5 Benefits of Coconut Oil for Managing Menopause Symptoms

Last updated 12.27.2023 | by Sabrina Johnson | 8 Minutes Read

This article has been reviewed and fact checked by Dr. Karen Pike, a senior physician administrator and board-certified emergency room doctor actively working in northern California. Read more at our medical disclaimer page.


In recent times, coconut oil’s popularity has immensely increased, mostly because of the array of health benefits associated with it. According to a survey, approximately 72% of Americans considered coconut oil a healthy dietary option. Besides its use as a cooking oil, the role of coconut oil in topical applications is undeniable.

My mom often used it to moisturize her skin, and I followed suit. Natural remedies for skin and hair care have always been my thing. Coconut oil has always been one of my favorites for hair and skincare.

Now if we were to join the dots and link coconut oil and menopause, the most important thing that has surfaced is the oil’s effectiveness in managing vaginal dryness, experienced by around 50% of menopausal women, Findings conducted on women aged 50 and above most of whom had vaginal pain, and dryness showed that a majority of the women found their symptoms getting better upon application of virgin coconut oil in the paste form.

Do you have a preference for natural remedies? Are you in two minds about using virgin coconut oil to relieve vaginal dryness and other menopausal symptoms? This article will be of immense help to you then. I have given a vivid account of the benefits of coconut oil in managing vaginal dryness and other menopausal symptoms. Do give it a read.

How Does Coconut Oil Help to Manage the Symptoms of Menopause? 5 Probable Benefits

How Does Coconut Oil Help to Manage the Symptoms of Menopause

If I were to enumerate the benefits of coconut oil, the list is endless. Its anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and lubricating properties make it helpful in moisturizing the skin, healing wounds, and lessening inflammation.

As I already mentioned, a lot has been spoken about coconut oil’s benefits for vaginal dryness. However, that’s not its only use. There are other utilities as well. Let’s take a look at each one of them in detail.

1. For Vaginal Dryness – How Does it Help?

A friend was troubled with vaginal dryness in her late 40s to the extent that it not just came in the way of her sex life but also made standing, sitting, and urinating troublesome. As a remedy, she would mostly use vaginal lubricants as prescribed by the doctor for relief.

Like her, most women with vaginal dryness resort vaginal lubricants or moisturizers to ease the symptoms of vaginal dryness. However, some women prefer taking the natural path to ease their symptoms. The safety of coconut oil in minimizing skin dryness has been verified from various sources.

A study conducted in 2013 on kids aged between 1 and 13 years showed the usefulness of coconut oil in treating atopic dermatitis symptoms like itchiness and dryness of skin. That was the benefit of coconut oil on the outer skin. Now coming to the benefits of coconut oil on the vagina, there isn’t any research to date to support its utility. Some anecdotal sources suggest that coconut oil may be used internally, but you shouldn’t apply oil to your vagina on your own without consulting the doctor.

However, the internal application of coconut oil comes with some drawbacks. You need to know the same.

  • Individuals using latex-based contraceptives shouldn’t apply coconut oil for vaginal dryness. Oil-based lubricants like coconut oil function towards breaking down the latex present in contraceptives. This reduces and weakens the effectiveness of the devices, increasing the chances of an unplanned pregnancy and STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections).
  • Like most other oil-based lubricants, coconut oil also produces a messy effect. So when one isn’t careful while applying it to their vagina, it could lead to stained bedclothes, underwear, and sheets. That’s quite uncomfortable, indeed.
  • Coconut oil is alkaline due to its high pH value. While the pH value of the vagina ranging from 3.8-5.0 is considered acidic. So, applying coconut oil to the vagina could increase the chances of vaginal infections.

The hype about coconut oil for vaginal dryness isn’t unknown. Yet, before using coconut oil as a remedy for vaginal inflammation and itchiness, seeking medical advice is always recommended.

2. For Moisturizing the Skin

The low estrogen levels are responsible for the dryness and itchiness in the skin, which women mostly experience in menopause and the transition phase. Due to reduced estrogen levels, the skin’s ability to hold moisture eventually lessens.

