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Vaginal atrophy

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Marelli Wed 09-Jan-13 17:21:35

I've just had a phone call from my friend who was really upset. She's been diagnosed with Vaginal Atrophy and her GP (female) says she'll just have to put up with it - it's her age....hmm. My friend (E) has had breast cancer so cannot have HRT.
She asked me to look on the internet to see if I could find out about any treatment that might be suitable for her. However, I feel that she has been treated very badly by her GP and should ask to see another doctor in the practice. She's reluctant to do this as all of the others are male.
I feel as if she has been really badly treated.

Mamie Wed 09-Jan-13 17:36:47

Rubbish. Excellent treatment available, I think Vagifem is used mostly in the UK. Tell her to look on Menopause Matters forum and then see a different GP. Grrr...

Ariadne Wed 09-Jan-13 17:39:07

She has indeed been badly treated! Do urge her to find a second opinion.

Mamie Wed 09-Jan-13 17:45:01

I can see from quickly reading the web that some doctors see breast cancer as a problem, but others seem to prescribe Vagifem. Maybe she needs to see a specialist? I certainly don't think she should be told to put up with it; it can be dreadfully debilitating.

Lancashirelass Wed 09-Jan-13 17:46:01

What a shame! Ask for a second opinion, and insist on a female doctor. Good luck!

jeni Wed 09-Jan-13 17:52:19

Second opinion, preferably from a gynaecologist.

Marelli Wed 09-Jan-13 18:22:25

I knew I would get this sort of response! I really do wish she was able to read these posts, but will phone her tomorrow and give her your replies. I'll have a look at the Vagifem site and give her the information. E is a very shy person and would find it difficult to argue with her GP, but I've told her that if she wanted me to, I'd go with her to give her a bit of moral support. She was in tears when I spoke to her. She's 68, and isn't even able to discuss the problem with her husband, asking me to phone while he's at work tomorrow. sad

kittylester Wed 09-Jan-13 18:37:48

I use vagifem, as little as I can get away, with but probably once a week which I'm told is fairly safe. Last time I got a prescription the dosage had reduced considerably so don't quite know what that means. It has made a HUGE difference. See another gp.

Mamie Wed 09-Jan-13 18:41:11

Do urge her to look at the Menopause Matters forum too.

Grannyknot Wed 09-Jan-13 19:29:39

I can't take HRT either - have tried all sorts of dosages etc over the years but I get the worst breast pain imaginable, so I gave up on it. The doctor shouldn't write her off like that, there are loads and loads of natural products to try that may help, I received a bumper pack of samples (from GN I think after the Suzy Godson chat?) a while ago, what fun. Anyway have settled on one that suits us perfectly so that + regular activity wink has overcome any problems related to atrophy symptoms.

JessM Wed 09-Jan-13 20:35:21

I think the issue is that the vagifem contains some oestrogen and that some breast cancers tend to grow more in the presence of oestrogen. I had heard that it contains a lot less than HRT though. The day may come that I will have to make that decision because I have had breast cancer. But in the meantime - yes those lubricant samples were entertaining weren't they. Can we have some more Cari I can't remember which were the best ones. grin
On a similar theme I have recently acquired a tub of coconut oil from H and Barrett. Some deranged H and B customers eat it because they have got it into their heads it is good for you (mistake, very high in saturates) but as a massage oil it has the huge advantage that it is solid at room temperature and melts at skin temp. So no more worrying about tipping massage oil all over the bed. And it is edible. And smells like Bounty.

Ana Wed 09-Jan-13 20:47:30

Good as a leave-in overnight conditioner for dry hair too!

jeni Wed 09-Jan-13 21:32:19

Is the vaginitis only causing problems with sex? If so there are no hormonal alternatives. The best I found was in France called I think Femmilube!
! My French wasn't up to asking for a lubricant, so some hilarious mime was used in a French chemist's shop.grin

There was also an offer on samples at some time on GN. Perhaps the participants could offer some helpful advice?

Elegran Wed 09-Jan-13 22:04:14

There is also a French lubricant called "Vieille" which I think means "Old woman" ! It seems very like baby oil.

Grannyknot Wed 09-Jan-13 22:17:53

Jess LOL me neither!

