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While the GLAM squad works to convince you that the only sensible option to treat vaginal atrophy is Novo Nordisk’s Vagifem (a topical estrogen agent), I would like to share that a highly effective non-hormonal option exists. If you are a long time reader of Flashfree, you are well aware of how I personally feel about hormones.
I want to emphasize that my experience is only mine and is not necessarily reflective of others’.
Gynatrof gel is a natural topical agent comprised of microscopic beads (known as liposomes) are formulated to act as both a lubricant and a moisturizer.
Hyaluronic acid, a type of molecule found abundantly throughout the body’s connective tissue, the skin and the nervous tissues. Hops plant extract, which has weak estrogenic effects and may help promote lubrication and elasticity.
Vitamin E, which the manufacturer says reduces inflammation and prevents aging of the vaginal area. Available in Europe since 2006, Gynatrof has proven safe and there have been no reports of estrogen-related sensitivity. As someone who regularly colors outside the lines, it’s no surprise that I was able to obtain Gynatrof.
I have been a bit disturbed by the surge of attention in the menopause space to vaginal atrophy, i.e. In a study published online in the journal Maturitas, 116 women were asked to take sea buckthorn oil (3 capsules, or 3 gm daily) or placebo for three months.
It is unclear whether or not topical use of sea buckthorn oil might provide greater comfort without some of the GI side effects. If you are interested, I’d encourage you to click on the link above and take the survey. Importantly, results of a recent global survey indicate that most women choose over-the-counter lubricants and are not even aware that a low-dose, relatively safe topical estrogen treatment is available.
Yup, soon, you may be able to leave the over the counter and hormone therapy options behind for a safer, effective treatment. At the beginning of the study, 100% of women reported vaginal dryness and pain, 82% said that they had itching and 72% complained of vaginal discharge. The researchers say that it appears that the isoflavone gel can be used safely without any risk of systemic absorption.
Vaginal atrophy refers to the thinning of the vaginal and vulvovaginal tissues due to a decline in estrogen, and can lead to pain, burning and soreness during sexual intercourse. Recent estimates suggest that vaginal atrophy affects about 50% of menopausal women. Mind you, I am not mocking or doubting the horrible impact that vaginal atrophy can have on a woman’s life.
According to these recommendations, lubricants and moisturizers are not universally recommended for use by themselves because they can be irritating and offer only temporary relief of symptoms. The IMS recommendations also fail to mention selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMS), which mimic the action of estrogen in the body but theoretically, without associated risks and side effects. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Slideshare uses cookies to improve functionality and performance, and to provide you with relevant advertising. Clipping is a handy way to collect and organize the most important slides from a presentation.
From our Eye Associates Family to your  Family, wishing you a very Happy and Safe Thanksgiving. Congratulations Sara Howell for passing the Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA) exam thru JCAHPO.
Sara has worked at Eye Associates for 1 year and works primarily out of our Santa Fe office. When he’s not practicing at our Northside or Regina Hall Clinics, you can find him on a fairway in full swing, or traveling to see his 2 daughters, son and grandchildren. After years of experiencing no issues with vaginal dryness or pain during intercourse, the tables turned this past Summer. However, what I’ve not shared on this blog is that I have always had an extreme sensitivity to hormones, a sensitivity that I discovered in my early 20s when I started using the pill.

However, within a month of using Estrace, I gained 6 pounds, was bloated, developed severe acne, had daily headaches, and experienced significant and irrational irritability. This technology helps to insure that the vaginal tissues remain moist between applications, and additionally, boosts hydration and elasticity. Hyaluronic acid has the ability to store large quantities of water, thereby forming a natural, moisturizing liquid film when applied topically.
Hops have also been shown to possess antibacterial properties and are sometimes used for leg ulcers.
If anything, vitamin E is believed to be an antioxidant that may help prevent or treat disease. But more importantly, when I contacted a local compounding pharmacy to see if they could obtain it for me, they called back after several hours to inform me that they could not. Sea buckthorn oil is derived from the fruit of deciduous shrubs and has long been used in Central Asia to treat inflamed genital organs and uteri. Vaginal mucous membranes were examined both at the beginning of the trial and at the end and were analyzed for elasticity, integrity, moisture and fluid. A quick search shows that it is readily available online and depending on the formulation, retails for anywhere from $12 to $30. And, while the product is in development, they are seeking your assistance, via a short, online survey, to try to learn more about vaginal dryness and the percentage of women who suffer from it as a result of aging. And while it certainly isn’t the silent scourge overtaking women globally, it does affect roughly 50% of menopausal women and often goes unrecognized and undiagnosed. Still, for many, over-the-counter options are enough, such as Replens, which theoretically goes beyond instant relief and actually provides ongoing protection. Reporting in the online version of Maturitas, researchers state that they have been exploring plant-like estrogens in a topical gel format can deliver benefits similar to topical estrogen gel without p0tential safety issues. In women receiving the isoflavone gel, as many as 70% reported that their dryness was intense and 60% said that their pain was intense.
When the researchers took a closer look at the cells in the vaginal wall, they noted a shift towards values that one would see in a premenopausal woman. A key problem, they say, is that results of a phone survey show that women are not discussing vaginal atrophy with their practitioners, who in turn, are not openly asking questions about vaginal health. Symptoms can be mild or  severe, and unquestionably, the more a woman feels pain, the more she is likely to be distressed during intercourse or lose interest in sex altogether. And depending on how long a woman’s menopause lasts, well, vaginal atrophy theoretically fits into that category.
If your symptoms are severe, well, you might want to skip the lubricants and go for the big guns. It includes Questions to Ask, what to look for on a Physical Exam, Labs to Order, and basic Treatment Plans. And so, I did the most sensible thing that I could do (short of reading Flashfree!); I made an appointment with my gynecologist. That, coupled with the fact that my mother had breast cancer at an extremely early age made me wary of any type of hormone. More specifically, it helps to protect the vaginal skin from irritation and redness, itching and burning; enhances natural lubrication and may even help to aid healing of irritated vaginal tissue. It has also been used for centuries to treat the skin and has been shown to penetrate both the outer and next layer of the skin (epidermis, dermis, respectively). And I have had stellar results – no side effects, no sensitivity and no issues during intercourse. When it is ingested, it has been shown in clinical studies to positively affect blood fats, dry eye, the aggregation of platelets that can cause heart disease and even reduce system-wide inflammation.
Sea buckthorn oil also appeared to decrease night sweats but did not appear to benefit other menopausal symptoms. As always, use caution and speak to a knowledgeable practitioner before starting any regimen with sea buckthorn oil. In addition to participating in the survey, you may also be considered for participation in a test group.
More importantly, unlike hot flashes and night sweats, vaginal atrophy does not go away; rather, in some women, may may progress to cause years of discomfort, so much so that quality of life is significantly impacted.

