Treating Vaginal Atrophy - What are my options?
The changes that occur during postmenopause due to lower levels of estrogen may cause symptoms such as vaginal itching, burning, and dryness in or around the vagina. Estrogen (hormone) therapy is one treatment option that may help to relieve these symptoms. This therapy can be administered in a variety of ways, including (oral) pills, creams, and vaginal rings. Your doctor can tell you more about each type of treatment and which may work best for you.
ESTRING® (estradiol vaginal ring) has been available for more than 10 years as a local treatment for vaginal atrophy in postmenopausal women. It works by releasing estradiol, an estrogen hormone that is structurally the same as what a woman’s body naturally produces.
After 90 days, there won’t be enough estradiol in the ring to maintain its full effect in relieving your vaginal or urinary symptoms. ESTRING should be removed at that time and replaced with a new ESTRING, if your doctor determines that you need to continue your therapy.
Local vs Systemic Therapy
ESTRING is a local estrogen therapy. This means that it works to relieve symptoms at the site of the problem (in and around the vagina), unlike a systemic treatment such as a patch or pill, which affects the whole body.
Questions about treatments
Make sure that you ask your doctor any questions you may have about vaginal atrophy and its treatment. The following are a few suggestions:
- Is vaginal atrophy a permanent condition?
- What can you tell me about the differences between types of treatments available to me: creams and ESTRING?
- How soon can I expect to feel relief from my vaginal symptoms?
- How long do I need to continue my treatment?
Next Section: Talking to Your Doctor >