Nelliemoser Wed 09-Jan-13 23:28:16

I joined this club some years ago!

jeni kitty If don't take the vagifem even walking becomes uncomfortable.
I don't worry about anything else these days. I understand that that vagifem is quite low in oestrogens and as it is "topical" most gets to just where it is needed and less gets into the general system than oral HRT does.

Marelli get her to see snother GP it is a really miserable and uncomfortable condition!

Nelliemoser Wed 09-Jan-13 23:31:06

My female GP prescibed it straight away it is so uncomfortable you can't "just put up with it."

crimson Thu 10-Jan-13 00:23:45

Ana; is that the coconut oil or the vagifem? Because I was thinking that, if my thinning hair was a post menopause thing, then vagifem might help confused.

Mamie Thu 10-Jan-13 05:50:37

In my case I had non-stop thrush and UTIs for months as well as problems with walking and exercise. I think the dose is very low and what they say is that some oestrogen may escape into the system at first, but as the vaginal walls repair, it stays put. I tried all the ordinary lubrication, but it made no difference.

JessM Thu 10-Jan-13 07:05:37

You never know Crimson grin but the vagifem probably does not smell as yummy.
I think mamie you have highighted the difference between a bit of a shortage of lubrication and a clinical condition that needs treatment.
I just looked it up on the NHS Choices site. Bit of a poor showing on this subject I think. The problems of older women not being taken very seriously maybe?

However their link to provides better info. This is quite a good site I find.
Now I have read that I understand that there are :
lubricants for help with intercourse (the runny ones are better than the gels don't we think?)
lubricants for dryness that is causing discomfort - you might not be wanting to have sex, but if you are dry, uncomfortable, itchy etc down below on a regular basis - yes this might be a self help solution. Things like Replens® and Sylk®. Boots also do one. Intrigued that "customers who bought this also bought" ... cucumber eye gel - how does that help? grin
and if those don't work, and they might not if your vagina really suffering from tissue damage caused by lack of oestrogen then there is the oestrogen cream that actually treats the condition and you can only get from your doctor.
Phew I feel better now. Learned something before breakfast and had a laugh. Thank you

Mamie Thu 10-Jan-13 07:35:59

Yes I think that's it Jess. My doctor gave me endless thrush treatments and antibiotics for the UTIs, but I found the menopause matters site, realised what it was and he said, yes that will be it and gave me the gelules. It isn't Vagifem here, though. It took about four months to work properly, but I just use three a week now. The French version has progesterone, oestriol and lacto bactillus in it. I had a dreadful menopause for ten years, so I suppose I shouldn't be surprised.

JessM Thu 10-Jan-13 07:58:00

Treating the symptoms not the cause Mamie - I think most people find that thrush clears up at the menopause don't they? I seem to remember reading that somewhere and that has certainly been my experience - so if it starts up again its telling you something.

Mamie Thu 10-Jan-13 08:21:23

I had never had thrush before, Jess. I got a canestan tablet and cream in Boots the first time and when I went to the doctor here she was amazed. In France we would never put something in our mouths for vaginal thrush, she said. So pessaries prescribed and I was allergic to some of those.... Nightmare!

JessM Thu 10-Jan-13 08:37:32

I have read that if you get post menopausal thrush you should not self medicate. This may be because it can be associated with Type 2 diabetes as well as vaginal atrophy. Excess sugar around in the body feeds the little candida devils. So post menopausal thrush should be taken to the doctor.
It is often a "normal" condition in the premenopausal woman, caused by oestrogens over-boosting the sugar content of vaginal secretions. (This is based on: - the slightly acidic balance of healthy vagina relies on lactobacilli using sugar and converting it into lactic acid which in turn creates mild acidity and discourages candida and other microbes. So the body cleverly supplies the lactobacilli with a little extra sugar - it feeds them. But this mechanism only works when there is oestrogen around. In younger women the menstrual cycle and its fluctuating oestrogen levels are linked to thrush - the balance sometimes is not quite right at all times of the cycle)
But it is not "normal" in the post menopause women who are not on HRT.

jeni Thu 10-Jan-13 08:38:51

Don't the French always use pessaries or suppositories in preference to oral medications?

