Vaginal dryness and dyspareunia are two of the most common bothersome symptoms of menopause1,2
The Women’s EMPOWER Survey found that two of the most common bothersome menopause symptoms reported by women with VVA are:2
Both conditions are components of Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause (GSM), caused by significant changes to vaginal tissues, including:,3,4,5
- Vaginal lining is moist and thick with rugal folds
- Vaginal mucosa is well vascularized
- Adequate vaginal secretions
- Adequate lubrication produced during sexual stimulation
- Vagina becomes shorter and narrower
- Vaginal lining becomes thinner and less elastic, with fewer rugal folds
- Diminished blood flow
- Diminished vaginal secretions
- Reduced lubrication during sexual stimulation
Vulvar and vaginal atrophy: An undertreated medical condition1
VVA is a chronic medical condition,1 so women need a treatment they can adhere to.
Impact of VVA on women’s health
VVA symptoms, including vaginal dryness and dyspareunia, have a negative impact on women’s:
- quality of life3
- psychosocial wellbeing6
- sexual function6
VVA symptoms are often underdiagnosed and undertreated1,2,3,5
Despite the impact of their symptoms, many women suffer with vaginal dryness/dyspareunia because:
- they mistakenly believe these symptoms are an unavoidable part of aging
- they think VVA symptoms will go away on their own like hot flashes and night sweats
- they find vaginal dryness and/or dyspareunia too embarrassing to discuss
Existing treatment options are unappealing to many women.
Adherence and persistence with existing treatments are inconsistent due to:1,2,5
- concerns about exposure to hormones (estrogen)
- inconvenience of creams, inserts, rings, etc. that may stain undergarments and/or interfere with sexual spontaneity
- discomfort with vaginal application
- Kingsberg SA, Wysocki S, Magnus L, et al. 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;10:1790–1799.
- Kingsberg SA, Krychman M, et al. The Women’s EMPOWER Survey: Identifying Women’s Perceptions on Vulvar and Vaginal Atrophy and its Treatment. J Sex Med 2017; 14: 413-424.
- North American Menopause Society. Management of symptomatic vulvovaginal atrophy 2013 position statement of the North American Menopause Society. Menopause. 2013;20(9):888-902.
- Portman DJ, Gass ML et al. Genitourinary syndrome of menopause: new terminology for vulvovaginal atrophy from the International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health and the North American Menopause Society. J Sex Med. 2014;11(12):2865-72.
- MacBride MB, Rhodes DJ, Shuster LT. Vulvovaginal Atrophy. Mayo Clin Proc 2010; 85(1): 87-94.
- Parish SJ, Nappi RE, Krychman ML, Kellogg-Spadt S, Simon JA, Goldstein JA, Kingsberg SA. Impact of vulvovaginal health on postmenopausal women: a review of surveys on symptoms of vulvovaginal atrophy. Int J Womens Health. 2013 Jul 29;5:437-47.
- Osphena Prescribing Information. January 2019.