Iranian postmenopausal women’s experiences of treatment of symptomatic vulvovaginal atrophy

E. Fooladi, Maryam Deldar, F. Mohammadzadeh, E. Ahmadnia, S. Khani, Z. Ghanbari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Our aim was to explore the experiences of Iranian postmenopausal women who sought medical help for their symptomatic vulvovaginal atrophy (VVA). Methods: Five focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted. Participants had to be postmenopausal; had bothersome symptoms of VVA for which they came to the clinic; had previously sought medical help for their VVA; and had confirmed physical signs of VVA upon examination by a gynecologist. Results: Twenty-five women, aged 49–60 years participated in the five FGDs. Twenty women said they currently had >1 VVA symptom at presentation to the clinic. Four major themes emerged from the women’s narrative stories: (1) negative impact of VVA on women’s life, (2) psychological distress associated with VVA, (3) negative impact of VVA on marriage and relationship, (4) inadequate symptom relief from available treatments due to lack of awareness of VVA treatment options. None of the participants reported ongoing treatment of their VVA with local low-dose estrogen. Women further commented that, although local estrogen products were costly, they would like to use them if they were prescribed. Conclusions: Considering the negative impact of VVA symptoms on women’s lives, health professionals in Iran should be prescribing approved and effective therapies for symptomatic women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-71
Number of pages5
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • vulvovaginal atrophy
  • postmenopausal women
  • vaginal dryness
  • sexual distress

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