My iPad insisted they were pest arises instead of pessaries? Is it having Freudian spelling slips?

annodomini Thu 10-Jan-13 08:53:39

In fact, if you are over 60, the pharmacies in this country won't let you have the Canesten pessary. I was able to get it in NZ.

Butty Thu 10-Jan-13 08:58:26

Mamie I had an appalling allergic reaction to a pessary the doc. gave me here for an infection - nightmare indeed! You have my sympathies.

Once a week I use a little cream with a v. low dose of progesterone in it, which works very well, although a couple of months usage is needed for it to start working effectively. I expect (but don't really know) even this low dosage wouldn't be possible for your friend who's had breast cancer Marelli.

Mamie Thu 10-Jan-13 09:01:07

Indeed Jess and actually they told me to go to the doctor as soon as I got home when I was in Boots.
Yes pest arises (I like it) and suppositories are popular. They gave us a suppository for my five month old grandaughter when she had conjunctivitis?? (Resisting the temptation to say that in England we don't put medication for our eyes up our bottoms)..
I think it can all be a bit more earthy here, you don't get paper gowns while you wait for a mammogram for example.
I gather that Vagifem has a nifty little applicator, whereas with the French version you just insert them..
Am I putting anyone off their cornflakes?

Mamie Thu 10-Jan-13 09:06:32

Is that Trophicreme, Butty? I have Trophigil. I wonder why the French version has progesterone? The gelules of 350mg have 341 mg of estriol, 0.2 mg of progesterone in a lactobacillus culture and I have three a week. Would be interested to know what is in Vagifem?

Butty Thu 10-Jan-13 09:29:35

Mamie The topical cream is called Colpotrophine (promestriene 1%).

jeni Thu 10-Jan-13 09:46:57

Vagifem contains oestrodiol a naturally occurring oestrogen.

kittylester Thu 10-Jan-13 10:23:09

And does indeed have a nifty little applicator, thankfully.

Nelliemoser Thu 10-Jan-13 10:25:16

mamie Same here its ouch!

Nelliemoser Thu 10-Jan-13 10:35:32

Mamie I had heard about the French and their suppositories. However treating conjuntivities with a suppository is mind boggling. We normally put the eye drops right where they are needed.

If you are using a suppository you are surely going to have to use a much bigger dose as the drug would get a bit "lost" as it goes through the system?
What happens if the baby poos straight away?

I have had breakfast! grin

Nelliemoser Thu 10-Jan-13 10:42:11

I am very annoyed about this, not dispensing canestan to over 60s. I know I don't have diabetes. I know what thrush is. it comes after I have antibiotics.

I could try lying about my age I might just get away with it.

When you are young you lie about your age to try and buy a drink in a pub. When you are over 60 you do it to get anti thrush cream that's sad. grin

JessM Thu 10-Jan-13 11:09:36

Well if you had a prescription nellie it would be free. But in emergency I would lie about age or send in a friend. I think the point is unless thrush clears up quickly, or you have a repeat attack then your doctor should be treating the underlying cause.
Anyone come across any actual research on whether hormone cream does actually increase the risk of repeat of BC. I know HRT does . But has anyone ever done the research on the cream?
Ultimately I guess it is the choice not of the GP but the woman - if she can't darn well walk because she is so sore, then she might be prepared to take a small increase in risk!

Mamie Thu 10-Jan-13 11:18:11

I haven't seen the research, Jess, but I also haven't seen anything about serious risk. I think this has probably caused a lot of suffering for generations. I can remember my Grandma wriggling on a chair and talking about her poor old bottom. I imagine that VA was the problem. That is why I think it is important to talk about it on here. I do hope your friend gets some help, Marelli.

jeni Thu 10-Jan-13 11:44:02

Apparently research shows equivocal results. In other words no one knows. I think the no oestrogen party says no,more on theoretical risk than substantiated research.
Bags is good at paper research, she might have an idea.

Mishap Thu 10-Jan-13 11:53:25

I always administer voltarol via suppository as otherwise I get indigestion - I have never had a problem with it - it seems to get to the right place all by itself!

