Nav: Home

New study demonstrates effectiveness and safety of vaginal estrogen

December 19, 2018

CLEVELAND, Ohio (December 19, 2018)--Despite its proven effectiveness in treating the genital symptoms of menopause, low-dose vaginal estrogen therapy remains underused largely because of misperceptions regarding its safety. However, a new study that followed women from the Nurses' Health Study demonstrates that its use is not associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease or cancer. Results are published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS).

Between 25% and 70% of postmenopausal women are affected by an array of genital and urinary issues collectively known as the genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM). Common symptoms include vaginal burning and irritation, a lack of lubrication, pain during intercourse, and urinary tract infections. Unlike hot flashes, which often accompany menopause, GSM symptoms do not resolve over time, are chronic, and can become progressively worse without treatment.

Low-dose vaginal estrogen therapy is the preferred and most effective treatment for GSM and is recommended by multiple professional societies, including NAMS, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the Endocrine Society. Multiple studies document the superior effectiveness of vaginal estrogen over nonhormone therapies and demonstrate that it provides better symptom relief than oral estrogen therapy.

As a result of misperceptions regarding its safety (which partially stem from the FDA-issued black-box warning that relates to systemic hormone therapy), vaginal estrogen therapy is not prescribed as often as it could be, leaving many postmenopausal women to experience a lower quality of life. A new study that followed women from the Nurses' Health Study for more than 18 years, however, concluded that vaginal estrogen was not associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, or hip fractures. This included risks for myocardial infarction, stroke, and pulmonary embolism, as well as breast, endometrial, ovarian, and colorectal cancers.

Study results appear in the article "Vaginal estrogen use and chronic disease risk in the Nurses' Health Study."

"Over-the-counter vaginal lubricants and moisturizers are often used as first-line treatments for women with symptoms of GSM," says Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, NAMS executive director. "Persistent symptoms often need therapies such as local vaginal estrogen, intravaginal dehydroepiandrosterone, or oral ospemifene. This study adds to a growing body of data showing the long-term efficacy and safety of low-dose vaginal estrogen, which works primarily locally with minimal systemic absorption."
-end-
For more information about menopause and healthy aging, visit http://www.menopause.org.

Founded in 1989, The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) is North America's leading nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the health and quality of life of all women during midlife and beyond through an understanding of menopause and healthy aging. Its multidisciplinary membership of 2,000 leaders in the field--including clinical and basic science experts from medicine, nursing, sociology, psychology, nutrition, anthropology, epidemiology, pharmacy, and education--makes NAMS uniquely qualified to serve as the definitive resource for health professionals and the public for accurate, unbiased information about menopause and healthy aging. To learn more about NAMS, visit http://www.menopause.org.

The North American Menopause Society (NAMS)

Related Cancer Articles:

Cancer mortality continues steady decline, driven by progress against lung cancer
The cancer death rate declined by 29% from 1991 to 2017, including a 2.2% drop from 2016 to 2017, the largest single-year drop in cancer mortality ever reported.
Stress in cervical cancer patients associated with higher risk of cancer-specific mortality
Psychological stress was associated with a higher risk of cancer-specific mortality in women diagnosed with cervical cancer.
Cancer-sniffing dogs 97% accurate in identifying lung cancer, according to study in JAOA
The next step will be to further fractionate the samples based on chemical and physical properties, presenting them back to the dogs until the specific biomarkers for each cancer are identified.
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers identify one way T cell function may fail in cancer
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers have discovered a mechanism by which one type of immune cell, CD8+ T cells, can become dysfunctional, impeding its ability to seek and kill cancer cells.
More cancer survivors, fewer cancer specialists point to challenge in meeting care needs
An aging population, a growing number of cancer survivors, and a projected shortage of cancer care providers will result in a challenge in delivering the care for cancer survivors in the United States if systemic changes are not made.
New cancer vaccine platform a potential tool for efficacious targeted cancer therapy
Researchers at the University of Helsinki have discovered a solution in the form of a cancer vaccine platform for improving the efficacy of oncolytic viruses used in cancer treatment.
American Cancer Society outlines blueprint for cancer control in the 21st century
The American Cancer Society is outlining its vision for cancer control in the decades ahead in a series of articles that forms the basis of a national cancer control plan.
Oncotarget: Cancer pioneer employs physics to approach cancer in last research article
In the cover article of Tuesday's issue of Oncotarget, James Frost, MD, PhD, Kenneth Pienta, MD, and the late Donald Coffey, Ph.D., use a theory of physical and biophysical symmetry to derive a new conceptualization of cancer.
Health indicators for newborns of breast cancer survivors may vary by cancer type
In a study published in the International Journal of Cancer, researchers from the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center analyzed health indicators for children born to young breast cancer survivors in North Carolina.
Few women with history of breast cancer and ovarian cancer take a recommended genetic test
More than 80 percent of women living with a history of breast or ovarian cancer at high-risk of having a gene mutation have never taken the test that can detect it.
More Cancer News and Cancer Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Clint Smith
The killing of George Floyd by a police officer has sparked massive protests nationwide. This hour, writer and scholar Clint Smith reflects on this moment, through conversation, letters, and poetry.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dispatch 6: Strange Times
Covid has disrupted the most basic routines of our days and nights. But in the middle of a conversation about how to fight the virus, we find a place impervious to the stalled plans and frenetic demands of the outside world. It's a very different kind of front line, where urgent work means moving slow, and time is marked out in tiny pre-planned steps. Then, on a walk through the woods, we consider how the tempo of our lives affects our minds and discover how the beats of biology shape our bodies. This episode was produced with help from Molly Webster and Tracie Hunte. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.