Vaginal Dryness: A Silent Concern

Maybe it’s our culture, maybe it’s our personality…but Filipina women tend to ignore this problem of vaginal dryness. They would rather suffer in silence than consult their doctor for this seemingly trivial problem.

Worldwide, 40% of women are affected by vaginal dryness. It does not only occur during the menopausal age but also in younger women who have fluctuations in hormonal level or hormonal imbalance.

https://jenasol.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/drycrackedland.jpg

https://jenasol.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/drycrackedland.jpg

It is such a common problem, that in other countries vaginal preparations are available not only in the drug stores but in supermarkets, as well. You walk down the aisle of WalMart or Ralphs and you see K-Y Jelly Mint Flavor right beside the aisle of body lotion and napkins.

Recently, a new formulation has been introduced to the local scene. It is called Mithra Intim. It is a 3-in-1 product containing (1) a hydrating gel called polycarbophil, (2) a healing component in the form of chamomile oil and (3) lactic acid for optimum vaginal pH. It promises to solve several issues not only limited to vaginal dryness.

Due to the gel preparation, Mithra Intim stays in the vaginal canal longer (almost 3-5 days) making daily, uncomfortable re-applications unnecessary. It is also acidic therefore prevents the recurrence of vaginal itchiness and discharge.

Very often, I get visits from patients complaining of vaginal discharge and itchiness almost 2-3 times in a year. But the pap smear reveals nothing but inflammation. This new formulation promises be a better alterative to prevent these symptoms rather than giving of antibiotics all the time.

Finally, lactic acid is a natural component of the vagina. It’s presence in the 3-in-1 gel will further protect women from harmful bacteria and other organisms.

Mithra Intim comes in a 20-gram tube with applicator. The recommended usage for both vaginal dryness and maintenance of optimum vaginal pH is 2 applications per week. One tube costs Php 500 in all Mercury Drugstores and it should be good for 8 applications or 1 month.

Vaginal dryness is a real problem. It will not go away in time. In fact, it can only get worse as we age. Many products are out there to solve this issue. Mithra Intim is the latest one to be introduced to the Philippine market so don’t just take my word for it. Try it out!

 

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23 Comments

  1. filipinamd says:

    I received this question from a reader:

    Dear Doc
    i started using intim for about 3 weeks now. there’s some discharge na maliliit na puti. lalo na pag nag sex kami ng asawa ko; lumalabas eto during that time.
    Is this normal?
    Regards,
    L.

    Dear L.,

    Nothing to worry about. The concept of Mithra Intim is that the bioadhesive gel sticks to the vaginal cells and keeps the vaginal canal moist and with the optimum pH of less than 4.5 for 3-5 days. But these cells have to slough off or exfoliate naturally. So the white discharge you see are the exfoliated cells. This is not a sign of infection. If you will notice, wala itong amoy and walang itchiness. You are doing fine. Keep using it as long as you like. It is safe even for pregnant women with discharges.

    Doc D

  2. I am 55 yrs old , I would just like to inquire how safe is Mithra Intim.
    if there is aside effect in using it regularly. Thank you.

    • filipinamd says:

      Dear L.C.

      Thank you for your question.

      Mithra Intim has 3 components which have no known allergic reactions or side effects.

      One of the components is polycarbophil. It is an ingredient used in bulk-forming stool softeners. The mode of action of the polycarbophil is it absorbs the fluid from the surrounding tissues in the vagina to make the vaginal canal moist and acidic. Since it comes in a bioadhesive gel form, the polycarbophil “sticks” to the vaginal wall and remains moist for 3-5 days. It does not “drip” out of the vagina and you don’t need to reapply daily.

      The other component is bisabolol which is derived from chamomile oil which has healing properties. Mithra Intim also has lactic acid to maintain acidity of the vagina. (Please read my blog on “Vaginal Itch” to learn more about how to maintain proper vaginal acidity.

      There have been studies conducted on pregnant women given Mithra Intim to prevent vaginal infection and discharge. Results show very positive effects in preventing infection and subsequent premature labor in these patients. Since it has been used on pregnant women, I suppose it will be safe for you L.C.

      I hope this will help you.

      Doc D.

  3. RM says:

    I am currently under treatment for HER2 breast cancer but vaginal dryness has always been my problem. is it safe for me to use Mithra Intim? my oncologyst said that i shoould avoid anything that is high on esgtrogen including vaginal creams. please advise and thank you very much.

    • filipinamd says:

      Dear RM,

      I am truly sorry to hear of your condition, my dear.
      Yes, Mithra Intim is a safe vaginal moisturizer for breast cancer survivors. It has no estrogen so there is no risk of inducing a recurrence of cancer.

      Good luck!
      Doc D

  4. hg says:

    dear filipinamd, is mithra intim gel safe for women with iud?

  5. joie reyes says:

    I already had a Tahbso surgery, is it safe to use Mithra Intim regularly? Im presently using Vagifem, can i use Mithra and Vagifem together?

    • filipinamd says:

      Vagifem is a locally-applied estrogen. Estrogen is the gold-standard in treating symptoms of vaginal dryness. However, some literature have been published that long term use of vaginal estrogen may stimulate the breast therefore , there is a fear of causing breast cancer. And prolonged estrogen use is also connected to formation of blood clots leading to strokes and heart attacks. These are published by SOME literature. There are other authors that advocate the use of estrogen as long as the patient needs relief from vaginal dryness as long as the breast is monitored yearly by a mammogram or two times a year by a sonogram. And deep vein thrombosis may be prevented by blood thinners like aspirin (read my articles in Yahoo!SHE regarding the many benefits of aspirin use) and frequent mobilization like walking.
      Mithra Intim is ideal for patients who are worried about being on estrogen for a long time especially patients with breast cancer in their family.
      You may use Mithra even if you had THBSO surgery.

