Are you struggling with menopause symptoms like vaginal dryness, itching, irritation and even painful intimacy?
If so, you’re not alone. About 40 to 60% of menopausal women in a recent study complained of vaginal issues that make intimacy difficult or even painful.
As I mentioned in my last post, the hormone estriol has been used for years in Europe, to help relieve vaginal atrophy caused by the loss of hormones at menopause.
Canadian endocrinology researcher, Dr. Fernand LaBrie, is conducting clinical trials using DHEA in menopausal women with vaginal atrophy. [1. Labrie F, Archer DF, Koltun W, Vachon A, Young D, Frenette L, Portman D, Montesino M, Côté I, Parent J, Lavoie L, Beauregard A, Martel C, Vaillancourt M, Balser J, Moyneur É; members of the VVA Prasterone Research Group. Efficacy of intravaginal dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) on moderate to severe dyspareunia and vaginal dryness, symptoms of vulvovaginal atrophy, and of the genitourinary syndrome of menopause. Menopause. 2015 Dec 28.]
DHEA is a hormone that’s converted within the tissues into estrogen or testosterone when they’re needed. Dr. La Brie has published groundbreaking research in “Intracrinology,” this study of how hormones work within the cells. His research shows that DHEA, when given as a vaginal suppository, dramatically improves vaginal health, reduces painful intimacy and helps vaginal lubrication.
Women receiving vaginal DHEA showed no increases in the levels of DHEA or other sex hormones in their overall circulation. [2. Ke Y, Labrie F, Gonthier R, Simard JN, Bergeron D, Martel C, Vaillancourt M, Montesino M, Lavoie L, Archer DF, Balser J, Moyneur E; other participating Members of the Prasterone Clinical Research Group. Serum levels of sex steroids and metabolites following 12 weeks of intravaginal 0.50% DHEA administration. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2015 Nov;154:186-96. doi: 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2015.08.016. Epub 2015 Aug 17.]
Patients enrolled in the trials reported very mild, infrequent side effects. [3. Labrie F, Derogatis L, Archer DF, Koltun W, Vachon A, Young D, Frenette L, Portman D, Montesino M, Côté I, Parent J, Lavoie L, Beauregard A, Martel C, Vaillancourt M, Balser J, Moyneur É; Members of the VVA Prasterone Research Group. Effect of Intravaginal Prasterone on Sexual Dysfunction in Postmenopausal Women with Vulvovaginal Atrophy. J Sex Med. 2015 Dec;12(12):2401-12. doi: 10.1111/jsm.13045. Epub 2015 Nov 23.][4. Labrie F, Montesino M, Archer DF, Lavoie L, Beauregard A, Côté I, Martel C, Vaillancourt M, Balser J, Moyneur E; other participating Members of the Prasterone Clinical Research Group. Influence of treatment of vulvovaginal atrophy with intravaginal prasterone on the male partner. Climacteric. 2015 Dec;18(6):817-25. doi: 10.3109/13697137.2015.1077508. Epub 2015 Oct 30.]
DHEA is in Phase 3 Clinical Trials, which means the drug manufacturer is hoping to have a vaginal DHEA product on the U.S. Market in the next couple of years, pending FDA approval. DHEA is currently classified as a nutritional supplement by the FDA. It can also be compounded by a specialized pharmacy into a vaginal suppository or a cream.
Talk with your doctor to see if you might be a candidate to try DHEA for your vaginal menopause symptoms and you’ll also receive a report I’ve written about what I think is the best combination therapy for menopause.