Meredith, a 45 year old woman who regularly listens to my radio show the CKNW Sunday Night Sex Show emailed me to ask about the differences between the hormone-free personal moisturizers Replens® vs. RepaGyn®. Meredith had tried Replens® for her vaginal dryness but was still experiencing pain with intercourse and she wondered if RepaGyn® might be a better choice for her, but didn’t know if there was any difference between the two products.
Given the variety of personal moisturizers available, it is so important that a woman chooses the right product for the right reasons. Knowing the ingredients of a personal moisturizer and how it works is one important aspect of optimizing treatment.
Whenever any treatment is not working, I recommend patients speak to their doctor about discontinuing use and/or switching to another option. In this case, both personal moisturizers that Meredith was inquiring about (Replens® and RepaGyn®) are over the counter, so Meredith is free to choose another personal moisturizer as neither requires a doctor’s prescription.
One of the key benefits of RepaGyn® (apart from being hormone free and providing long-lasting moisturization) is that it has the additional benefit of helping to promote healing of the vaginal mucosa (tissue). If the vaginal mucosa does not heal then Meredith may continue to experience vaginal dryness as she was while using Replens® which just provides the moisturization aspect. Healing the vaginal tissues is rather important because dry tissues can tear and bleed, something many women do not realize is happening.
My Recommendation for Meredith
I suggested that Meredith use a personal lubricant during intercourse, and I also recommended that she switch . Meredith took my advice and started using RepaGyn® for her vaginal dryness. Within two weeks, she noticed a difference in the degree of her vaginal pain with intercourse – she found it helpful to use a personal lubricant, as I had recommended, helping reduce friction to decrease sexual pain. By the end of two months, Meredith no longer required the use of a personal lubricant as her sex was as she said, “Pain-free once again thanks to RepaGyn®,” which she used (as directed) vaginally once daily at bedtime.
I took the opportunity to educate Meredith that if her vaginal dryness progressed to other symptoms such as post-coital bleeding, burning, itching, recurrent urinary tract infection, thin watery discharge and/or leakage of urine, she may require treatment with a low dose localized estrogen therapy. But for now, continuing with RepaGyn® was just what the “nurse” ordered to keep her going back to the bedroom.