  6. ma. justene says:

    Dear Doc,

    My problem is about not being able to realize orgasm during normal sexual intercourse even before i have children. No matter how i tried to feel the act, i simple get depressed. I wonder if this was due to the satisfaction i get if i stimulate my self than I am in the actual sexual intercourse. It is the reason why I avoid intimate times with my partner because I know that I am not happy at doing the sex thing. But to avoid fights or arguments, I give in to his desire. And to show him that I am pleased (although the truth is I am not), i do a lot of concentrations like when he uses oral sex on me and that is the only time that I have an orgasm. Please help me what to do. Or is there a problem with my body that I don’t seem to achieve a natural orgasm. Thank you and please keep this matter with utmost confidentiality.

    • filipinamd says:

      Women are made differently from men.
      Men get an orgasm even just by looking at a girly magazine.
      Women need a lot more than that…the mood, the time of the month, all thoughts of house and work should be taken away and she has to be relaxed.
      Not achieving an orgasm does not mean one is abnormal. Many women have never even experienced one. It really is just a state of complete relaxation coupled with a little imagination.
      Help yourself by loosening up…drink some wine, watch a sexy movie, read a hot romance novel, think of Zac Efron or Ryan Gosling.
      It really is up to you, but, let’s say, even after doing all of these you still don’t reach IT…it’s perfectly okay. It doesn’t make you a lesser woman.

  7. Im over 50yrs old, widow and will marry soon lol. i AM SO DRY and my future husband, also over 50yrs is still sexually active. But I am taking coumadin because of clots in my leg veins. What can I use? How do you use MITHRA/ Vagifem. Does it need a prescription?
    Thank You and more power to you

    • filipinamd says:

      No need for prescription. Mithra Intim has no hormones so no fear of blood clots.
      Insert 1 inch of the gel inside vaginal canal 2x a week to maintain vaginal moisture….Oh, and Enjoy!

  8. please use my initials for confidentiality

  9. sophia chan says:

    hi. i just finished 7 nights of neopenotran metronidazole to treat my mild bacterial vaginosis, as determined thru papsmear. is the mithra intim good for maintenance, to keep BV from recurring?

    • filipinamd says:

      Yes.
      Bacterial vaginosis occurs because the vagina is not acidic enough. Using Mithra Intim will maintain the right acidity of the vaginal canal which external vaginal washing cannot achieve.

      • sophia chan says:

        How different is Mithra Intim from Lactacyd Vaginal Gel?

        • filipinamd says:

          Mithra Intim contains polycarbophil the hydrating agent with acidity of 2 to 3; plus bisabolol from chamomile oil for healing and lactic acid.
          Lactacyd gel only has lactic acid.

          • sophia chan says:

            In terms of treatment/prevention of Bacterial Vaginosis, would you recommend Mithra Intim over LVG?

            Also, if it’s not too much to ask, could you write about Bacterial Vaginosis? It went away after I used neopenotran metronidazole suppository for 7 nights, but as soon as I had intercourse a few days later (no condom, but my partner withdrew to ejaculate), it seems the fishy smell is slowly returning. It’s been like this for the past 2 years. It’s so frustrating. Please, help. Thank you.

          • filipinamd says:

            Bacterial vaginosis is inflammation of the vaginal mucosa due to excessive overgrowth of several organisms that are normally living in the genital area.
            With proper diet, hygiene and sexual practices, the vagina is able to protect itself from these organisms by maintaining an acidic environment with a pH of 3.8 – 4.2.
            Once this acidity is lost and the pH increases to above ph 5, then bacterial vaginosis occurs.
            What simple daily activities cause changes in the pH?
            1. Blood has a pH of 7.35 – 7.45: women who have prolonged menses or daily abnormal, irregular spotting are prone to BV or bacterial vaginosis.
            2. Semen has a pH of 7.2 – 7.8: Too frequent sexual intercourse and the inability to wash the entire vaginal canal after contact can also lead to BV
            3. Urine has a pH of 4.6 – 8, with pH 7 being the usual: Urinary incontinence or the inability to hold one’s pee when you laugh or cough can give you this constant fishy odor which is a sign of BV
            4. Soap has a pH of 10: NEVER wash the inside of the vaginal canal with soap. You will cause further alkalinity and again, a contant fishy smell and discharge due to BV.

            Once you have bacterial vaginosis, you need to be treated with oral or vaginal antibiotics.
            You may choose: oral Metronidazole 500 mg 2x a day for 7 days (this may cause nausea and vomiting)
            or Oral Clindamycin KLINDEX 300 mg 3x a day for 7 days (this has NO vomiting or nausea)
            or vaginal Metronidazole plus miconazole NEOPENOTRAN plus Lidocaine once a day for 7 days (This has an added benefit of treating BV and fungal infection which usually occur together; and there are side effects since it is not an oral drug.)

            Once you are treated from the BV, the best way to prevent it from coming back is to use Mithra Intim as a maintenace to keep the vagina acidic to fight these organisms that naturally live in the vagina.
            Use Mithra 2x a week as maintenance and you will notice the absence of the itchiness and fishy odor that you have after contact.

  10. sophia chan says:

    Thanks so much, Doc!