Coconut oil has moisturizing properties. It is also devoid of harmful chemicals that could result in skin irritation. Applying it to the skin might relieve you from dryness and itchiness. Another boon of this oil is its thickness, which allows it to remain on the skin for a long. This way, you will not have to reapply it frequently.

However, some individuals could be allergic to coconut oil. So, before using it as a wholesome remedy, you must test it on a small area of your skin. If you do not have any allergic reactions, you may use it to moisturize your dry skin.

A friend had suggested combining coconut oil with some drops of essential oils and lemon juice and applying it to the skin. She said that it serves as a perfect moisturizer. I haven’t tried this remedy yet, but I hope to do the same soon.

3. For Weight Loss

MCTs (Medium-chain triglycerides) are said to be functional in weight loss, and the same has been speculated through studies[1].

Researchers have even deduced that consumption of MCT oil increases burnt calories[2]. Coconut oil is considered a rich source of MCT and, therefore, is said to be beneficial for weight loss. However, the usefulness of coconut oil consumption in burning calories hasn’t been proven. However, if you use coconut oil for weight loss in menopause, which most women are prone to, ensure you use it in moderate quantities. Coconut oil has MCT properties but is high in calories (120 cal, 14 gm fat/tbsp) and could trigger weight gain.

Though it has MCT, coconut oil might increase bad cholesterol. So, for those with increased cholesterol, speaking to the doctor before using coconut oil for weight loss is mandatory.

4. For Gut Health

Because of the low and fluctuating levels of estrogen and progesterone in menopause, gut health is affected to a great extent. The gut has a combination of good and bad bacteria. The low hormone levels disrupt the balance of the bacteria levels in the gut, resulting in several digestive issues.

So, when transitioning into menopause or having already experienced it, taking care of your gut health is immensely important. Coconut oil has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-microbial properties. This makes it helpful in repairing the gut tissues and restoring bacterial imbalances in the gut.

However, before you use it as a natural remedy to boost your digestive health in menopause, seeking a doctor’s advice is always essential.

5. For Your Hair

The hormones are again blamed for the hair loss you may experience in menopause. You may experience creased hair loss and hair thinning during this time. So, to manage and deal with this problem, proper hair care is of immense importance. The absence of additives and the moisturizing properties of coconut oil are beneficial in treating dry hair.

So, when in menopause, massaging your hair with coconut oil will improve circulation and help in hair growth. Other effective oils used for hair in menopause include olive oil, evening primrose oil, and castor oil. When I was troubled with hair issues, a hairdresser friend suggested the coconut oil remedy. Trust me, it was of immense help.

FAQs

Q. What are the different ways to have coconut oil?

Coconut oil has gained popularity as a cooking oil. There are several ways of consuming it. You can add a tablespoon of it to your beverage or smoothie. You could even use it for cooking eggs and leafy greens. Adding coconut oil to the greens helps to eliminate the bitterness one may find in spinach or collard. You could even substitute it for butter and oil when cooking several recipes.

Q. What are the alternatives to coconut oil?

In baking and cooking, coconut oil has healthier alternatives, like olive oil, sunflower oil, avocado oil, almond oil, grapeseed oil, and canola oil. Of all these, olive oil is my all-time favorite.

Q. Can coconut oil increase the estrogen levels?

Coconut is known to have phytoestrogens, which are compounds mimicking the functions of estrogen. A study even confirmed the presence of estrogen-like properties in young coconut juice[3]. However, the participants in the above-mentioned study weren’t humans but female rats.

Conclusion

The utility and effectiveness of coconut oil as a vaginal lubricant isn’t confirmed. So, if you are troubled with vaginal dryness in menopause, it is always advised to consult the doctor who would suggest you with the best possible options. Similarly, when using it in its edible form, take it in measured amounts. An increased and prolonged consumption of coconut oil may lead to gastrointestinal distress and diarrhea.

Author

  • Sabrina Johnson

    Meet Sabrina Johnson, a compassionate author and a seasoned expert in Obstetrics and Gynecology. She is a driving force behind Simply Menopause, where her extensive medical knowledge and empathetic nature come together to empower women in their menopausal journey. Sabrina offers culturally sensitive guidance and support through her approachable writing, making her a trusted friend on the path to menopause wellness.

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