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Maturitas. 2010 Nov;67(3):233-8. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2010.08.001. Epub 2010 Sep 9.

Women's voices in the menopause: results from an international survey on vaginal atrophy.

Author information

1
Research Center for Reproductive Medicine, Department of Morphological, Eidological and Clinical Sciences, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy. renappi@tin.it

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To consider issues relating to vaginal atrophy via an international survey.

METHODS:

Using a structured questionnaire, interviews were performed on 4246 women aged 55-65 years living in Sweden, Finland, the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada.

RESULTS:

Overall, 98% of survey respondents were postmenopausal. Thirty-nine percent of the postmenopausal women had experienced vaginal atrophy, with the prevalence varying between countries, from 34% in Canada to 43% in Finland and the United States. Attitudes towards symptoms also varied between countries. Symptoms were described as moderate or severe by less than half of women from Finland and Sweden, compared with nearly two-thirds of women from the United States. However, vaginal atrophy was deemed to impact on quality of life by a higher proportion of women in Finland and Sweden (≥60%) than in the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada (≤50%). Overall, 77% of respondents believed women were uncomfortable discussing vaginal atrophy and 42% did not know that local treatment was available. The proportions of women unaware of the availability of local treatment were higher in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada (51%, 50% and 48%, respectively), and very low in Finland (10%). Whilst 63% of women who had experienced vaginal atrophy had never been prescribed treatment for the condition, 67% of those who had been treated reported positive effects.

CONCLUSION:

The survey results illustrate differing needs of menopausal women in different countries. Country-specific approaches may be required to improve the uptake of treatment for vaginal atrophy.

PMID:
20828948
DOI:
10.1016/j.maturitas.2010.08.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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