Vagifem Vaginal Tablets

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Vagifem Vaginal Tablets
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Vagifem - Vaginal Dryness Pessaries

Vagifem pessaries are hormone replacement therapy (HRT) tablets used to treat vaginal dryness and irritation associated with the menopause. These tablets are applied directly inside your vagina using a convenient, smooth plastic applicator, giving localised relief from menopausal symptoms.

Vagifem (also called vaginal tablets) are available on prescription from The Independent Pharmacy for menopausal women. To get Vagifem delivered directly to your door, why not complete a short online consultation with us today.

  • Suitable for age:18 years +
  • Maximum per order:1
  • Consultation required?Yes

Vagifem Information

  • What is Vagifem?

    Vagifem vaginal tablets are a form of HRT for women who are experiencing symptoms of the menopause that are mostly vaginal dryness and discomfort. Vagifem contains only the female sex hormone estradiol, which is a form of oestrogen that is exactly like the oestrogen produced by the ovaries.

    The menopause can cause some women to experience a range of different unpleasant symptoms that are all a result of the ovaries no longer producing eggs and a drop in levels of female sex hormones in the blood.

    Because Vagifem tablets are inserted directly into the vagina the oestrogen works at the site of the problem. Vagifem is, therefore, an excellent choice of HRT for women that are affected by vaginal dryness, irritation, pain and problems with urination but do not need treatment for other menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes.

    What is Vagifem used for?

    In some menopausal women, the drop in oestrogen levels can cause vaginal dryness, itching and irritation, which can result in pain and possibly bleeding during intercourse. Vagifem replenishes lost estrogen levels inside the vagina and is used to directly relieve these symptoms known as “vaginal atrophy”.

    Vagifem to treat bladder problems

    Although Vagifem is primarily prescribed to treat discomfort associated with the vagina, it has also demonstrated that it can be effective for some women at reducing issues with the bladder and urinary tract, such as painful urination and urinary incontinence.

    How does Vagifem work?

    Like other HRT, Vagifem works by restoring the female body’s estrogen levels, which before the menopause would have been produced by the ovaries.

    Because Vagifem tablets are inserted directly into the vagina instead of swallowed, the estrogen is absorbed directly where it is needed relieving discomfort without the same increased risks associated with oral HRT tablets.

    What are the benefits of Vagifem?

    Vagifem has the same benefits as other topical vaginal treatments, such as creams or vaginal rings for menopausal symptoms. These topical treatments have been shown to effectively reduce vaginal and urinary symptoms to the same extent of oral HRT but without the same risks and side effects.

    Further to its effectiveness, because Vagifem is inserted directly into the vagina a smaller dose of estrogen is needed, to reduce symptoms, then if it is taken orally, again making experiencing side effects less likely when using topical HRT.

    Is Vagifem safe?

    Vagifem has been used internationally to treat millions of women with symptoms of the menopause since 1999 and its use has been widely researched to indicate its effectiveness.

    However, like other HRT, Vagifem can cause some women to experience unwanted side effects and it may not be suitable for all women due to certain risks. You can find out more information about the warnings and precautions associated with Vagifem on the Warnings section of this page.

    Vagifem - weight loss & weight gain

    There is no current evidence that suggests that there is a link between using any form of HRT and weight gain or weight loss, however, in rare circumstances, women have reported putting on weight when using it.

    Using estrogen-only HRT such as Vagifem can cause swelling of the body due to fluid retention which also may make women feel bloated. This normally improves within the first 3 months.

    Women that are also of menopausal age also tend to notice an increase in their weight regardless of whether they are using any form of HRT, or not. It is therefore recommended that you should continue to get regular exercise and eat a balanced diet to maintain a healthy weight.

    Alternatives to Vagifem

    Vagifem is a topical or local HRT that is inserted directly into the vagina, as a tablet or pessary, to reduce symptoms of the menopause. Using a small tablet such as Vagifem is the most common form of topical oestrogen.

    Menopausal women who are looking for another form of localised oestrogen can also receive a prescription of either a cream, gel or a vaginal ring that is similarly inserted inside the vagina and the creams and gels can also be spread on to the surrounding skin.

    You can also use vaginal lubricants such as Sylk, Replens MD or Canesintima alongside Vagifem vaginal tablets to help decrease discomfort experienced during the day and whilst having sex.

    At The Independent Pharmacy, we offer a range of HRT on prescription, including those taken orally and patches. For more information about available treatments, take a look at our Advice for Menopause (HRT) page.

    You should speak to a doctor if you are suffering from symptoms of the menopause, they will be able to discuss the best HRT options for you.

