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Gynecol Endocrinol. 2010 Jun;26(6):404-12. doi: 10.3109/09513591003632258.

Low-dose vaginal estrogens or vaginal moisturizer in breast cancer survivors with urogenital atrophy: a preliminary study.

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Department of Oncological Gynaecology, University of Turin, Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment of Candiolo (IRCC), Turin, Italy.


The study aim is to evaluate the efficacy and safety of two low-dose vaginal estrogen treatments (ETs) and of a non-hormonal vaginal moisturizer in postmenopausal breast cancer survivors with urogenital atrophy. Eighteen patients receiving estriol cream 0.25 mg (n = 10) or estradiol tablets 12.5 microg (n = 8) twice/week for 12 weeks were evaluated and compared with eight patients treated with polycarbophil-based moisturizer 2.5 g twice/week. Severity of vaginal atrophy was assessed using subjective [Vaginal Symptoms Score (VSS), Profile of Female Sexual Function (PFSF)] and objective [Vaginal Health Index (VHI), Karyopycnotic Index (KI)] evaluations, while safety by measuring endometrial thickness and serum sex hormones levels. After 4 weeks, VSS and VHI were significantly improved by both vaginal ETs, with further improvement after 12 weeks. PFSF improved significantly only in estriol group (p = 0.02). Safety measurements did not significantly change. Vaginal moisturizer improved VSS at week 4 (p = 0.01), but score returned to pre-treatment values at week 12; no significant modification of VHI, KI, PFSF was recorded. Both low-dose vaginal ET are effective for relieving urogenital atrophy, while non-hormonal moisturizer only provides transient benefit. The increase of serum estrogens levels during treatment with vaginal estrogen at these dosages is minimal.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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