Vaginal estriol-lactobacilli combination and quality of life in endocrine-treated breast cancer
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Climacteric : the journal of the International menopause society
, p. 252-259
University of Antwerp
Objective We investigated the effect of a combination of vaginal ultra-low-dose estriol with lactobacilli on the sexual functioning domain of quality of life during the treatment of breast cancer survivors on an aromatase inhibitor with vaginal atrophy. Subjects and methods This was an open-label, bicentric, exploratory, clinical study in 16 postmenopausal breast cancer survivors on aromatase inhibitors suffering from vaginal atrophy-induced sexual disorders. Atrophy symptoms were assessed by scoring with an 11-point estimation scale (0 = not at all, 10 = worst imaginable feeling). Sexuality parameters of quality of life and medication adherence were recorded in a patient's diary and in the Female Somatic Sexual Experience Instrument (FSSEI) questionnaire. Patients underwent an initial treatment for 4 weeks (one vaginal tablet of Gynoflor (R) containing 0.03 mg estriol daily), followed by maintenance therapy (three vaginal Gynoflor (R) tablets weekly) for 8 weeks. Results Vaginal dryness continuously improved from a median score of 8 at entry to a score of 4 at the end of initial therapy, and a median score of 2 at the end of maintenance therapy. Normal sexual activity before breast cancer diagnosis was reported by 14 women (88%). At study entry, only three women (19%) were sexually active. At the end of the Gynoflor (R) regimen, ten women (63%) reported sexual activity, of which seven (44%) reported sexual intercourse. The FSSEI demonstrated a non-significant trend of improvement of parameters related to sexuality. Conclusions Local vaginal therapy with Gynoflor (R) in breast cancer survivors on aromatase inhibitors reporting atrophic vaginitis could be considered as a useful treatment for the quality of sexual life.