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|Type of medicine||Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)|
|Works by||Replacing the oestrogen which is normally produced|
|Effective within||8 - 12 weeks|
|Pack size||24 pessaries|
|Manufacturer||Besins Healthcare (UK) Ltd|
|Use with alcohol||No known issues|
What is Imvaggis?
Imvaggis pessaries are a form of HRT (hormone replacement therapy) for women experiencing symptoms of menopause — in particular, vaginal dryness and discomfort.
Imvaggis contains the female sex hormone estriol, which is a form of oestrogen that is exactly like the oestrogen produced by the ovaries. By replacing the lost estrogen directly in the vagina Imvaggis can restore elasticity and lubrication to your vagina and surrounding tissues. Thereby relieving soreness and irritation.
What is Imvaggis used for?
Imvaggis is specifically used to treat the changes that happen in and around the vagina during and after menopause.
This can include:
- Vaginal dryness
- Vaginal irritation
- Problems with urination
- Pain during urination
- Vaginal pain and discomfort during intercourse
- Possible bleeding during intercourse
These menopausal symptoms are caused by the drop in oestrogen levels during and after menopause.
How long will it take for Imvaggis to work?
Your symptoms of vaginal dryness and discomfort should improve after about three months of using vaginal oestrogen treatments or moisturisers. If you have still not had an improvement after three months, you should see your doctor, as sometimes these symptoms can be due to other conditions. It is also very important to see your doctor if you have any unusual bleeding from your vagina
Imvaggis for bladder problems
As the tissues in the vagina and vulva lose their elasticity during menopause due to a drop in natural hormone levels this can lead to symptoms such as painful urination, urinary incontinence and frequent infections (cystitis).
Using imvaggis can improve the elasticity and lubrication of your vagina and surrounding tissues reducing these unpleasant symptoms.
Is Imvaggis safe?
Imvaggis are a very low-dose hormone and have been well tolerated by many women. They are environmentally friendly as due to their small size and shape they do not require an applicator.
Due to the low dose that is applied directly vaginal estrogen treatments can be taken safely for a long time, with no associated risks compared to oral or other HRT gels that are applied directly into the skin.
The most common side effect is increased discharge though for a full list of the product warnings please read the patient information leaflet
Alternatives to Imvaggis
There is a range of local oestrogen medications that can be used to relieve vaginal dryness and discomfort which can be found here:
Pessaries are the most common choice though some women do choose creams and gels to apply externally too.
Not every treatment will work for every woman. Some women will find that one treatment works for them when others do not - it can be a bit of trial and error. It can also be true that you use one treatment internally and one externally.
With any medicine, it is important to get the dose right.
During the first 3 weeks of treatment, one pessary (corresponding to 0.03 mg estriol) is administered daily. Thereafter a maintenance dose of 1 pessary twice a week is recommended.
How to insert imvaggis
The pessary should be introduced deeply into the vagina, preferably in the evening before going to bed.
In order to administer a pessary, please tear the foil on top apart until it will be possible to remove the pessary easily.
How to stop taking imvaggis
As with all treatments if you want to stop taking them it is advisable to speak to a medical professional first. Especially as your symptoms will likely return upon stopping.
It is important to know what is in any new medication or treatment you decide to use, especially if you have any known allergies.
The active substance is estriol. Each pessary contains 0.03 mg estriol.
The other ingredients are: butylhydroxytoluene, glycerolmono/bis [(Z-R)-12-hydroxyoctadec-9-enoate], hard fat, macrogol cetostearyl ether.
Imvaggis side effects
In the same way as other medications, Imvaggis can cause some women to experience side effects:
It is an extremely well-tolerated medication and the most common (may affect up to 1 of 10 users) side effects are
- Vulvovaginal burning, itching and pain
- Discomfort when urinating (dysuria)
Uncommon (may affect up to 1 of 100 users) side effects are
- Vaginal discharge
- Anorectal discomfort
All of these side effects do tend to lessen as your body gets used to using the medication
For a full list of the side effects please read the patient information leaflet
Before you start taking any new medication, it is important to familiarise yourself with the possible health risks and side effects associated with this type of treatment. Carefully reading the Patient Information Leaflet that comes with your treatment will help.
Imvaggis is a low dose of oestrogen and can be used alongside other types of HRT, and may also be suitable for those who can’t or don’t want to use HRT.
As Imvaggis is oil-based, so shouldn’t be used alongside condoms or a diaphragm as it could damage the latex.
Imvaggis in pregnancy and breastfeeding
You should speak to your doctor or midwife if you think that you need this treatment if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Vaginal dryness can be common during breastfeeding due to changes in hormone levels - though it is important to discuss all the options before starting any medication during this time.