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Impact of vulvovaginal health on postmenopausal women: a review of surveys on symptoms of vulvovaginal atrophy

Authors Parish SJ, Nappi RE, Krychman ML, Kellogg-Spadt S, Simon JA, Goldstein JA, Kingsberg SA

Received 28 February 2013

Accepted for publication 16 May 2013

Published 29 July 2013 Volume 2013:5 Pages 437—447

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJWH.S44579

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3


Sharon J Parish,1 Rossella E Nappi,2 Michael L Krychman,3 Susan Kellogg-Spadt,4 James A Simon,5 Jeffrey A Goldstein,6 Sheryl A Kingsberg7

1Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY, USA; 2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo University, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy; 3Southern California Center for Sexual Health and Survivorship Medicine and Clinical Faculty University of California Irvine, Newport Beach and Irvine, CA, USA; 4Pelvic and Sexual Health Institute, Philadelphia, PA, USA; 5Obstetrics and Gynecology, George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA; 6Novo Nordisk Inc, Princeton, NJ, USA; 7Departments of Reproductive Biology and Psychiatry, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, OH, USA

Abstract: Several recent, large-scale studies have provided valuable insights into patient perspectives on postmenopausal vulvovaginal health. Symptoms of vulvovaginal atrophy, which include dryness, irritation, itching, dysuria, and dyspareunia, can adversely affect interpersonal relationships, quality of life, and sexual function. While approximately half of postmenopausal women report these symptoms, far fewer seek treatment, often because they are uninformed about hypoestrogenic postmenopausal vulvovaginal changes and the availability of safe, effective, and well-tolerated treatments, particularly local vaginal estrogen therapy. Because women hesitate to seek help for symptoms, a proactive approach to conversations about vulvovaginal discomfort would improve diagnosis and treatment.

Keywords: health care professional, hypoactive sexual desire disorder, local vaginal estrogen therapy, quality of life, urinary tract infection, vulvovaginal atrophy

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