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      Multidisciplinary overview of vaginal atrophy and associated genitourinary symptoms in postmenopausal women.

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          Abstract

          Vaginal atrophy, which may affect up to 45% of postmenopausal women, is often associated with one or more urinary symptoms, including urgency, increased frequency, nocturia, dysuria, incontinence, and recurrent urinary tract infection.

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          Most cited references51

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          Recommendations for the management of postmenopausal vaginal atrophy.

          Unlike hot flushes and night sweats which resolve spontaneously in time, atrophic symptoms affecting the vagina and lower urinary tract are often progressive and frequently require treatment. The prevalence of vaginal dryness increases as a woman advances through the postmenopausal years, causing itching, burning and dyspareunia, and sexual activity is often compromised. But, despite the various safe and effective options, only a minority (about 25% in the Western world and probably considerably less in other areas) will seek medical help. Some of this reluctance is due to the adverse publicity for hormone replacement therapy (HRT) over recent years that has suggested an increased risk of breast cancer, heart disease and stroke. But, regardless of whether these scares are justified, local treatment of vaginal atrophy is not associated with these possible risks of systemic HRT. Other reasons for the continued suffering in silence may be cultural and an understandable reluctance to discuss such matters, particularly with a male doctor, but the medical profession must also take much of the blame for failing to enquire of all postmenopausal women about the possibility of vaginal atrophic symptoms. Vaginal dryness can be helped by simple lubricants but the best and most logical treatment for urogenital atrophy is to use local estrogen. This is safe, effective and with few contraindications. It is hoped that these guidelines and recommendations, produced to coincide with World Menopause Day 2010, will help to highlight this major cause of distress and reduced quality of life and will encourage women and their medical advisers all over the world to seek and provide help.
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            Estrogen receptor (ER)-beta isoforms: a key to understanding ER-beta signaling.

            Estrogen receptor beta (ER-beta) regulates diverse physiological functions in the human body. Current studies are confined to ER-beta1, and the functional roles of isoforms 2, 4, and 5 remain unclear. Full-length ER-beta4 and -beta5 isoforms were obtained from a prostate cell line, and they exhibit differential expression in a wide variety of human tissues/cell lines. Through molecular modeling, we established that only ER-beta1 has a full-length helix 11 and a helix 12 that assumes an agonist-directed position. In ER-beta2, the shortened C terminus results in a disoriented helix 12 and marked shrinkage in the coactivator binding cleft. ER-beta4 and -beta5 completely lack helix 12. We further demonstrated that ER-beta1 is the only fully functional isoform, whereas ER-beta2, -beta4, and -beta5 do not form homodimers and have no innate activities of their own. However, the isoforms can heterodimerize with ER-beta1 and enhance its transactivation in a ligand-dependent manner. ER-beta1 tends to form heterodimers with other isoforms under the stimulation of estrogens but not phytoestrogens. Collectively, these data support the premise that (i) ER-beta1 is the obligatory partner of an ER-beta dimer, whereas the other isoforms function as variable dimer partners with enhancer activity, and (ii) a single functional helix 12 in a dimer is sufficient for gene transactivation. Thus, ER-beta behaves like a noncanonical type-I receptor, and its action may depend on differential amounts of ER-beta1 homo- and heterodimers formed upon stimulation by a specific ligand. Our findings have provided previously unrecognized directions for studying ER-beta signaling and design of ER-beta-based therapies.
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              Vaginal Health: Insights, Views & Attitudes (VIVA) - results from an international survey.

              To assess knowledge of vaginal atrophy among women using the Vaginal Health: Insights, Views & Attitudes (VIVA) survey. A structured online questionnaire was used to obtain information from 3520 postmenopausal women aged 55-65 years living in Great Britain, the United States, Canada, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Norway. In total, 45% of women reported experiencing vaginal symptoms. Only 4% of women attributed these symptoms to vaginal atrophy, and 63% failed to recognize vaginal atrophy as a chronic condition. Overall, 44% of respondents did not have a gynecologist, but this percentage varied between countries. Most women (75%) felt that vaginal atrophy had a negative impact on life, but this perception also showed country-specific differences. Most Finnish respondents (76%) were satisfied with the amount of information available about vaginal atrophy, compared with just 37-42% of women from other countries. Most women used over-the-counter products for vaginal atrophy symptoms, but specific means of treating the underlying cause were less well known. Almost half (46%) of all respondents lacked knowledge about local estrogen therapy, with women in Great Britain, the United States and Canada being most likely to lack knowledge of such treatment. Overall, 30% of women would consider taking local estrogen therapy, with vaginal tablets being the preferred option in all countries. Postmenopausal women have a low understanding of vaginal atrophy. Medical practitioners should proactively raise this topic, help patients to understand that vaginal atrophy is a chronic condition, and discuss treatment options. Country-specific approaches may be required.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Sex Med
                Sexual medicine
                Wiley
                2050-1161
                2050-1161
                Dec 2013
                : 1
                : 2
                Affiliations
                [1 ] San Diego Sexual Medicine San Diego, CA, USA.
                [2 ] Institute for Sexual Medicine San Diego, CA, USA.
                Article
                S2050-1161(15)30018-0
                10.1002/sm2.17
                4184497
                25356287
                6d1d1ef7-376c-452c-884c-8856f5074d3f
                History

                Dyspareunia,Estrogen,Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms
                Dyspareunia, Estrogen, Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms

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