Aunt Vadge: I douched with apple cider vinegar, and now I see a cut

Dear Aunt Vadge,

I use diluted apple cider vinegar to douche, because I have this itch just down my vaginal orifice, then I noticed a cut down there. What could be the cause? I have not had sex in about three years. 

Yours sincerely,
Age: 48
Country: Nigeria

Dear Confused,

You don’t mention what your menopausal status was, but based on your age, I would have expected you to be at minimum in the middle of menopause. It seems that a reasonable possibility is that your vagina may be suffering due to low oestrogen levels, which occur when your ovaries stop working at menopause.

Getting cut easily and having itchy skin are signs of atrophic vaginitis. Your vaginal and vulvar symptoms can be solved a couple of ways, with foods that contain phytoestrogens (one recommendation is 100g tofu plus 1 teaspoon of freshly-ground flaxseed daily) or with oestrogen creams prescribed by your doctor.

You shouldn’t be douching with anything if you don’t know the cause of your itch. Do you have a yeast infection? General inflammation? Is it another sign of atrophic vaginitis? You may be treating the wrong thing.

I would recommend that you stop douching, and start investigating low oestrogen signs and try to establish the true cause of your itch and cut. Oestrogen is my first guess. You may get a lot of benefit from a visit to your doctor to confirm this, because you want to make sure you are treating the right thing.

Minor cuts and tears can be encouraged to heal well with a vulva and vagina-friendly cuts cream.

Write anytime.

Warmest regards,
Aunt Vadge