Medical and surgical strategies for treating urogynecological disorders

Göran Samsioe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Symptoms and signs of the urogenital estrogen deficiency syndrome occur relatively late in a women's life when endogenous estrogen levels are well below those required to stimulate endometrial growth. At age 60 and above symptoms are common and progress with advancing age. The first and most common complaint is vaginal dryness, but symptoms of lost control of micturition as well as urge incontinence are also frequent. Recurrent infections of the lower urinary tract are common, as well as dyspareunia and a sensation of burning and itching. One third of women above age 60 suffer from urogenital estrogen deficiency syndromes, a figure that rises to two thirds at the age of 75. With a rapid growth of the elderly female population, these symptoms are an increasing burden to the individual as well as to any given health care system. Several clinical trials have repeatedly demonstrated the efficacy in alleviating these symptoms of low daily estrogen doses as exemplified by 8 micrograms/day of vaginally administered estradiol. For reasons not completely understood, the urogenital tissues respond to this low estrogen level but the endometrium does not. Hence, estrogen therapy aiming at mitigating urogenital deficiency symptoms could be given without a progestogen. No side effects have been described for vaginal preparations, and neither absolute nor relative contraindications exist. No protection is offered against cardiovascular disease or osteoporosis, though. In 1991, vaginal low-dose estrogens were declared OTC preparations in Sweden. The costs for the society for this program can be limited to the costs of medication only, for medical monitoring is not compulsory. The clinical efficiency is remarkable, and urogenital symptoms are almost abolished in elderly women receiving this type of treatment, which is practically devoid of side effects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-141
JournalInternational Journal of Fertility and Menopausal Studies
Volume41
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1996

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine

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