Dyspareunia: a symptom of vulvar and vaginal atrophy due to menopause
In postmenopausal women, declining estrogen levels significantly alter vaginal physiology and can lead to moderate to severe dyspareunia (painful intercourse), a symptom of vulvar and vaginal atrophy (VVA).1,2
These physiological changes can be detected during a comprehensive pelvic exam.3
Dyspareunia due to menopause is a chronic, progressive medical condition.4-6
Unlike postmenopausal vasomotor symptoms like hot flushes and cold or night sweats, which usually improve over time, symptoms of VVA, including moderate to severe dyspareunia, persist throughout post-menopause and may worsen without treatment.6
Your patients could spend 40% of their lives in menopause7
52% of postmenopausal women aged 50 to 79 years are sexually active.9
That means that many of your patients may be sexually active for decades after menopause.
Given that 25 to 50% of all postmenopausal women experience symptoms of VVA beginning 4 to 5 years after menopause,10 an effective treatment for moderate to severe dyspareunia could benefit a large number of your postmenopausal patients.11
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1 Shifren JL, Gass ML. NMS Recommendations for Clinical Care of Midlife Women Working Group. Menopause. 2014;21(10):1038-1062.
2 Simon JA. Vulvovaginal atrophy: What is it, what causes it? OBG Management. 2015;(suppl):1-2.
3 Goldstein I, Dicks B, Kim NN, Hartzell R. Sex Med. 2013;1(2):44-53.
4 Kingsberg SA, Wysocki S, Magnus L, Krychman ML. Vulvar and vaginal atrophy in postmenopausal women: findings from the REVIVE (Real Women’s VIews of Treatment Options for Menopausal Vaginal ChangEs) survey. J Sex Med. 2013;10(7):1790-1799.
5 North American Menopause Society. Management of symptomatic vulvovaginal atrophy: 2013 position statement of The North American Menopause Society. Menopause. 2013;20(9):888-902.
6 Davis SR, Lambrinoudaki I, Lumsden M, et al. Menopause. Nat Rev Dis Primer. 2015;15004. doi:10.1038/nrdp.2015.4.
7 American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. 2011 Women’s Health Stats & Facts 2011.
8 U.S. National Center for Health Statistics Reports. Census Bureau. Table 104. Expectation of Life at Birth, 1970 to 2008, and Projections, 2010 to 2020. Table 105. Life expectancy by sex, age, and race: 2008. Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2012.
9 McCall-Hosenfeld J.S.,et al., Correlates of Sexual Satisfaction Among Sexually Active Postmenopausal Women in the Women’s Health Initiative-Observational Study. J Gen Intern Med 2008; 23(12):2000–9
10 Sturdee DW, Panay N. Recommendations for the management of postmenopausal vaginal atrophy. Climacteric. 2010;13(6):509-522. doi:10.3109/13697137.2010.522875.Society.
11 Portman DJ, Bachmann GA, Simon JA; Ospemifene Study Group. Ospemifene, a novel selective estrogen receptor modulator for treating dyspareunia associated with postmenopausal vulvar and vaginal atrophy. Menopause. 2013;20(6):623-630
12 Simon JA, Kokot-Kierepa M, Goldstein J, Nappi R. Vaginal Health in the United States: Results from the Vaginal Health: Insights, Views & Attitudes Survey. Menopause 2013; 20(10): 1043/1048.