Vaginal estrogen linked to improved sexual health for some women

September 2015 -- Among women who don’t take hormonal replacement therapy (HRT) after menopause, and even some who do, vaginally applied estrogen may help ease dryness and painful intercourse, a small U.S. study suggests.

Many women have been reluctant to use HRT to ease menopause symptoms since 2002, when the federally-funded Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study linked the treatments containing man-made versions of the female hormones estrogen and progestin to an increased risk of breast cancer, heart attacks and strokes.

For the current study, researchers compared how well locally-applied estrogens helped relieve vaginal pain and dryness among women who stopped HRT after the WHI results came out, as well as among women who stayed on HRT or resumed treatment after a temporary halt.

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