Local estrogens for quality of life and sexuality in postmenopausal women with cardiovascular disease.
Urogenital aging and female sexual dysfunction (FSD) are significant problems following menopause. Estrogen decline is one of the key factors contributing to sexual functioning because of its crucial role for genital arousal (vasocongestion and lubrication) and other domains of the sexual response. Several common medical conditions, including cardiovascular disease (CVD), may interfere with women's sexual response across the aging process. FSD is one of the most common CVD-related quality-of-life complications with a major impact on patients' and their sexual partners' life. There is no evidence that FSD may represent an early indication of cardiovascular risk in postmenopausal women. In spite of the high prevalence, FSD remains largely under-recognized and sexual counseling is an important consideration for the proper management of postmenopausal women with CVD. Many local estrogen products are available (creams, tablets, suppositories, pessaries and rings) and are equally effective for treatment of vaginal atrophy. When a history of CVD is present, local estrogens may be safely used to treat urogenital atrophy with a significant improvement of sexual health and quality of life.
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