JessM Thu 10-Jan-13 12:18:00

Oh cheers jeni the trouble with pubmed etc is that you have to know the right search jargon to use.
Yes if you start to think about the amount of suffering that women have endured, and continue to endure in the third world because they do not have quite basic medical care
And also embarrassment - women still probably die because they are embarrassed to talk to their doctors - I knew someone whose mother died of a vulval cancer.
My Masters research was about embarrassment in gynaecological settings and
it would be interesting to find out after 25 years, if things have changed much...
I just googled it but to no avail. Buried in the depths of the university of wales archives. I have a hard copy though.

Nelliemoser Thu 10-Jan-13 14:28:15

Jess its the hassle to get an appointment and you can't do that at a weekend. I will just have to lie and keep using the pessaries regularly! wink

JessM Thu 10-Jan-13 14:41:57

GPs have to offer 7am appointments these days to suit working people, which might help.

kittylester Thu 10-Jan-13 14:49:17

Can't you go to a Walk- in Centre Nellie? I was a regular at ours with my UTIs and always got more tabs than the course so every third time I got a UTI I could self medicate!

My life is totally changed since I was prescribed Vagifem and reading this thread has brought back awful memories of all the pain and discomfort. I'm not sure that it is an automatic thing for a GP to think of when someone presents with recurrent UTIs.

Mine certainly didn't and I was sent to one of those day clinics where they do all sorts of tests in one session. I had scans, xrays and the dreaded camera - there might have been other things as well but I have forgotten them. The 'cancer' word was definitely an enormous elephant in the room. All this whilst waiting to go back to visit Matt in Japan for the second time after his stroke. The leaflet that came with the appointment said that only one in four (I think) people are found to need referring for further investigation. There were 12 of us, I was last and only 2 others had been given referral letters. shock

Sympathies to all who are suffering right now - see a doctor. smile

Marelli Thu 10-Jan-13 15:07:17

I phoned my friend this morning and she is really grateful for all of your help. She'd been given a prescription for Sylk and had applied this and lain in a bath containing Oilatum for an hour last night. It's given her a certain amount of relief so she's going to give it a week. If there's no definite improvement, she'll return to her GP and ask for a referral if no other option is offered. I'd suggested the Well Woman Clinic, so she's considering that as well - she thought that was only for such things as smears.
Thanks again from E flowers.

Lancashirelass Thu 10-Jan-13 15:09:31

This is fascinating and the only way I for one could discuss my problem. The female GP, Practise Nurse and DN I asked for advice seemed to think I was making a fuss about nothing.

Vagifem eventually helped with about 50% of severe (I mean SEVERE) itching. I now use it 2ce a week, was told I could use it daily, but I had HRT type breast discomfort.

Eventually a gynacologist (I think he was Polish) advised me to use olive oil, topically that is - best cooking variety I could afford - 'slap it on', he said!! I did not fancy this somehow - but have found almond aromatherapy carrier oil does the trick.

Nelliemoser Thu 10-Jan-13 17:18:26

I am so glad someone started this post! It is a very delicate and embarrasing issue, but it is now apparent there are a lot of us with this problem.

However I personally would not go anywhere near my nether regions with perfumed anything.

kittylester Thu 10-Jan-13 17:24:52

If she is no better Marelli she could say that someone suggested that Vagifem might help, she's Googled it and would they consider letting her try it (grovel grovel). Referrals take time - not good when one has such a problem.

When I suggested something (HRT patches, a good while ago) that I'd seen in the paper to my lovely GP and apologised he told me that he couldn't be expected to know everything and I was obviously going to spot things pertaining to my own health/problems.

Nelliemoser Thu 10-Jan-13 17:35:03

marelli Tell her to tell her GP that a lot of people have suggested Vagifem. wink

Lancashirelass I do fully understand how people find this very embarrassing. I am also like this about such stuff. My mum was hopeless at talking about bodily bits and I was also influenced by this.

Mamie Thu 10-Jan-13 17:35:57

Good idea, Kitty, a nice gentle way of suggesting it.
I read that up to 40% of women suffer from VA, so it is good that we can discuss it on here.

Butty Thu 10-Jan-13 17:44:01

I forgot to mention that as a supplement to the cream I use, I also use a wash specifically for the itching, which works wonderfully. It 'gyn hydralin'.
Probably doesn't help because I live in France and it's a French product - but I'm sure there are similar products available in the UK.

