The First Step toward Comfort: A Look at the Latest Official Guidelines for Treating Vaginal Dryness in Menopausal Women

Wouldn’t it be nice if your menopause came with a ‘how to deal’ instruction manual? Well, for at least one symptom, vaginal dryness, it does. Thin dry vaginal and vulvar tissues, medically termed vulvovaginal atrophy (VVA), can be a major cause of painful intercourse and it affects at least 40 percent of postmenopausal women. But until now, women suffering from this condition have received little medical guidance on how best to address it. That’s why The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) has released  guidelines for treating VVA titled “Management of Vulvovaginal Atrophy.”

According to the guidelines, non-hormonal vaginal lubricants with intercourse and regular use of long-acting vaginal moisturizers, if indicated, are first-line therapies for the treatment of vaginal dryness. But even with this knowledge, there are dizzying arrays of options to choose from.

Keep in mind that they’re almost all water-based and can contain potentially irritating preservatives. For something that lasts longer and is irritant free, turn to Replens Silky Smooth, a silicone lubricant without any added glycerin just before sex.

A long acting moisturizer, on the other hand, is intended to change the water content of and moisturize vaginal tissue, making them more elastic, thicker, and with enhanced ability to maintain fluid, that will in turn reduce friction. Replens is the only long acting moisturizer that has been shown in clinical studies to actually replenish moisture in vaginal tissue and decrease painful intercourse.

Replens Long-Lasting Vaginal Moisturizer is medically recognized as one of the most effective ways to address vaginal dryness issues that pose major sexual health and comfort concerns for many postmenopausal women.

A 2013 study in the American Society for Reproductive Medicine’s clinical journal SRM: Sexuality, Reproduction & Menopause called Replens a “non-hormonal alternative … [that] has been shown to decrease dyspareunia [painful intercourse, and] improve vaginal dryness … when used regularly.”  The composition of Replens, the study continued, “binds directly to the vaginal epithelium. The hydrating property … reduces the incidence of vaginal dryness…”  And an earlier study in The New England Journal of Medicine stated that Replens® “provided relief of vaginal dryness symptoms that was equivalent to that of vaginal estrogen…”

For every woman, the choice of treatment for VVA depends on her preferences, needs, understanding of potential risks, and consultation with her physician. A long-lasting, hormone-free vaginal lubricant like Replens can do much as a first-line therapy to enhance postmenopausal women’s quality of life in a safe and effective way.