I have a patient who is asking about alternatives to vaginal lubricants. She is hormone-receptor positive, and commercially available creams have estrogen in them. What can I suggest to her?
Back to Health A to Z. Vaginal dryness is a common problem that many women have at some point in their lives. But there are things that can help.
Vaginal dryness probably results from changes that occur when estrogen levels drop. Low estrogen causes the vagina and surrounding connective tissue to lose elasticity and the tissue that lines the vagina becomes thinner and more fragile. How does vaginal dryness feel?
My doctor prescribed a low-dose vaginal estrogen cream, applied twice a week, for atrophic vaginitis. I've heard this dose is so low that it carries no health risk. Do you agree?
This may occur naturally or as a result of the ovaries being removed by surgery, or damaged by chemotherapy or radiation. A natural menopause is usually confirmed by a year of no periods. In the UK, the average age at which the menopause occurs naturally is 51, and it happens about 2 years earlier in smokers.
This open, prospective, multicenter, observational study was performed to investigate the efficacy and safety of a non-hormonal cream in women undergoing breast cancer treatment and experiencing vulvovaginal dryness symptoms. Overall, patients from 22 study centers participated. The cream was applied to the vagina and vulva for 28 days.
Many of my female patients are very comfortable talking to be about their hot flushes and night sweats. However, even the ones I have known for many years are often really reserved and not forthcoming when talking about their dry vaginas! There is no subject that embarrasses me talking about with patients.
The impact of vaginal dryness on interpersonal relationships, quality of life, daily activities, and sexual function can be significant, but is frequently underestimated. Furthermore, barriers exist to treatment-seeking, and this condition is often underreported and undertreated. Greater education about vaginal dryness and the range of available treatments is essential to encourage more women to seek help for this condition.
In women with postmenopausal vaginal symptoms, is local estrogen treatment better than vaginal lubricant or placebo? It is time to rethink the idea that vaginal atrophy caused by diminished estrogen is the cause of vaginal symptoms associated with menopause. Vaginal estradiol is no more effective than a non-prescription vaginal lubricant or placebo lubricant in the treatment of women with painful intercourse, vaginal dryness, or other symptoms usually associated with menopause.