    Sources

  • Vagifem warnings

    • You should not use Vagifem if you have unexplained vaginal bleeding, thickening of the womb lining, liver disease, you have ever had breast cancer or other estrogen-sensitive cancers or have ever had a blood clot or have a clotting disorder.
    • Speak to your doctor before using Vagifem if you have asthma, epilepsy, diabetes, gallstones, high blood pressure, suffer from migraines or severe headaches, endometriosis, otosclerosis, SLE or fibroids inside your womb.
    • You should tell your doctor before using Vagifem if you are currently or have recently stopped using any prescribed or non-prescribed medication.

    Vagifem and cancer

    Oestrogen-only HRT taken orally can increase the risk of developing cancer of the womb lining and also that of cervical cancers and breast cancers. Because Vagifem vaginal tablets have a very low absorption rate of oestrogen into the bloodstream it is, therefore, less likely to cause cancers.

    It continues to be very important, however, for all women that take any form of HRT to attend regular health check-ups with their GP and to also regularly check their own breasts for changes and to see a doctor if they experience any abnormal vaginal bleeding.

    Vagifem and blood clots

    Using any form of HRT including Vagifem can slightly increase your chances of developing a blood clot in a vein or experiencing a stroke. You should see a doctor immediately if you think you are developing symptoms of a blood clot.

    The following people are at an even higher risk of developing a blood clot and you should speak to a doctor before using Vagifem if any of them apply to you:

    • You are immobile for an extended amount of time due to surgery, injury or illness.
    • Your BMI is over 30.
    • Your close relatives have ever had a blood clot.
    • You have systemic lupus erythematosus.
    • You have cancer.

    Pregnancy and breastfeeding

    Vagifem® is for use in postmenopausal women only. If you become pregnant, stop using Vagifem® and contact your doctor.

    You must read the Patient Information Leaflet thoroughly before using Vagifem tablets.

    Vagifem and pregnancy

    Vagifem should only be used by postmenopausal women and is not a contraceptive. If you are under 50 years old or have had a natural period in the last 12 months you should speak to a doctor about contraceptive options.

    If you become pregnant while using Vagifem you should stop using this medication and speak to a doctor for advice.

  • Vagifem dosage

    • You will use 1 vaginal tablet a day for the first 2 weeks.
    • After the first 2 weeks, you will use 1 vaginal tablet every 3-4 days.

    Vagifem is suitable for menopausal women over the age of 18 years who have been prescribed it by a doctor.

    You should only insert Vagifem tablets into the vagina. You should not take this medication orally.

    Each tablet is pre-inserted into a single-use applicator. You will need to open a new applicator for every dose of Vagifem.

    How to use Vagifem

    1. Wash your hands and dry them thoroughly before and after use.
    2. Open one applicator from the end, and take it out of the packet without touching the insertion end.
    3. Insert the end of the applicator containing the tablet inside the vagina until you reach some resistance, this will be approximately 8-10cm.
    4. Release the tablet by pushing down on the plunger end of the applicator until you feel it click.
    5. Take out the applicator and throw it away in the bin.

    You must read the Patient Information Leaflet thoroughly before using Vagifem tablets.

    Can you use Vagifem more than twice a week?

    Vagifem should only be used as directed in the Patient Information Leaflet or as advised by your doctor. In the first 2 weeks of treatment, you will insert 1 Vagifem tablet into the vagina every day. After this, you must only use 1 tablet twice a week.

    If you do not feel that Vagifem is working for you, do not use more than is recommended, you should discuss your options with a doctor or pharmacist.

    How to stop taking Vagifem

    You should speak to your doctor before stopping using Vagifem. Your doctor will explain the effects of stopping treatment and they will be able to discuss the possibilities for further treatment with you.

  • Vagifem Ingredients

    Each Vagifem vaginal tablet contains the active ingredient: 10 micrograms of estradiol hemihydrate.

    Each Vagifem vaginal tablet contains the inactive ingredients: hypromellose, lactose monohydrate, maize starch and magnesium stearate, hypromellose and macrogol 6000.

    You must read the Patient Information Leaflet thoroughly before using Vagifem tablets.

  • Vagifem side effects

    In the same way as other HRT, Vagifem can cause some women to experience side effects. These symptoms are less common and less severe than in women who take oral HRT.

    If you are concerned about any side effects or you do not feel that they are improving over the first few months you should discuss this with a doctor or pharmacist.

    If you experience a severe side effect or have an allergic reaction you must seek medical support from your nearest emergency department as soon as possible.

    Most commonly women who use Vagifem report the following side effects:

    • Headaches
    • Stomach pain and nausea
    • Vaginal bleeding, discharge or discomfort
    • Vaginal thrush
    • Rash
    • Weight gain or fluid retention
    • Hot flush
    • High blood pressure

    You must read the Patient Information Leaflet thoroughly before using Vagifem tablets.

Vagifem Vaginal Tablets reviews

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