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What are alternatives to estrogen for postmenopausal vaginal dryness?

Alternatives to estrogen for postmenopausal vaginal dryness mainly consist of vaginal lubricants and moisturizers such as K-Y and Replens. Also, there is a new procedure using the MonaLisa Touch laser that helps stimulate collagen in the vagina. It can be performed in a doctor's office.
Alternatives to oral estrogen for postmenopausal vaginal dryness include the following:
  • Over-the-counter lubricants and moisturizers, like Replens or Vagisil.
  • Topical low-dose vaginal estrogen. The estrogen contained in these creams, rings or tablets is delivered directly to where it needs to go with minimal absorption to the rest of your body, so any possible side effects from taking it orally are greatly minimized. If you've had breast cancer, mention this to your health care provider, but, in general, experts agree that it is a safe treatment.
  • MonaLisa Touch. A new in-office procedure, this laser therapy delivers fractional CO2 energy to generate new collagen on your vaginal wall. In addition to treating women who've gone through menopause naturally, it can also be used by women who have experienced premature menopause induced by chemotherapy or hysterectomy. Usually a series of three five-minute procedures spaced six weeks apart are necessary, with an annual maintenance treatment advised.
This content originally appeared on HealthyWomen.org.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.