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Ospemifene Improves Vaginal and Vulvar Structure in Postmenopausal Women

Ospemifene Improves Vaginal and Vulvar Structure in Postmenopausal WomenMany postmenopausal women find relief from sexual pain with a prescription drug called ospemifene. In a recent Journal of Sexual Medicine study, scientists discussed how it works.

At menopause, a woman’s estrogen levels drop dramatically. Estrogen is a female sex hormone that is essential for vaginal health. When the body produces less estrogen, the vagina can become dry and brittle. Cellular changes make the vaginal walls thinner and less flexible. During sex, there may be less vaginal lubrication, which often leads to painful intercourse. Some women feel burning and itching sensations in their genitals. Together, this collection of symptoms is called vulvar and vaginal atrophy (VVA).

Unfortunately, VVA doesn’t get better on its own. Vaginal moisturizers and lubricants, and low-dose estrogen therapy may help. Ospemifene is a possibility for women with moderate to severe sexual pain.

Marketed under the brand name Osphena, ospemifene was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in early 2013. While it is not estrogen, it works in a similar way, keeping vaginal and vulvar tissues healthy.

How does ospemifene do this? One way is through changes in vaginal and vulvar tissue.

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