Why does vaginal dryness affect women after menopause?
Vaginal dryness, also known as ‘vaginal atrophy’, is a common condition, affecting as many as half of all women after their menopause. 2c
The hormone oestrogen, which is produced by the ovaries, helps to keep the vagina moist and maintain the thickness of the vaginal lining. 4b After menopause, vaginal dryness and other symptoms that affect the vagina and the urinary tract may occur, because the ovaries produce less oestrogen. 2b, 4b
You are not alone!
Yet, despite the availability of effective treatment options, only 1 in 4 women seeks medical help. 2b
Vaginal dryness treatment
While the hot flushes and night sweats of menopause resolve over time, symptoms associated with vaginal atrophy are progressive and frequently require treatment. 2b,e
Vaginal dryness can be helped by simple lubricants, but the best and most logical treatment for vaginal atrophy is to use local oestrogen. 2k
According to the International Menopause Society, local vaginal oestrogen therapy is preferred when symptoms are limited to the vagina. 2h This I because only small doses of oestrogen are needed to treat vaginal symptoms of menopause, plus the vaginal response to local oestrogen therapy is quick and long-lasting. 2i,l
Local oestrogen therapy can be given as vaginal tablets or a vaginal cream. 2h
Vaginal oestrogen tablets compared to vaginal cream
Are you experiencing vaginal dryness?
Fill in the boxes below and show it to your doctor or pharmacist, to help start the discussion about the symptoms of vaginal dryness and their management.
1. Minkin MJ, maamari R, Reiter S. Improved compliance and patient satisfaction with estradiol vaginal tablets in postmenopausal women previously treated with another local estrogen therapy. International Journal of Women’s Health 2013; 5: 133-139.
2. Sturdee DW, Panay N, on behalf of the International Menopause Society Writing Group. Recommendations for the management of postmenopausal vaginal atrophy. Climacteric 2010; 13(6): 509-522.
3. Johnston SL. The recognition and management of atrophic vaginitis. Geriatr Aging 2002; (7): 9-15.
4. Reference on request.
5. Rioux JE, et al. 17B-Estradiol vaginal tablet versus conjugated equine estrogen vaginal cream to relieve menopausal atrophic vaginitis. Menopause 2000; 7(3): 156-161.
6. Dugal R, et al. Comparison of usefulness of estradiol vaginal tablets and estriol vagitories for treatment of vaginal atrophy. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 2000; 79: 293-297.
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