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A new therapy for vaginal dryness and pain with intercourse

Lankenau Medical Center April 26, 2013 By Beverly Vaughn, MD

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 four 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 this category.

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 you.

This article is part of Menopause and You, 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 health care provider with your specific concerns and questions.

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