One of the familiar challenges for older women during sex is a lack of lubrication. Really the lack of lubrication is just one of the symptoms of reduced estrogen due to the natural aging process. Estrogen is what helps keep our tissue young and supple and without it, things can quickly fall apart. Intercourse can become painful due to lack of lubrication, thin tissue and bladder infections become problematic.
The general trend by doctors is to provide relief by administering a low dose of estrogen locally in the vagina with a cream or small tablet. The hope is that the estrogen will relieve the symptoms locally without causing some of the increased risks of breast cancer and ovarian cancer caused by taking estrogen orally.
I don’t know who is making all the money off of women that still want to have a great sex life, but somebody is. The price of estrogen has risen dramatically to the point that a months worth of estrogen costs $150. That’s $1800 a year. Crazy, right?
In class I tell women if they have issues, bring it up with their doctor – and keep bringing it up – until they get some help. I have been complaining about the outrageous price of estrogen for 2 years and this year, my doctor said he would see what he could find out. I have a great ob/gyn and he actually called me a week later with several options.
The first option was to have estrogen locally compounded by a pharmacist that would be much cheaper compared to what I was currently paying.
The second option – my doctor was a little embarrassed to offer, but after doing some research and hearing lots of positive feedback, he decided it was worth a try. He suggested I go to the local health food store and for about $20 purchase a bottle of 100 DHEA 10mg capsules. Then twice a week use my finger to insert one capsule into my vagina. The capsules gradually dissolve to administer the DHEA locally. Yep, that’s $20/year versus $1800/year. You can imagine, I was all over that one. Basically I figure I have nothing to lose.
I’m not a doctor, so feel free to look it up on your own, but basically DHEA is normally produced by your adrenal gland and it is what tells your body to produce estrogen or testosterone. When you place it in your vagina, the hope is that your body begins to naturally start producing estrogen locally, which in turn restores the condition of your tissue and produces more lubricant.
So, I am giving it a try and figure I have nothing to lose. I looked up a couple of studies on line and the feedback from women was great. I have only been taking it a couple of weeks, but for me, the results have already been positive.
I will say it again, I am not a doctor, so please talk to your own doctor and do your own research. I have high hopes and if this doesn’t work, then you know that I will be back knocking on my doctors door again.
Anybody else out there used DHEA vaginally? What is your feedback?