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Climacteric. 2012 Feb;15(1):36-44. doi: 10.3109/13697137.2011.647840. Epub 2011 Dec 14.

Vaginal Health: Insights, Views & Attitudes (VIVA) - results from an international survey.

Author information

1
Research Center for Reproductive Medicine, Gynecological Endocrinology and Menopause Unit, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, IRCCS 'S Matteo Foundation', University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess knowledge of vaginal atrophy among women using the Vaginal Health: Insights, Views & Attitudes (VIVA) survey.

METHODS:

A structured online questionnaire was used to obtain information from 3520 postmenopausal women aged 55-65 years living in Great Britain, the United States, Canada, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Norway.

RESULTS:

In total, 45% of women reported experiencing vaginal symptoms. Only 4% of women attributed these symptoms to vaginal atrophy, and 63% failed to recognize vaginal atrophy as a chronic condition. Overall, 44% of respondents did not have a gynecologist, but this percentage varied between countries. Most women (75%) felt that vaginal atrophy had a negative impact on life, but this perception also showed country-specific differences. Most Finnish respondents (76%) were satisfied with the amount of information available about vaginal atrophy, compared with just 37-42% of women from other countries. Most women used over-the-counter products for vaginal atrophy symptoms, but specific means of treating the underlying cause were less well known. Almost half (46%) of all respondents lacked knowledge about local estrogen therapy, with women in Great Britain, the United States and Canada being most likely to lack knowledge of such treatment. Overall, 30% of women would consider taking local estrogen therapy, with vaginal tablets being the preferred option in all countries.

CONCLUSION:

Postmenopausal women have a low understanding of vaginal atrophy. Medical practitioners should proactively raise this topic, help patients to understand that vaginal atrophy is a chronic condition, and discuss treatment options. Country-specific approaches may be required.

PMID:
22168244
DOI:
10.3109/13697137.2011.647840
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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