Postmenopausal women suffer with a lot of problems due to chronic lack of estrogen. The common problems associated with menopause are vasomotor instability, vaginal dryness and atrophy, urinary tract infections and other urinary symptoms like increased frequency, urgency and incontinence, osteoporosis, etc (Schaffer, 1996).
Around 45% of postmenopausal women may complain of symptoms related to vaginal atrophy. It is generally found that 10-15% of the women suffer from vaginal dryness within a year after menopause whereas 40-45% complain of the same problem with five years of menopause. Therefore, a lot of postmenopausal women are put on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to overcome one or more of these above mentioned symptoms. These symptoms affect the quality of life of postmenopausal women to a greater extent. They not only reduce their daily activities but also lead to social isolation and depression (G, 1993).
HRT is quite effective in relieving postmenopausal symptoms. A meta-analysis of 10 trials shows that HRT resulted in significant improvement in all the outcome measures (Cardozo, 1998). It further showed that vaginal estrogen provide more symptomatic relief compared to other routes of administration. But it was identified that only a few studies provided results beyond 6 months of HRT use.
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