Interestingly, when I first used it, the scent reminded me of something I was given to wash with after I'd given birth to my first son, and the stitches had become inflamed. It more than likely has the same components.

JessM Thu 10-Jan-13 17:45:32

Nellie I was in a Jardines pharmacy earlier and they had a sign up saying they could prescribe some things for free including thrush medication.

Marelli Thu 10-Jan-13 22:27:38

kitty, I think if the Sylk hasn't helped she will go back to her GP and mention the Vagifem, as I told her what had been said about it on this thread. Perhaps the problem against this would be her breast cancer, but it may just be that she might still be able to have it.
Butty, my friend was given a 'wash' as well, but I can't remember the name of it.
She does experience tremendous discomfort, on a day to day basis. She's told me that it's not about making it easier for sex as this isn't an issue for her now.

JessM Fri 11-Jan-13 07:40:48

Oh bless her. I hope she can get it sorted out.

Nelliemoser Fri 11-Jan-13 09:06:51

Butty marelli there is a Femfresh, Intimate Hygiene, Triple action soothing wash. for (intimate areas). This seems less irritating than anything else I have tried. Someone else makes one as well but I haven't seen that lately.

jeni Fri 11-Jan-13 10:08:05

JessM I typed dinoestrol cream/ ca breast.
My iPad says dinoestrol shoul be dingoes strollconfused imagine using that for vaginitisshock

JessM Fri 11-Jan-13 18:36:37

Keep those dingoes out of this thread I say! Stop strolling you wicked little beasts.

Ella46 Fri 11-Jan-13 18:39:25

jeni grin

Nelliemoser Fri 11-Jan-13 18:47:42

jeni dont turn of the predictive texting if that's what is doing it. You I pad is keeping us all smiling. How are you feeling now?

JessM Fri 11-Jan-13 19:42:49

Ah-ha here is a good article aimed at doctors but written in plain language

And here are some links to artlcles for anyone seriously intent on going armed to the teeth with research when they go to the surgery.
To get the full articles you will have to either pay or go to a medical library and photocopy them, or get someone who belongs to a university library service to get them for you.
What I just picked up is that the concern is that someone who has had bc may have "dormant micro tumours" which, if oestrogen sensitive, could be reactivated by any form of HRT. So the stage of your breast cancer could be significant in making a decision. Also - only some bc s are oestrogen sensitive and if you have had an operation in the last 10 years or so, they might have tested the cells for oestrogen sensitivity.
"The treatment of urogenital symptoms among this population is poorly understood and relatively understudied. "

(That sums us up really doesnt it folks, poorly understood and relatively understudied. They dont know what they are missing)

jeni Fri 11-Jan-13 20:15:30

That's what I said!

sixtiesgirl Sat 12-Jan-13 22:19:21

Having lengthy experience with all illnesses named in this forum, I am sad that after all these years of suffering I have had to take things into my own hands, compile information gleened over the years and embark on treating myself. As a result, I am better than I have been for a very long time. GPs are not very consistant in their views of these things and we can become confused by visiting different doctors giving us different views. There clearly is inadequate interest and research into older womens' problems. I have to say I am lately experiencing the 'older person' attitude from not only GPs but other public services also. I am not happy at this atall.

jcdoh Sun 13-Jan-13 10:05:27

hi I am in my 70s, and have suffered thrush since reaching 11 yrs;
dr; always made a issue of implying that only once or twice a year -is norm; and oral treatment should not be requested more often! when it became available over counter my life was easier and happier; but then came the over 60s --no sell ! yes I lied as I am young looking for my age, then I asked daughters to do so for me, over counter!
then in U.S.A. I noted on shelves a product called niacin which on reading contents/ it said -VIT B,s mostly, and as I had noted on any thrush treatments was - always there would be this name-niacin ; so I brought them being vitamins seemed very healthy ? and on the `next time' I tried ONE tablet, I felt a bit strange and got a little hot, as in a hot flush but for a short time - but it worked I was free of thrush within a day, needless to say this I did each time it re-accured, I also noted every time prior to thrush I would be craving sweet things and it was almost impossible to refuse eating such!
recently my dr had me tested for vit b 12, which I am low on, (this is not one within niacin), because I am so deaf now, which makes consultations with dr very hard, I seem to get the `push off' feeling when I go for any help, embarrassed that all and sundry can hear what the dr needs to tell me !! result I rarely go there.
it is like being in a glass box, ones sees all that happens and can talk--but cannot hear any form of communication! even with NHS hearing aids. I text and email- but not the same;
hope this info; may help someone ! happy new year to all, enjoyed the funny ones.

