Vaginal Oestrogens Do Not Raise Risk of Cancer, Other Diseases in Post-Menopausal Women

August 17, 2017

LOS ANGELES -- August 17, 2017 -- Women who have gone through menopause and who have been using a vaginal form of oestrogen therapy do not have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease or cancer than women who have not been using any type of oestrogen, according to a study published early online ahead of the print issue of the journal Menopause.

Among women with an intact uterus, the risks of stroke, invasive breast cancer, colorectal cancer, endometrial cancer and pulmonary embolism/deep vein thrombosis were not significantly different between vaginal oestrogen users and nonusers.

The risks of coronary heart disease, fracture, and premature death were lower in users than non-users.

The risks of coronary heart disease, stroke, cancer and pulmonary embolism/deep vein thrombosis for women who had undergone hysterectomies were not significantly different in users of vaginal oestrogen compared to nonusers.

Previous studies have shown that women who take oral oestrogen may have an increased risk of blood clots and stroke, and if the estrogen is used together with progestogen pills, an increased risk of invasive breast cancer. However, it is not known whether the vaginal form of oestrogen carries risks similar to the tablet form.

For the current study, Carolyn Crandall, MD, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, and colleagues examined data from participants in the Women’s Health Initiative Observational study who were recruited at 40 US clinical centres and were aged 50 to 79 years when they began the study.

The study is the first to examine potential adverse health effects in users of vaginal oestrogen compared with non-users. The findings suggest that vaginal oestrogen therapy is a safe treatment for genitourinary symptoms such as burning, discomfort, and pain during intercourse associated with menopause.

Reference: DOI: 10.1097/GME.0000000000000899

SOURCE: University of California Los Angeles, Health Sciences

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