Vaginal Atrophy

1. What is vaginal atrophy? What is the cause of the condition?

Vaginal atrophy is also known as Atrophic vaginitis. It is seen in postmenopausal women up to 40% on average.

It is caused by estrogen deficiency with postmenopause, therefore it can also be seen in pre-menopausal women who take antiestrogenic medications such as selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) like tamoxifen with an underlying condition of breast cancer or who have medical or surgical conditions that result in reduced levels of estrogen.

2. What are the symptoms?

One of the common symptoms is reduced vaginal lubrication. With this condition, other symptoms of atrophic vaginitis include vaginal dryness, vulvar or vaginal itching, burning, or pain during sexual intercourse.

Some patients may report urinary symptoms such as burning pain with urination, urinary frequency, or incontinence secondary to reduced levels of estrogen can also cause increased vaginal pH, putting them at a risk of developing vaginal and urinary tract infection.

For this reason, some patients with vaginal atrophy (or atrophic vaginitis) report other vaginal and urinary symptoms that may be aggravated by coextensive infection.

3. How is it treated? What are the treatment options?

Hormone replacement therapy is the main therapy to treat the condition and to resolve symptoms. Since the underlying cause of vaginal atrophy is reduced or lack of estrogen hormone in the system, estrogen replacement restores normal pH levels and thickens vaginal epithelium, addressing the concerning symptoms from reduced levels of estrogen.

At V.ARIA, we only provide transvaginal delivery of estrogen in the form of vaginal creams. We prescribe estradiol vaginal cream 0.01%.

Treatment with a low-dose transvaginal estrogen has proved effective in relieving symptoms without causing systemic or other complicated side effects including decreased risk of endometrial carcinoma compared to oral systemic hormonal treatment.

4. How much am I expected to pay for estradiol vaginal cream at a local pharmacy?

The lowest price with a coupon for the most common version of estradiol vaginal cream is around $27.84, about 86% off the average retail price of $205.33.