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Birth control pills may cause intimate dryness

Birth control pills have long been the most widely used method of contraception. In addition to contraception, many women find that birth control pills also have useful side effects, such as regular, light and often almost painless menstrual bleeding, or relief from acne.

However, one nasty side effect associated with birth control pills is intimate dryness: burning, itching and irritation in the vaginal mucosa. These symptoms can interfere with normal daily life and the enjoyment of physical intimacy. The cause of the symptoms is the birth control pills’ effect on the body’s hormonal balance.

Hormonal contraceptives are used to regulate the levels of hormones produced by the ovaries, namely oestrogen, progesterone and androgen. Birth control pills typically lower circulating oestrogen levels, and a connection has been found between the use of birth control pills and vaginal dryness (1, 2). Dryness may also be caused by a decrease in androgen content due to birth control pills, as androgen is both a precursor to oestrogen and a necessary component of mucus secretion in the body (2).

Relieve dryness with non-hormonal sea buckthorn oil

The use of moisturising creams is the primary treatment for intimate dryness (2, 3). Topical creams containing small amounts of oestrogen are one option (2, 3), however, non-hormonal therapies may be more appropriate for some women. For example, the use of hormone preparations, even topically, is not usually recommended for breast cancer patients (4).

Sea buckthorn oil is a non-hormonal treatment solution that promotes the normal functioning of mucous membranes (5, 6). In clinical trials, the use of topical sea buckthorn oil cream (Membrasin® Vaginal Vitality cream) has been shown to relieve the symptoms of intimate dryness and irritation and tenderness in the vaginal area (7). The healing effect that sea buckthorn oil cream has on mucous membranes is likely due to the combination of the sea buckthorn oil’s protective effect and the hyaluronic acid’s moisturising effect.

SBA24® sea buckthorn oil capsules (Membrasin® Feminine Moisturizer supplement*) contain plenty of essential omega fatty acids, vitamin E, and carotenoids, which are precursors to vitamin A. Vitamin A promotes the well-being of mucous membranes, and vitamin E protects the cells from oxidative stress (8). Sea buckthorn oil taken as a dietary supplement has effects that strengthen the mucosa, which are likely due to the combined effect of all these components (5, 8).

*Dietary supplement: contains beta-carotene, a source of vitamin A that supports the maintenance of normal vision and skin. Vitamin E supports the protection of cells from oxidative stress.

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