However, what should you do if sexual intimacy continues to be uncomfortable, your vagina feels increasingly uncomfortable and hormones are an undesirable choice? And, when they blindly compared 12 weeks of a 1 gm isoflavone gel to topical Premarin or placebo gel in 90 menopausal women, that’s exactly what they found! By the end of 12 weeks, improvements were seen in both vaginal dryness and vaginal pain; no women reported having intense symptoms and roughly half said that their symptoms were mild. And, whereas topical vaginal hormone therapy sometimes results in vaginal bleeding and thickening of the lining of the uterus, these issues were not seen in women using the isoflavone gel (neither were they noted in women using topical estrogen, probably due to the extremely low dosage). What’s more, according to survey results, the majority of postmenopausal women incorrectly attribute vaginal atrophy symptoms to urinary tract and yeast infections. And be sure to consider factors other than estrogen depletion that might be contributing to a declining libido. The thing is, I have tried it and while I may be an n of 1 in scientific circles, I want to share that it’s pretty darn amazing. And after a thorough examination and a few tests for infections, she recommended that I try Estrace, another topical estrogen in the same category as Vagifem. And years later, when I started this blog and read all the data I could get my hands on, I was convinced that hormones were not a good route, regardless of their efficacy in addressing menopausal symptoms. Let me be clear: vaginal atrophy affects roughly 43% of women during menopause and can lead to extreme discomfort, dryness, burning, itching, pain and lack of sexual desire. Moreover, while the women taking the oil experienced improvements in their vaginal symptoms from the start to the end of the study, the difference compared to placebo was not significant enough to demonstrate the lack of a placebo effect and clearly, more research is needed.
Most importantly, it is nice to know that researchers continue to explore avenues other than hormones for common conditions like vaginal atrophy.
And so do the accompanying symptoms of dryness, pain during intercourse, irritation, post-intercourse bleeding and of course, a decline in sexual desire and functioning as a result. Indeed, data suggest that the proportion of women experiencing vaginal dryness increases five-fold as women advance through menopause. Overall, roughly 97% of women using isoflavone gel saw improvements in both vaginal dryness and pain.
And I am heartened to see that the IMS has published recommendations for recognizing and managing vaginal atrophy. And it is a safe option for women who either cannot tolerate hormones or choose not to use them. Since most women spend about a third of their lives in postmenopause, this can be a huge issue and one that warrants attention. Hardly; my point is that sea buckthorn oil has been studied in scientifically-sound, clinical trials.
Another important finding was the lack of effect on cell types, which indicates that sea buckthorn oil does not have an estrogen effect. While topical estrogen is certainly an option and prescribed by many clinicians for this problem, it’s always nice to have non-prescription alternatives that work just as well. However, to represent vaginal atrophy as an epidemic of epic and burgeoning proportions is simply irresponsible. Finally, common side effects, which affected both groups about equally, included GI symptoms. Because sea buckthorn oil may slow clotting, it is not recommended that it be taken along with other agents that likewise, affect clotting, such as aspirin, ibuprofen and warfarin. Hoppe emphasizes that women’s health issues, in particular desire, are multifaceted and emotionally and physically related. Toward that end, is it possible that by focusing solely on the physiological aspects of atrophy, practitioners might miss other important factors? Please do get the facts checked Ayurveda 5pts We are sorry about the inconvenience.

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  1. sevgi

    Definitely going to do the body more.


  2. sex_xanim

    Adhere to, said what the study demonstrated that.