New Study Looks at Effectiveness of Estrogen vs. Laser Therapy

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As women age, their estrogen levels decrease. Later in life, many will suffer from uncomfortable vaginal symptoms such as dryness, atrophy, burning, and irritation; sexual issues like lack of lubrication, discomfort or pain during sexual intimacy; and urinary symptoms like urgency, dysuria, and recurrent urinary tract infectionsGenitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM) is due to estrogen deficiency in the bladder and in vaginal and urethral tissues. The relatively new medical term was coined because the old ones, vulvovaginal atrophy and atrophic vaginitis, were too limited in scope, according to research published in August 2015 in the Journal of Menopausal Medicine.

 

New Study Looks at Effectiveness of Estrogen vs. Laser Therapy

study published online October 2 by the journal Menopause looked at 62 menopausal women for six months. Thirty were given three laser treatments, and 32 received estrogen cream. The results were that 85.8 percent of laser participants rated their improvement as ‘‘better or much better,’’ and 78.5 percent reported being either ‘‘satisfied or very satisfied.’’ In the estrogen group, the results were 70 percent and 73.3 percent, respectively. This is not considered a statistically significant difference between the groups. About 20 to 25 percent of the women in the laser group needed further treatment after a year. The estrogen cream continued to work as long as the women took it as prescribed.

“This shows that there were not any differences between the therapies in the sample size that we had,” says Marie Fidela R. Paraiso, MD, a physician at the Cleveland Clinic and the lead author of the study.