NAMS issues new guidance on vulvovaginal atrophy

Symptoms of vulvovaginal atrophy (VVA), such as lack of lubrication, irritated tissues, painful urination, and pain with intercourse, affect as many as 45% of women after menopause. That's according to The North American Menopause Society (NAMS), which today published new guidance for diagnosing and treating VVA. The Society's Position Statement "Management of Vulvovaginal Atrophy" appears in the September issue of Menopause.

"The symptoms of VVA can significantly impair women's quality of life and relationships, yet few women whose lives are affected get help. This new Position Statement gives clinicians the information they need to address these problems," says Margery Gass, MD, the Society's Executive Director.

The Position Statement explains that bothersome symptoms can be treated successfully, and many treatments are available, ranging from over-the-counter products to prescription hormonal and nonhormonal products. Which therapy to use depends on how severe the symptoms are, whether the therapy is safe and effective for the individual woman, and what she prefers.

Simple vaginal lubricants and moisturizers along with regular intercourse (or use of vaginal dilators) can be effective and are considered first-line therapy by NAMS. When these are not effective, estrogen, either applied locally or as part of systemic hormone therapy, remains the therapeutic standard. A nonhormonal option, the selective estrogen-receptor modulator ospemifene, was recently approved for moderate to severe painful intercourse.

For hormonal therapy, low-dose vaginal estrogen is the preferred approach when VVA symptoms are the only bothersome a woman has. Generally, women who use a vaginal estrogen do not need to take a to protect the uterus if they have not had a .

For a woman who is a survivor of breast or endometrial cancer, the choice of treatment depends on her preferences, needs, understanding of potential risks, and consultation with her .

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Treatment helps sex stage a comeback after menopause

Jun 05, 2013

A satisfying sex life is an important contributor to older adults' quality of life, but the sexual pain that can come after menopause can rob women and their partners of that satisfaction. Treatment can help restore it, shows ...

15 top medical organizations agree on hormone therapy use

Jul 09, 2012

After 10 years of debate regarding the risks and benefits of hormone therapy, 15 top medical organizations have come together to issue a statement of agreement regarding the benefits of hormone therapy for symptomatic menopausal ...

Estrogen helps keep joint pain at bay after hysterectomy

Mar 20, 2013

Estrogen therapy can help keep joint pain at bay after menopause for women who have had a hysterectomy. Joint pain was modestly, but significantly, lower in women who took estrogen alone than in women who took placebo in ...

Recommended for you

Overwhelmed west Africa ramps up Ebola response

6 hours ago

West Africa intensified its response to the deadly Ebola epidemic on Sunday, with Sierra Leone uncovering scores of dead bodies during a 72-hour shutdown and Liberia announcing hundreds of new hospital beds.

Sierra Leone reaches final day of Ebola lockdown

10 hours ago

Frustrated residents complained of food shortages in some neighborhoods of Sierra Leone's capital on Sunday as the country reached the third and final day of a sweeping, unprecedented lockdown designed to ...

Sierra Leone faces criticism over Ebola shutdown

Sep 20, 2014

Sierra Leone began the second day of a 72-hour nationwide shutdown aimed at containing the spread of the deadly Ebola virus on Saturday amid criticism that the action was a poorly planned publicity stunt.

Presence of peers ups health workers' hand hygiene

Sep 19, 2014

(HealthDay)—The presence of other health care workers improves hand hygiene adherence, according to a study published in the October issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.

User comments