Grannyknot Sun 13-Jan-13 10:37:33

Dear jcdoh your post makes it clear that a good doctor should always listen to the patient (as has been said on other threads). My husband was given niacin when he was younger as part of treatment for acne, and he was warned that he would experience hot flushes. flowers to all and onwards and forwards!

JessM Sun 13-Jan-13 10:45:20

Lovely to hear from you jcdoh and that is very interesting that a B vitamin seems to help your thrush.
There does seem to be one study that studied this effect. See link. The original article is a pay per view academic study - but it was conducted by a reputable research team. smile It was done on mice. sad As with most primary research. So it was not the kind of study where they got humans with thrush to take vitamin and measured the outcomes compared to those who took a dummy pill.
One study does not prove anything - which never stops the vitamin industry pushing things into the market.
I cannot see any "citations" which probably means that nobody has picked this up in the last 2 years and had a paper published. But there might be some in the pipeline.

Lots of information including potential side effects of taking too much niacin in wikipedia. And the foods that provide it in the diet. Nearly always better to get your vitamins from food.
Thank you for sharing your experience.

Ylil Sun 13-Jan-13 11:15:09

I have VA and tird vagifem but it made no difference to me. We haven't had sex for a number of years now. sad

Ylil Sun 13-Jan-13 11:17:03

Tird = tried

Mamie Sun 13-Jan-13 11:22:27

How long did you try it for Ylil? It can take several months to work and my UTIs got worse before they got better. I think if the atrophy is advanced, it takes quite a long time to rebuild the vaginal wall.

jeni Sun 13-Jan-13 11:27:38

Recurrent thrush can also be due to diabetes

Ylil Sun 13-Jan-13 11:49:55

Mamie I tried it for six months.n

Greynshady Fri 18-Jan-13 19:22:11

Sorry I'm a late comer to this thread. This is a hot topic with me and my close friends as between us as we are all effected in one way or another. My GP readily prescribed Vagifem but friend's not so keen - she insisted that this was more likely a dermatological issue caused by shower products. She was prescribed Dermol 100 wash which worked a treat and the thrush symptoms have gone. It comes in a shower or bath version, you can buy it in Boots but she got a free script (in Scotland). Hope this helps someone ��

kittylester Fri 18-Jan-13 19:41:39

My problem wasn't thrush!!

Nelliemoser Fri 18-Jan-13 19:50:28

My problem wasn't caused by shower products they just made things worse.

Irritation by shower products might cause similar discomfort. But in AV the tissues in the vagina are lacking in oestrogens which vagifem provides.

They have made such a difference to me.

I have a problem though in that I keep wanting to find some good use for the used blue sticks! grin

mrsmopp Sun 27-Jan-13 17:54:52

You can go to your local hospital Genito Urinary clinic without a referral or an appointment. We have a female consultant in ours who is brilliant. Check before you go what days/times they have the walk in. Some people think they only deal with sexually transmitted diseases but its not true. You will be seen by an expert and get the right help. They are specialists - I'd rather go there than to my GP. Less embarrassing too.

kittylester Sun 27-Jan-13 18:05:17

Nellie you'd then have to explain where you got them. blush

JessM Sun 27-Jan-13 19:09:07

There's an idea mrsmopp for those who don't have an understanding GP

Marelli Sun 27-Jan-13 21:41:44

Mrsmopp, I'm having coffee with my friend on Thursday, so I'll suggest that to her. So many helpful comments to my original post. smile

Nelliemoser Sun 27-Jan-13 22:30:56

Kitty I keep thinking of uses in the garden to mark the rows of seedlings or such, but as you say, it would be very embarrasing. grin

justrolljanet Fri 01-Feb-13 22:04:54

Multi-Gyn Actigel, the best thing I ever bought from Amazon, I am unable to take HRT due to a problem with my womb,I use it infrequently now it worked a miracle.

