Back to Journals » International Journal of Women's Health » Volume 6

Postmenopausal vaginal atrophy: evaluation of treatment with local estrogen therapy

Authors Minkin MJ, Maamari R, Reiter S

Received 20 November 2013

Accepted for publication 23 January 2014

Published 12 March 2014 Volume 2014:6 Pages 281—288


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Mary Jane Minkin,1 Ricardo Maamari,2 Suzanne Reiter3

1Department of Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA; 2Novo Nordisk Inc., Plainsboro, NJ, USA; 3Mid-County Health Center, Largo, FL, USA

Abstract: Postmenopausal vaginal atrophy, resulting from decreased estrogen production, frequently requires treatment. Estrogen preparations provide the most effective treatment; local application is preferred to systemic drugs when treating only vaginal symptoms. As local estrogen therapies have comparable efficacy, this study aimed to understand treatment practices, assess experiences with different forms of local estrogen-delivering applicators, and evaluate satisfaction. Women who were US residents aged ≥18 years, menopausal (no spontaneous menstrual period for ≥1 year or with a double oophorectomy), and receiving local estrogen therapy for 1–6 months (vaginal cream [supplied with a reusable applicator] or vaginal tablets [supplied with a single-use/disposable applicator]), completed an online questionnaire. Data from 200 women (100 cream users and 100 tablet users; mean therapy duration 3.48 months) showed that most stored medication in the room in which it was applied (88%) and applied it at bedtime (71%), a procedure for which cream users required, on average, more than twice the time of tablet users (5.08 minutes versus 2.48 minutes). Many cream users applied larger-than-prescribed amounts of cream, attempting to achieve greater efficacy (42%), or lower-than-recommended doses (45%), most frequently to avoid messiness (33%) or leakage (30%). More tablet users (69%) than cream users (14%) were "extremely satisfied" with their applicator. Postmenopausal women using local estrogen therapy were generally more satisfied with the application of vaginal tablets than cream. Patient satisfaction may help to facilitate accurate dosing. Positive perceptions of medication will help to optimize treatment, which, although not assessed in this study, is likely, in turn, to improve vaginal health.

Keywords: local estrogen therapy, menopause, patient satisfaction, survey, vaginal atrophy

Erratum for this paper has been published

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]