Mary Jane (not her real name), a woman in her late forties, presented to my office complaining of vaginal dryness. She also had vasomotor symptoms of peri-menopause such as night sweats, hot flashes, and insomnia. I explained that I could assist her with the vaginal dryness she was experiencing as well as provide her with some conservative measures for her other peri-menopausal symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats. If these vasomotor symptoms continued, however, I recommended that she speak to her doctor about the possibility of hormone therapy.
My Recommedations For Managing Peri-Menopausal Symptoms:
- Regular Exercise
- Limit hot drinks
- Limit alcohol to 1-2 drinks per week
- Stay well hydrated
- Eliminate spicy foods
- Dress in layers
Mary Jane tried these conservative measures for her vasomotor symptoms but found that the frequency of hot flashes she was experiencing was still impacting her quality of life. She decided to speak to her family doctor about this, and then she told me something quite interesting… She no longer had insomnia because she had visited a local cannabis dispensary and was given a prescription for cannabis oil which helped her relax and get a great night’s sleep.
My Recommendations for Managing Vaginal Dryness
I provided Mary Jane with a number of options to choose from to treat her vaginal dryness; everything from coconut oil, to JoyGel (contains wild yam and coconut), to RepaGyn (ovule that contains hyaluronic acid to heal tissues and Vitamin E to keep tissues youthful). If she preferred a gel formulation, then she could try Gynatrof (also contains hyaluronic acid). Mary Jane decided that she would give each of these options a try to find the one she preferred. I asked her to use them as directed, nightly for about one week or so and then twice a week on a Monday and Thursday. I explained that it would take about two months for any one of these personal moisturizers to truly optimize, although she would likely feel relief much sooner.
Two months later Mary Jane returned to my clinic and reported that her vaginal dryness had resolved. She tried all of the options I presented her with but she decided to stick with JoyGel as she liked the consistency and the fact that it contained wild yam, a natural form of estrogen.
Going back to Mary Jane’s use of cannabis oil, I mentioned to her that the mouth is not the only thing that can become dry (think cotton mouth); cannabis use is associated with “cotton vagina” as well. A light went on and she said, “Well, to be honest, that is when my vagina became dry – when I started using the cannabinoid to help me sleep.”
According to an Australian survey of 8650 women published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, vaginal dryness was found to be associated with cannabis use. Vaginal dryness unrelated to the oral contraceptive pill, antihistamines, cannabis or other medications, is a lifelong condition and will need to be managed/treated accordingly.
Mary Jane continued to say, “Well, I am not going to give up my sleep or my cannabis oil so it looks like I will be using JoyGel for a long time!”
My final words on this are as follows: The mucous membranes of the vagina are similar to those of the mouth. So, “stoner chicks”, it is not just cotton mouth you need to deal with when lighting up or dropping that tincture… “cotton vagina” is a very real thing as well. You don’t want the very thing that relaxes you and may help you sleep (whether it be a few drops or tokes) to prevent you from getting back to the bedroom!