this one.

  As many of us know, there are inevitable sexual changes post menopause, and that experience frequently comes sooner to women who have had breast cancer treatment. Chemotherapy and hormonal/endocrine therapies can throw younger women into premature menopause and keep them there. Therefore, the normal issues around diminished libido and response, vaginal dryness, and vaginal atrophy may make an early appearance.

  Symptoms of vaginal atrophy (and, yes, I concur that is a disgusting name and wish it were something else) include: thinning of the vaginal walls.
shortening and tightening of the vaginal canal.
lack of vaginal moisture (vaginal dryness)
vaginal burning (inflammation)
spotting of blood after intercourse.
discomfort or pain during intercourse.
pain or burning with urination.
more frequent urinary tract infections

  Put together, these symptoms result in uncomfortable to painful intercourse, separate and apart from the issues around dryness. Through the years, I have talked with many women for whom this is a major problem. It is pretty hard to sustain a normal, loving intimate life when it hurts! This study from Finland, as reported in Reuters, found that sea buckthorn oil (which I have never heard of before), taken in capsules, was very helpful to many women in improving vaginal atrophy and, presumably, their sex lives. It did not help burning, itching, or dryness, but there are other interventions for those concerns.

  Here is the start and a link to read more. If you try this, I would love to hear a report:

Oral Sea Buckthorn Oil May Help Maintain Post-menopausal Vaginal Health
By Anne Harding

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Sea buckthorn oil taken orally can help improve vaginal atrophy in postmenopausal women, a new randomized trial suggests.

However, women using the supplement did not report improvements in vaginal dryness, burning or itching.

"Our results suggest sea buckthorn oil can offer help in maintaining healthy mucous membranes during (the) post-menopausal period," Dr. Petra Larmo, research and development director of Aromtech Ltd. In Tornio, Finland, and the first author of the new study, told Reuters Health via email.

Aromtech makes the sea buckthorn oil used in the study, and also helped fund the research. Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation, also provided funding.


Add your comment