Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, announced today the publication of a position statement by the European Menopause and Andropause Society (EMAS) in the journal Maturitas. The society published a clinical guide on low-dose vaginal estrogens for postmenopausal vaginal atrophy also including a summary of recommendations.
Vaginal atrophy is common after menopause and adversely affects quality of life in one out of every two women. This guide provides the evidence for the clinical use of low-dose vaginal estrogens for this condition, focusing on publications since the 2006 Cochrane systematic review. The guide concludes that low-dose vaginal estrogens are effective and that there is no need for added progestogens for endometrial protection if topical estrogens are used in the recommended doses. With regard to duration of use, recommendations vary among patients, but vaginal atrophy is a chronic condition and will recur on cessation of treatment. Thus annual review would be prudent.
These and other recommendations presented in the EMAS clinical guide are published in the article: “EMAS clinical guide: Low-dose vaginal estrogens for postmenopausal vaginal atrophy” by Margaret Rees, Faustino R. Pérez-López, Iuliana Ceasu, Herman Depepyre, Tamer Erel, Irene Lambrinoudaki, Karin Schenck-Gustafsson, Tommaso Simoncini, Yvonne van der Schouw, and Florence Tremollieres (10.1016/j.maturitas.2012.06.009). The article appears in Maturitas Volume 73, Issue 2 (October 2012) published by Elsevier.
About the European Menopause and Andropause Society (EMAS)
The EMAS promotes the study of midlife health through its journal, congresses, schools and website and encourages the exchange of research and professional experience between members. Using a range of activities and through its affiliates, the EMAS aims to guarantee and provide the same standard of education and information throughout Europe on midlife health in both genders. Recognizing the issues arising from increased longevity, the society also provides articles, patient information, web resources, and referrals for healthcare providers in the field and keeps its members up-to-date.
What Is Atrophic Vaginitis (Vaginal Atrophy)?
Atrophic Vaginitis involves redness, itching, and dryness of the vagina. Over time there may be narrowing and shrinkage of the vaginal opening and the vagina itself.
According to Medilexicon’s medical dictionary:
Atrophic Vaginitis is a thinning and atrophy of the vaginal epithelium, usually resulting from diminished estrogen stimulation; a common occurrence in postmenopausal women.
This problem happens after menopause in up to 75% of all women, and can also happen to some women after childbirth. A large number of postmenopausal women (who are not using topical estrogen) have at least some degree of vaginal atrophy; however, many women do not actively ask that medical attention be paid to this, possibly because it is naturally caused, or because of the taboo that still exists surrounding aging and sexuality.
What are the symptoms of Atrophic Vaginitis?
A symptom is something the patient senses and describes, while a sign is something other people, such as the doctor notice. For example, drowsiness may be a symptom while dilated pupils may be a sign.
A woman may experience one or several of these symptoms of atrophic vaginitis, to varying degrees: vaginal dryness, pain during sex (dyspareunia), changes in appearance of the labia and vagina (it looks paler and thinner), irritation when wearing certain clothes such as tight jeans or when doing certain activities, an increase in urinary tract infections.
Urinary symptoms include painful urination, blood in the urine, increased frequency of urination, incontinence, and increased likelihood and occurrence of infections.
Maturitas is an international multidisciplinary peer reviewed scientific journal of midlife health and beyond, publishing original research, reviews, consensus statements and guidelines. The scope encompasses all aspects of postreproductive health in both genders ranging from basic science to health and social care. http://www.maturitas.org
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