The Use of Vaginal Estrogen Therapy in the Postmenopausal Woman Pt 1

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The Hormone Oestrogen... Pt 1

For women, oestrogen has a role in their bodies to regulate vasomotor control (responsible for blood pressure among other things), maintain bone mineral density as well as maintain health in the urogenital system (urinary and reproductive systems).

When oestrogen levels deplete post-menopausally, symptoms such as hot flushes, insomnia and mood changes can occur. Not ideal.

Lack of oestrogen can also cause localised changes in the urogenital system leading to symptoms such as:

  • vaginal dryness 
  • vaginal itching and burning
  • increased urinary urgency and frequency 
  • recurrent UTIs

"...systemic Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) can worsen incontinence and increase your risk of certain cancers and cardiovascular disease."

When symptoms become bothersome, the cure is to restore oestrogen levels to pre-menopausal levels. Currently, this takes place in the form of hormone replacement therapy (HRT). 

Commonly, you can take HRT in a tablet, patch, implant or vaginal form (more on this later). 

The use of systemic HRT will often improve the above mentioned symptoms, mood and bone health. Unfortunately, systemic HRT has also shown to worsen incontinence and can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and oestrogen-dependent cancers. Quite the conundrum. 

The good thing is...

HRT can also be applied transdermally! 

For women suffering mainly urogenital complaints, the benefit of applying oestrogen directly onto the vaginal tissues is that absorption of the hormone into the blood stream is minimal, thereby reducing risks of breast and endometrial cancer.

In the following blog posts we’ll discover how "vaginal estrogen" works on the body's tissues and the precautions in using it. If you're unsure about your own symptoms right now and need help, contact Sycamore Health to see our very own Pelvic Floor specialist, Rachel!

Next in this series: Vaginal Oestrogen Therapy Part 2 - Who's It For And How's It Used?

Not sure if VET is for you? We can help!

Rachel has appointments available for you today. If you believe you are experiencing any of the issues discussed in the blog, don't wait any longer to be free of your discomfort. Book now and begin to heal!

Cody JD, Jacobs ML, Richardson K, Moehrer B, Hextall A. (2012) Oestrogen therapy for urinary incontinence in post-menopausal women. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2012, Issue 10. Art. No.: CD001405. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001405.pub3

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