If it is determined that medication is needed or desired for a woman to up-level her sexual health, there are a couple of medications that are important to know. So first and foremost, if libido is related to a decrease in hormones, say perimenopausal or menopausal hormones, then menopausal hormone therapy, when it is used for menopausal symptoms, may also help with decreased libido or decreased sexual drive. It may also help with decreased arousal, lubrication and orgasm, and menopausal hormone therapy may also help with vaginal pain, dryness, or atrophy that causes sexual pain Other medications in addition to menopausal hormone replacement therapy that may help with sexual health are medications that treat specifically the dryness or the atrophy in the vagina. One of those medications is called ospemifene or brand name Osphena, and it is a selective estrogen receptor modulator. So it is known to be an oral pill that you take that impacts targeted symptom relief on the vulvar vaginal area by targeting the estrogen receptors in the vulva and vagina, and by virtue of the vulva and vagina and all the estrogen receptors in that area.
It also has positive benefit in the entire genital urinary system. And so ospemifene, because it impacts estrogen receptors, will improve sexual pain and improve dryness in the vagina. However, it’s not a hormone and it’s not estrogen. And it’s something that can be taken orally as opposed to applied like a cream in the vagina. If, for example, a cream or an estrogen in the vagina is not something that you want to undertake. So some patients want to avoid estrogen for various reasons. Perhaps one of those reasons is having had a history of breast cancer or just not wanting to take hormones or not wanting to take estrogen at all. And there are other people who don’t want to put a vaginal cream inside their vagina. They think it’s messy, or they just don’t want to be bothered with that. And for those women who don’t want estrogen and don’t want a vaginal application, ospemifene or Osphena is a wonderful treatment for vulvar vaginal atrophy, for dryness, and for sexual pain.