JessM Sun 03-Feb-13 18:55:01

Hello justrolljanet. I was just scrolling down "I'm on" and there you were with your recommendation. Welcome.
I'm trying Boots own brand silky lubricant at the moment. It seems quite good. Much better than the rather gloopy gels (KY, durex etc)

Marelli Sun 03-Feb-13 19:32:48

My friend (whom I wrote about in the OP) has been back to see her GP. Apparently the doctor (female) that she saw in the first instance, was a locum and had been quite unsympathetic towards a number of patients. E's GP (male) is now referring her to a gynaecologist.

Nelliemoser Sun 03-Feb-13 19:42:34

Marelli Maybe the lack of sympathy is why first doctor is a still a locum.

Mamalinda Thu 21-Feb-13 10:22:17

Has anyone that used the Vagifem had any personality changes? I found it to be excellent at dealing with the problem but as time went on I became quite fiery and aggressive - well to be honest all my emotions became more extreme so I stopped using it as although I felt more sexy and my equipment was Ok to use my hubby was not interested as my mood was not conducive to getting cuddly.

Mamie Thu 21-Feb-13 13:26:47

That is good news, Marelli.
Personality changes? Um, don't think so though I know I am calmer and happier now I have got the other side of the menopause.

Cate Mon 30-Sep-13 12:44:53

Just come across this site having been on what seems like all the internet sites in the world since June. It's a super site. 3 months ago I was diagnosed with VA and prescribed an ecream but it doesn't seem to make it any better. I have tried Vaseline, virgin oil and nappy cream!!! Now my GP (female in Spain) who is great, gave me new one so I am trying that. However, women on one forum heavily recommended a product called YES. I have been on their UK site and it is organic cream approved by the Soil Association and various organic bodies. Has anyone used it for VA? Would be interested to hear. Nice to meet you all.

JessM Mon 30-Sep-13 13:40:22

Yes this is a dormant thread and yes, why not re-animate it. Not like vaginal problems have gone away...
Just had a look - appears to be a good product to try - no perfumes or other additives it a big plus if you have ever tried the revoltingly synthetic fragranced ones that durex do.

kittylester Mon 30-Sep-13 13:45:43

I was using Vagifem for quite a while which is a low dose, topical HRT but, since they altered the dosage, I've had to think again (or rather my GP has!) I've now got some pessaries called Orthogynest (I think). If it's really VA rather than just dryness I think that HRT is the way to go.

Nelliemoser might be along in a minute with some more info! grin

Nelliemoser Mon 30-Sep-13 14:01:56

Hello Kitty wink Yes here I am! The new lower dose 10 micrograms (or whatever they are) don't seem to help as much as the 25 micrograms. I now just use them more often.

kittylester Mon 30-Sep-13 14:16:46

My GP said don't use them more often and try to have a break. I have no contra indications but the minute amount they prescribe makes me believe that they are paying for them out of their own pocket grin

Nelliemoser Mon 30-Sep-13 15:17:08

Having a " break" or "forgetting" is what causes me problems.

kittylester Mon 30-Sep-13 16:01:47

And me Nellie. I'll let you know how the new treatment works.

I saw a different GP this time and she asked me if my problem was only with intercourse - she looked slightly shocked when I said it made walking problematic. grin

lifecycle Sat 01-Mar-14 17:30:08

Cate if you're still reading this! I use Yes! Have for several years, and it is fabulous. Have just noticed no-one seems to have answered your question.

TriciaF Sun 02-Mar-14 10:59:39

Just to say that I use Vagifem, still 25micrograms, every 3-4 days. For V.A. and recurrent UTIs. Not just after intercourse.
My doctor sends me for breast and cervical exams every year.

