(BPT) - Vaginal health tends to be a taboo topic, but vaginal health issues are surprisingly common, affecting most women at some point in their lives. In fact, more than half of all women will experience vaginal atrophy or dryness. Yet, there hasn’t been enough focus on women’s intimate health issues, especially among young women, until recently.
“My patients have active sex lives into their 70s today, but perimenopausal or menopausal symptoms, including vaginal dryness and painful sex, often get in the way of intimacy,” says Carolyn DeLucia, MD, a board certified gynecologist and intimate health expert and best-selling author in New York City.
“In fact, as many as 60 percent of all women experience vaginal atrophy during or after menopause, and this can take a heavy toll on quality of life,” she says.
For years, hormone replacement therapy was widely prescribed to treat symptoms of menopause, including vaginal dryness, but this all changed when the landmark Women's Health Initiative study showed that taking estrogen and progestin after menopause may increase women's risk for stroke, heart disease, blood clots, and breast cancer. Estrogen helps with menopause symptoms like hot flashes and vaginal dryness, and progestin is added to protect against uterine cancer in women who still have a uterus.
Hormone replacement therapy can help relieve these symptoms, but many women don’t want to or can’t take estrogen due to a history of breast cancer, she explains. "Every patient in my practice will experience dryness at some point in her lifetime, and it can be a source of constant discomfort and loss of self-esteem,” Dr. DeLucia says.
But those days are finally gone, she says. “VagiVital Aktivgel is a hormone-free water-based vaginal gel that relieves and treats symptoms of vaginal atrophy such as dryness, irritation or itching, discomfort during sex or when urinating,” she says. “This transparent gel releases water over time to restore pH balance and to encourage cell growth in the vaginal wall.”
Your pH level indicates how acidic your skin is, and when it rises, skin — including skin in intimate areas — can become red and dry, she says.
When women in a clinical study applied the gel using an applicator once daily for 12 weeks, they experienced less vaginal dryness, pain during intercourse, vaginal pain/itching, and pain during urination. The effective results are clinically proven and have been documented in a study conducted by female scientists at Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm, Akademiska University Hospital in Uppsala, and the University Hospital in Umeå, Sweden.
The VagiVital brand features a cleanser too. “Every time we clean ourselves with a soap that’s not pH-balanced we're getting rid of the natural moisturizing factors. Skin in intimate areas is even more prone to irritation from shower gels and soaps that are not pH-balanced,” she says. “The VagiVital Cleanser is totally soap- and fragrance-free and can clean, moisturize and restore the balance of your vagina," says Dr. DeLucia.
“The improvements in symptoms we have seen from VagiVital are on par with what is seen with topical hormonal therapy,” says Rebecka Kaplan Sturk, MD, an obstetrician and gynecologist, and a lecturer at the Karolinska Institute and Sophiahemmet University in Stockholm, Sweden.
“The VagiVital range is safe with no side effects,” she says. “The products are the perfect care for your intimate parts. The intimate V Cleanser gently washes while maintaining pH balance, while the VagiVital Aktivgel intensively moisturizes and soothes the sensitive intimate area.”
“I finally have something that I can offer women that doesn’t come with a long list of side effects and contraindications, and that actually works,” says Dr. Kaplan Sturk.
For more information visit https://us.vagivital.com/.