A vaginal estradiol hormone tablet and over-the-counter vaginal moisturizer were not beneficial than a placebo vaginal tablet and gel in reducing postmenopausal vulvovaginal symptoms in women.
Many postmenopausal women have bothersome vulvovaginal symptoms, including vaginal dryness, itching and pain with sex.
Treatment recommendations for these symptoms focus mostly on vaginal products but issues with those treatments include messiness, expense, safety concerns and a lack of symptom relief.
About 302 postmenopausal women with moderate to severe symptoms in a 12-week randomized clinical trial.
The main outcome was a decrease in the reported severity of symptoms. This was a randomized clinical trial (RCT). RCTs allow for the strongest inferences to be made about the true effect of an intervention.
However, not all RCT results can be replicated in real-world settings because patient characteristics or other variables may differ from those studied in the RCT.
The authors of the study were Caroline M. Mitchell, M.D., of Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, and coauthors.
Vaginal estradiol tablets plus placebo gel and a vaginal moisturizer plus a placebo tablet were not better than dual placebo tablets and gel at reducing symptom severity or improving sexual function.
The generalizability of study results is limited by the relatively homogeneous study population.
A better understanding of the underlying mechanism of postmenopausal vulvovaginal symptoms is needed to guide efforts to improve treatment options.