MelissaB Mon 19-May-14 11:22:16

Has anyone had experience with using Hyalofemme? I got a recommendation from a friend, but would like to hear more opinions.

rosesarered Mon 19-May-14 11:56:56

It's hard to believe that women are putting up with such discomfort because they are afraid to talk about it.My female GP prescribed Vagifem the moment I described symptoms [a couple of years ago] which alongside Boots own brand lubricant and not using any scented products in the shower , has made a world of difference.Clean only using water, that helps.The Vagifem did used to be 25 and are now 10, and that caused probs, so I spoke to GP and she said use one every day if you need it. I experimented with how often I needed to take it, [every day caused headaches]so I now have 3 times a week, or every other day and that works.Good luck to anyone with this problem, it's a very common prob and nobody should put up with it.

Nelliemoser Mon 19-May-14 12:54:30

rosesared Yes I have to use special shower gel as well. I was diagnosed years ago I went to see a woman GP thinking I had an infection and she diagnosed it as AV straight away. I have been on them for years and the 10mcg seems to work if I remember.

As KittyL commented I was finding walking difficult as well.

This is one of those informative threads that needs resurrecting every so often.

TriciaF Mon 19-May-14 16:13:32

Glad to see this thread resurrected as I've found my online supplier has packed in recently. (Vagifem isn't available in France, and the alternative , Physiogine, isn't as good.)
Hoping I can get som Vagifem prescribed when I next visit UK. And if so I'm going to try to manage with the 10mcg.

Mamie Mon 19-May-14 16:19:18

Tricia, I have Trophigil, which works fine. I get it from my doctor on prescription.

TriciaF Mon 19-May-14 16:41:07

Thanks Mamie - I'll ask him about it.

Rowantree Thu 08-Jan-15 13:33:26


kittylester Thu 08-Jan-15 14:15:14

Well done Rowantree.

Iam64 Thu 08-Jan-15 14:26:47

Thanks Rowantree for resurrecting this thread. I missed it last time around, don't know how and am 'looking forward' to learning even more about vaginal atrophy sad

kittylester Thu 08-Jan-15 14:54:09

At the moment these threads about vaginal dryness are followed by the Dry January one which just makes me feel uncomfortable!

janerowena Thu 08-Jan-15 15:06:35


I found the other newer thread first, so thanks for reviving this one. Forewarned is forearmed. I'm not surprised there is so little help, so many women used to be brought up not to speak of 'such things'. Their own parents were only perpetuating the misery, so sad. If no-one asks Drs about it, why would they bother to keep their knowledge up to date?

Coolgran65 Thu 08-Jan-15 15:18:43

Thanks for reviving this thread.....Just what I need to read.

Rowantree Thu 08-Jan-15 18:24:04

I've recently plucked up courage to see my GP about this very subject. It's been causing me misery for ages. She prescribed Canesten, followed by Vagifem. I'd been wary of using them for ages because they caused spotting and I've been told they can cause thickening of the uterus, but I don't know how big a risk that is. I am terrified of cancer - my mother died of it aged 66, which was far too young - but the GP wasn't convinced there was a risk and encouraged me to try these pessaries for a few weeks at least and to return if the breakthrough spotting continued after the first week or so. I'd just like to feel a bit more 'normal' and not suffer from the constant soreness and sometimes cracked and bleeding skin. The canesten seems to have improved the situation but it remains to be seen about the Vagifem - only just started using it! - and I still don't know what risks I'm running cancer-wise. It's useful reading what other people have posted here and in another thread though.

Crafting Thu 08-Jan-15 18:30:51

Sorry not read through all this thread so it might have been mentioned already but what about Replens. Can be bought in most chemists, has an applicator, you can use it 3 times a week or more and can also just dab a bit on (or in) anytime of the day. It works well as far as I'm concerned.

Iam64 Thu 08-Jan-15 18:36:32

Rowantree, I had to stop using Vagifam after a small bleed. It was great, while it lasted and the bleed meant I had a check up at Women's Health - which was very reassuring.

Crafting - I returned to using Replens, it's available on prescription, free for those of us old enough to qualify for free prescriptions. It helps so much with all the discomfort others have described so well smile

Rowantree Thu 08-Jan-15 18:38:06

Thanks. Iam64 and Crafting for the reference about Replens. I will definitely try that smile

Lapwing Thu 08-Jan-15 18:47:30

Crafting - replens was discussed on the 'Skin thinning - down below' thread - the last posting was at 14.26 pm. There were some helpful posts on there.

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