Vulvar and Vaginal Atrophy in Postmenopausal Women: Findings from the REVIVE (REal Women's VIews of Treatment Options for Menopausal Vaginal ChangEs) Survey

Departments of Reproductive Biology and Psychiatry, Case Western University, Cleveland, OH, USA.
Journal of Sexual Medicine (Impact Factor: 3.15). 05/2013; 10(7). DOI: 10.1111/jsm.12190
Source: PubMed


Vulvar and vaginal atrophy (VVA) is a chronic medical condition experienced by many postmenopausal women. Symptoms include dyspareunia (pain with intercourse), vaginal dryness, and irritation and may affect sexual activities, relationships, and activities of daily life.
The aim of this study is to characterize postmenopausal women's experience with and perception of VVA symptoms, interactions with healthcare professionals (HCPs), and available treatment options.
An online survey was conducted in the United States in women from KnowledgePanel®, a 56,000-member probability-selected Internet panel projectable to the overall US population. Altogether, 3,046 postmenopausal women with VVA symptoms (the largest US cohort of recent surveys) responded to questions about their knowledge of VVA, impact of symptoms on their activities, communication with HCPs, and use of available treatments.
Percent is calculated as the ratio of response over total responding for each question for all and stratified participants.
The most common VVA symptoms were dryness (55% of participants), dyspareunia (44%), and irritation (37%). VVA symptoms affected enjoyment of sex in 59% of participants. Additionally, interference with sleep, general enjoyment of life, and temperament were reported by 24%, 23%, and 23% of participants, respectively. Few women attributed symptoms to menopause (24%) or hormonal changes (12%). Of all participants, 56% had ever discussed VVA symptoms with an HCP and 40% currently used VVA-specific topical treatments (vaginal over-the-counter [OTC] products [29%] and vaginal prescription therapies [11%]). Of those who had discussed symptoms with an HCP, 62% used OTC products. Insufficient symptom relief and inconvenience were cited as major limitations of OTC products and concerns about side effects and cancer risk limited use of topical vaginal prescription therapies.
VVA symptoms are common in postmenopausal women. Significant barriers to treatment include lack of knowledge about VVA, reluctance to discuss symptoms with HCPs, safety concerns, inconvenience, and inadequate symptom relief from available treatments. Kingsberg SA, Wysocki S, Magnus L, and Krychman ML. Vulvar and vaginal atrophy in postmenopausal women: Findings from the REVIVE (REal Women's VIews of Treatment Options for Menopausal Vaginal ChangEs) survey. J Sex Med 2013;10:1790–1799.

95 Reads
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objective To examine the long-term safety of oral ospemifene, a non-estrogen tissue-selective estrogen agonist/antagonist, for the treatment of moderate to severe dyspareunia, a symptom of vulvar and vaginal atrophy (VVA) due to menopause. Study Design This multicenter, long-term, open-label, safety extension study was conducted in women without a uterus aged 40 to 80 years (N = 301) who received oral ospemifene 60 mg/day for 52 weeks. Participants either continued their 60-mg/day ospemifene dose from the initial 12-week pivotal efficacy study or switched from blinded placebo or ospemifene 30 mg/day to open-label ospemifene 60 mg/day. The 52-week open-label extension period plus initial 12-week treatment period totaled up to 64 weeks of ospemifene exposure. A 4-week posttreatment follow-up ensued (68 weeks total). Main Outcome Measures Safety assessments included adverse events, laboratory studies, physical and gynecologic examination, vital signs, breast palpation, and mammography. Results Most treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs) during the extension study were mild or moderate in severity. The most common TEAE related to study drug was hot flushes (10%; leading to discontinuation for 2% of patients). One serious TEAE, a non–ST-elevation myocardial infarction in a patient with pre-existing cardiac disease, was considered possibly related to study medication. One mild breast-related TEAE, considered unrelated to study drug, was ongoing at study completion. There were no instances of pelvic organ prolapse, incontinence, venous thromboembolism, fractures, breast cancers or death. No clinically significant adverse changes were observed in other safety parameters. Conclusions Ospemifene is clinically safe and generally well tolerated in postmenopausal patients with dyspareunia, a symptom of vulvar and vaginal atrophy.
    Maturitas 11/2013; 77(3). DOI:10.1016/j.maturitas.2013.12.005 · 2.94 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objective: Vaginal estrogen therapy at the lowest effective dose is generally recommended for the treatment of vulvar and vaginal atrophy (VVA), but not all women are candidates. Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) aim to elicit specific positive effects on targeted tissues with neutral or minimal negative effects on other tissues. This review compares the vaginal effects of currently available and investigational SERMs. Methods: Relevant English-language articles published between 1980 and 2012 were identified through the PubMed database (search string "[Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator OR SERM] AND [Vulvar OR Vaginal] AND Atrophy"), article reference lists, and EMBASE searches for individual SERMs. Both authors reviewed all articles, which formed the basis of this narrative literature review. Results: Activity profiles of SERMs in various tissues are distinct. Tamoxifen and arzoxifene have no specific positive vaginal effects but have reported variable or adverse gynecologic effects. Raloxifene does not improve VVA but can be used safely in combination with vaginal estrogen. Bazedoxifene has no demonstrated efficacy for VVA but, in combination with oral conjugated equine estrogens, improves the signs and symptoms of VVA. SERMs with positive vaginal effects (such as improvement in the vaginal maturation index, reduced vaginal pH, and improvement in the signs and symptoms of VVA) on postmenopausal symptomatic women include lasofoxifene (clinical development on hold) and ospemifene, which was recently approved for the treatment of VVA-related dyspareunia, with a class effect warning of potential venous thrombosis risk. Conclusions: SERMs that specifically target the pathophysiology underlying VVA may provide an alternative to vaginal or systemic estrogen therapy.
    Menopause (New York, N.Y.) 06/2013; 21(3). DOI:10.1097/GME.0b013e31829755ed · 3.36 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Vulvar and vaginal atrophy (VVA) is a chronic, progressive medical condition prevalent among postmenopausal women, which produces symptoms such as dyspareunia, vaginal dryness, and vaginal irritation. Currently, the only prescription options are systemic and vaginal estrogen therapies that may be limited by concerns about long-term safety and breast cancer risk. Ospemifene is a tissue-selective estrogen agonist/antagonist (a selective estrogen receptor modulator) recently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for treatment of dyspareunia, a symptom of VVA, due to menopause. Ospemifene, the first nonestrogen oral treatment for this indication, may provide an alternative to treatment with estrogen. Animal models with ospemifene suggest an inhibitory effect on growth of malignant breast tissue, but animal data cannot necessarily be extrapolated to humans. Clinical trials, including 3 long-term studies assessing the overall safety of ospemifene, support that ospemifene is generally well tolerated, with beneficial effects on the vagina, neutral effects on the breast, and minimal effects on the endometrium.
    Reproductive sciences (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) 08/2013; 20(10). DOI:10.1177/1933719113497290 · 2.23 Impact Factor
Show more