Sexual Health

More Treatment Needed for Post-Menopausal Women Suffering Painful Intercourse

Although vaginal atrophy is a common condition for post-menopausal women, treatments for the ailment are still underused, according to a new survey.

Vulvar and vaginal atrophy  (VVA), the thinning of  the vaginal walls caused by decreased estrogen, cause painful intercourse.

A new survey shows that , despite educational efforts, women’s willingness to  discuss this problem with their health care providers  has not improved much, according to the North American Menopause Society (NAMS).

The Women’s EMPOWER survey, an internet-based survey of 1,858 US postmenopausal women with symptoms of VVA, was specifically designed to assesss women’s awareness of VVA and their behaviors and attitudes associated with the treatment of symptoms.

The findings came as little surprise to insiders in the medical industry, because  they were consistent with previous research that confirmed postmenopausal women generally failed to recognize VVA and its chronic progressive course (including urinary problems) and were reluctant to discuss vaginal or sexual symptoms with their healthcare providers.

In the Women’s EMPOWER survey, 81% of women were not aware that VVA is a medical condition. More than two-thirds of respondents were not familiar or only somewhat familiar with most of the prescription VVA products.

“The results of the Women’s EMPOWER survey demonstrate and reinforce that, even with multimedia marketing and educational strategies in the years after  other major VVA surveys, minimal progress has been made toward increasing women’s awareness and understanding of VVA,” says Michael Krychman, MD, of the Southern California Center for Sexual Health and Survivorship Medicine and a lead author of the  Women’s  EMPOWER survey.


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