Treatment Options for Vaginal Atrophy

As women enter the menopausal age, hormones start declining, and without therapy, symptoms of menopause become worse. With this hormone loss, the vaginal epithelium becomes atrophic and physiological lubrication is reduced. This can lead to physical discomforts, such as vaginal dryness, irritation, itching, burning, dyspareunia, all of which can lead to decreased libido, causing sexual distress both to the patient and her partner.

unhappy middle-aged couple laying in bed

When traditional treatment options fail, our compounding lab can help. Treatment goals for vaginal atrophy include alleviating symptoms, reversing or minimizing the physiologic changes, and improving quality of life for the patient. Many prescribers are turning to intravaginal therapy since oral medications seem to take longer to work and have more side effects. Some women have great success with estriol vaginal cream or gel to help vaginal dryness, irritation, and frequent UTIs.


Estriol is a bio-identical hormone that is produced in women’s bodies in large amounts by the placenta during pregnancy and in relatively small amounts by the liver and other fat tissue. Estriol is considered to be the most therapeutic estrogen for the vaginal lining, cervix, and vulvar tissues, but exerts only a weak effect elsewhere in the body. Estriol is quite good at “plumping up” these delicate tissues to help reverse vaginal dryness, irritation, and atrophy.


A second, stronger form of estrogen known as estradiol is also prescribed for vaginal atrophy. Bio-identical estradiol is commercially available in the form of a vaginal cream. Unfortunately, the cost can be extreme.


We can compound estriol and estradiol vaginal creams and gels in our state-of-the-art compounding lab. One advantage to using compounded bio-identical hormones is that we can customize your dose, combining hormones as necessary, expressly to meet your needs. We have even found that many times it is a more affordable option.


For more information, stop by the pharmacy or give us a call!


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