A New Therapy for Vaginal Dryness and Pain with Intercourse
New Therapy for Vaginal Dryness and Pain with Intercourse
By Beverly Vaughn, MD
Medical Coordinator, Menopause and You Program
Vaginal dryness is one of the most common complaints of menopausal
women. It is the primary reason for discomfort with sexual intercourse
and is caused by low vaginal estrogen levels. Currently, women are
offered vaginal estrogen, over the counter lubricants or both to
alleviate their symptoms. Some women are hesitant or are unable to use
estrogen. The lubricants aren’t always as effective as women would like.
The FDA has recently approved a new medication that is designed
specifically to treat sexual pain caused by vaginal dryness. This
medication, Osphena™, will be available soon.
This medication was studied in healthy women between the ages of 40 and
80 years old. It was found to significantly reduce dryness and pain and
had a good safety profile. The participants in the study noticed
improvement after 4 weeks of treatment.
Osphena™ is a pill which is taken by mouth, not vaginally, once a day.
This medication falls into the category known as SERM’s (selective
estrogen receptor modulators). This means they act in ways that are
similar to estrogen in some but, not all tissues that respond to
estrogen. Evista™ and Tamoxifen are drugs that you may know. They are in
It is good to have another effective option to address this common
concern. Speak with your provider to see if this is a good choice for
This article is part of the Menopause and You library,
a Web-based program sponsored by Women’s Health Source.
It is intended as an information resource providing guidelines for
women. As always, check with your own healthcare practitioner with your
specific concerns and questions.
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