We offer vaginal tablets Vagifem to help treat vaginal dryness caused by menopausal hormonal changes.
When you start the menopause your ovaries produce less oestrogen. This causes your vaginal walls to get thinner and drier. Vagifem works by restoring oestrogen to your vaginal tissue, replenishing natural lubrication and relieving discomfort.
If we prescribe Vagifem it would come as 24 tablets. You would insert a tablet into your vagina once every day for two weeks. After that, you’d use one tablet twice a week.
Common side effects you might experience when using Vagifem are vaginal irritation, new vaginal discharge, abdominal discomfort or bloating and headaches.
For the full list of Vagifem’s side effects and how to take it, it’s important to read the Patient Information Leaflet that comes with your medicine.
It’s important that you tell us which other medicines you’re taking — whether they’re prescription or medicines you’ve bought without a prescription. You must also tell us about any other health conditions you have. We need to know so that we only prescribe Vagifem if suitable for you. It’s important to know if you have just had a baby and are within the first six weeks of breastfeeding as this medicine will not be suitable for you.
Your symptoms should improve after using this treatment for three months. If they are no better after three months please let us know. If your symptoms are worse after two months, please get in touch.
If you have vaginal bleeding please see a doctor for further assessment as soon as possible.
Vaginal dryness symptoms and cystitis symptoms can be hard to tell apart. If Vagifem isn’t helping, or you’re worried you might have a urinary tract infection (UTI), you should see your doctor to get this checked.
Vagifem starts to replace your natural oestrogen levels as soon as you start using it. It will take 8–12 weeks until you feel the full benefit of the treatment.
You can stop using it once you feel better, but symptoms may return. You can use it long term if you need to.
You can help prevent vaginal dryness by taking care to avoid perfumed soaps or douches in and around your vagina. You could try using vaginal moisturisers like Vagisan or Replens to help with your symptoms.
If vaginal dryness is a problem during sex, it can help to enjoy foreplay for longer or use water-based lubricants.
Other healthcare providers may prescribe different oestrogen-based vaginal tablets.
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Page last reviewed by: Dr. Christina Hennessey 21/06/2021