Introduction/Background Sexual dysfunction is prevalent among cancer survivors as a result of surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Severe dyspareunia due to the atrophy of vaginal tissues can cause a negative impact in women's sexual activity, and hence their quality of life. Vaginal moisturizers used two or three times a week are considered first line treatment to reduce symptoms of vulvovaginal atrophy, help to moisturize the vaginal lining and facilitate the flexibility of the vulvar and vaginal tissues. The effect of a mucoadhesive vaginal gel in women with severe dyspareunia was evaluated.
Methodology 29 women with severe dyspareunia received 1g of a mucoadhesive moisturizing vaginal gel daily for 3 weeks (3w) and twice weekly up to 12 weeks (12w). Change in the symptom intensity (graded as 0=absent, 1=mild, 2=moderate, 3=severe) was evaluated at w3 and w12.
Results After 3w of treatment, 28% of women improved from severe to moderate intensity, 24% to mild intensity and 17% did not present dyspareunia anymore (41% improved the symptom to mild or absent). After 12w, 21% of women presented moderate intensity, 24% had mild intensity and dyspareunia was absent in 35% of patients (59% improved the symptom to mild or absent). Improvement vs baseline was significant both at w3 and w12 (p < 0.001 , Mc Nemar test).
Conclusion These results confirm that vaginal moisturizers should be considered in the management of vaginal symptoms, even when these symptoms are severe. An early effect has been demonstrated after only 3 weeks of daily use and continued ameliorating until the end of treatment with a twice weekly regime. The use of vaginal moisturizers is a therapeutic alternative for women who prefer not to use hormonal products. Physicians should consider women´s preferences regarding their treatment by asking about sexual health issues in the clinical practice routine.
Disclosure These clinical trials were funded by Italfarmaco S.A. Dr Estévez and Dr Delgado participated as investigators in the clinical trials carried out with this product (EudraCT Numbers: 2007-003399-20 and 2014-004517-84). J. Suárez and Dr Nieto are full time employees of Italfarmaco S.A.
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