Some women in menopause experience something called vaginal atrophy. This can lead to intimacy issues that might have a negative impact on your relationship.
Of course, the first thing you need is understanding and patience from your partner with the changes in your body during menopause, but there are treatments that can reduce vaginal symptoms. Over the next few videos, I’ll explain some of these treatments
The decreases in estrogen and testosterone that your body experiences at menopause cause the layers that make up the vaginal wall to change dramatically.
In a recent survey of 3000 post-menopausal women [1.Wysocki S, Kingsberg S, Krychman M. Management of Vaginal Atrophy: Implications from the REVIVE Survey. Clinical Medicine Insights Reproductive Health. 2014;8:23-30. doi:10.4137/CMRH.S14498.]
• 55% said they had vaginal dryness
• 44% reported dyspareunia – painful intimacy
• 37% complained of vaginal irritation
• 60% said these symptoms affected their enjoyment of sex
The REVIVE survey showed these women were hesitant to talk with their doctors about these issues.
There are effective treatments for vaginal dryness and painful intimacy. You don’t have to just “Get used to it.”
Over the counter lubricants may help with mild vaginal dryness, although about 40% of the women surveyed said that Replens®, K-Y® and Astroglide® had not worked for them.
Hormone replacement products can reverse menopausal vaginal atrophy.
Estrace® vaginal cream, Estring® vaginal ring and Vagifem® vaginal tablets all contain estradiol, exactly the same as an estrogen your body used to make. Estradiol is very effective at restoring vaginal health and reducing vaginal menopause symptoms. [2.Mac Bride MB, Rhodes DJ, Shuster LT. Vulvovaginal Atrophy. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2010;85(1):87-94. doi:10.4065/mcp.2009.0413.] Cash prices for commercially available estradiol products for vaginal atrophy range from $175 to $375. [3. Estrace® pricing information from goodrx.com] [4. Estring® pricing information from goodrx.com] [5. Vagifem® pricing information from goodrx.com] They should be covered by insurance.
Avoid Premarin® vaginal cream because it has 10 or more horse estrogens you don’t need.
You may have seen ads for Osphena® featuring “Patti,” a woman in her 50s who is embarrassed but talks about painful sex after menopause. Osphena® is an estrogen blocker that also helps reduce vaginal dryness. A downside of Osphena® is that it can cause hot flashes. The cash price of Osphena® is around $180 for 30 oral tablets. [6. Osphena® pricing information from goodrx.com]
Two more options for vaginal symptoms are only available in the U.S. from a compounding pharmacy. I’ll tell you about those in my next 2 video posts. If you subscribe to my YouTube channel, you’ll be the first to know when I upload new videos.
Join me for hormone updates at hormonepharmacist.com, where I have lots more useful, practical information about the best treatments for all your menopause symptoms.
Thanks and I’ll talk with you again soon. Watch for Part 2 of my series on Dyspareunia and its treatment with estriol.