Geraldine came into my clinical practice because her doctor had prescribed a low dose localized estrogen for her to use with her pessary. A pessary is a medical grade silicone device that is used to support a bladder or uterus that has fallen down in a woman.
Geraldine’s doctor prescribed a twice per week regime for her after using it nightly for two weeks. By the end of two weeks, Geraldine noticed her breasts were feeling tender. She said she mentioned this to her doctor and he intimated that her breast tenderness would resolve once she cut down her dosing to twice per week.
Geraldine said she was very disappointed when after two weeks of using localized estrogen as prescribed, the breast tenderness persisted. She came to see me to see if I had any ideas on what should could do.
I explained to Geraldine that the estrogen in the cream that the doctor prescribed was low dose but occasionally some women felt breast tenderness which may be a sign that the estrogen may have crossed into her systemic system. The breast tenderness was very uncomfortable for her and as a competitive tennis player, it was even more bothersome, she said.
She was delighted that, because of the pessary she could step back out onto the court but disappointed that her breasts were sore from the moment she served. I reiterated to Geraldine the importance of keeping the vaginal tissues moist especially when a woman has a pessary to help to prevent any irritation. The fact that her tissues had lost their elasticity due to her post-menopausal status may have been a contributing factor to her prolapse.
I suggested Geraldine try Gynatrof a gel that has ingredients like hyaluronic acid and vitamin E to keep her vaginal tissues supple. She liked the idea that it was hormone-free and was willing to try it. I demonstrated how to insert the Gynatrof using the applicator.
One month later, Geraldine returned to let me know that she no longer was experiencing breast tenderness after using Gynatrof for just a couple of weeks. It is important that women have choices for their vaginal health so they can remain active and healthy. Education on vaginal health is key.
Maureen McGrath is a Registered Nurse host of the Sunday Night Sex Show on News Talk 980 CKNW, feminist, women’s health expert and a 2016 TED speaker on the Sexless Marriage. Her book is available on Amazon.ca : Sex & Health: Why One Can’t Come Without The Other. She is recipient of the Vancouver Board of Trade Community Catalyst Award 2016 and a finalist for YWCA Women of Distinction.