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by: Machelle M. Seibel MD
Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Massachusetts and head of the Complicated Menopause Clinic

One of the most common symptoms of peri-menopause or menopause is feminine dryness. When estrogen levels decrease, the amount of vaginal lubrication naturally produced in the body also drops. Lower estrogen levels lead to a thinner, less elastic and more fragile vaginal lining. Whether mild or severe, it can be painful, cause constant discomfort and become severe if left untreated.

Hormone replacement therapy is most often recommended for those undergoing menopause, but because most vaginal preparations are absorbed into the bloodstream, some women have concerns about the safety of estrogen and prefer alternative solutions. And, studies show that many of the women taking oral hormone therapy report that they sometimes still suffer from vaginal dryness.

Women’s bodies change as they age, but one thing stays the same: sensitive vaginal areas must be kept moisturized to stay pliable, elastic and healthy. However, the Women’s Health Initiative study found that women taking a combination of estrogen and progestin had a higher risk of breast cancer, heart disease, stroke and blood clots than women on a placebo. But, there are non-prescription approaches to help reduce dryness.

Over-the-counter Replens Long-Lasting Vaginal Moisturizer is made with a patented bioadhesive ingredient, which helps treat irritating and painful vaginal dryness. It does so by re-moisturizing and normalizing the pH balance in the vagina, replenishing and maintaining natural moisture for up to three days per application.

Replens can also enhance HRT to treat vaginal dryness and is estrogen-free, so it will not interfere with prescription medication or cause risk or distress to those wishing to avoid hormones.

Feminine dryness is one of the most treatable symptoms of menopause. The New England Journal of Medicine reported that Replens Long-Lasting Vaginal Moisturizer is as effective as prescription hormones. “In a randomized trial, a polycarbophil-based vaginal moisturizer available over the counter (Replens) provided relief of vaginal symptoms that was equivalent to that of vaginal estrogen,” stated the article from the Nov. 30th issue entitled “Management of Menopausal Symptoms,” by Deborah Grady, M.D., M.P.H. “Oral phytoestrogens have not proved to be effective for the treatment of vaginal symptoms.”

While lubricants like K-Y Jelly or Astroglide are useful to reduce friction during intercourse, they must be applied just prior to sexual contact and will do nothing to repair dry or damaged vaginal tissues. Replens provides long-lasting moisture and provides soothing, safe, immediate, and long-lasting relief for up to 72 hours.

Just because a woman’s body goes through a series of natural changes during menopause doesn’t mean she can’t take control of uncomfortable symptoms with hormone free solutions and stop pausing for menopause.

Replens is available in the feminine care aisle of most drug and discount stores. Visit www.replens.com to order online and learn more about vaginal health or call 1-877-507-6516.

Also, refer to Replens’ clinical studies:

http://www.replens.com/Content/Clinical_Studies_Featuring_Replens.aspx

The information in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice.