Experiencing Moderate to Severe Painful Sex After Menopause? You're Not Alone.

Featured Article, Osphena
on September 15, 2015
Menopause and Sex
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The postmenopausal stage of a woman’s life can last up to three decades. And it’s estimated that many American women are affected by a common medical issue that few are willing to talk about.

The condition is dyspareunia, or painful sex due to menopause, and it’s caused by changes that occur in the vaginal wall when estrogen levels decline during menopause. There are many changes that happen in a woman’s body as she goes through menopause; however, moderate to severe dyspareunia can be one of the most bothersome symptoms and it can worsen over time.

Painful sex after menopause is a reality for many women.

Patti G., a paid spokesperson for Shionogi, is breaking the silence around a sensitive topic.

Now, a real patient—Patti G.—is breaking the silence surrounding this sensitive topic by appearing in a new television ad. She is a middle-aged woman from New Jersey who decided to talk candidly about her own experience with moderate to severe painful sex after menopause. Patti is a paid spokesperson for Shionogi Inc. and is working with them to promote Osphena® (ospemifene), the only oral, non-estrogen pill for moderate to severe painful sex due to menopause.

Osphena works like estrogen in the lining of the uterus, but can work differently in other parts of the body. Taking estrogen alone or Osphena may increase your chance for getting cancer of the lining of the uterus. Vaginal bleeding after menopause may be a warning sign of cancer of the lining of the uterus. Your healthcare provider should check any unusual vaginal bleeding to find out the cause; so tell them right away if this happens while you are using Osphena.

Osphena may increase your chance of getting strokes and blood clots.

You and your healthcare provider should talk regularly about whether you still need treatment with Osphena.   

“I leapt at the chance to talk about my problem publicly because so many women are uncomfortable speaking about it,” said Patti. “It’s important for women to know they’re not alone and they should talk to their doctor, because help may be available.”

Her clinician, Andrea Price, M.D., is also featured in the ad and explained that there are very few women who feel comfortable speaking about the topic of painful sex after menopause. “Dyspareunia is one of those very personal medical conditions that many women and even some healthcare providers have a difficult time discussing, which can result in women not being treated,” she said. “There are a number of prescription treatment options available, including Osphena, which can significantly relieve moderate to severe painful sex due to menopause.

While lubricants can offer temporary relief, they won’t address the underlying issue, which can get worse over time. Osphena can help improve specific vaginal tissue and most women experience relief in about 12 weeks.

Osphena is not for everyone. Osphena should not be used if you have unusual vaginal bleeding; have or have had certain types of cancers (including cancer of the breast or uterus); have or had blood clots; had a stroke or heart attack; have severe liver problems; are allergic to Osphena or any of its ingredients; or think you may be pregnant. Tell your healthcare provider if you are going to have surgery or will be on bed rest.

Serious but less common side effects can include stroke, blood clots, and cancer of the lining of the uterus. Common side effects can include hot flashes, vaginal discharge, muscle spasms and increased sweating.

Dr. Price said she applauds Patti for speaking up and hopes other women will feel empowered to have a conversation with their healthcare providers. Don’t be embarrassed or assume that this is a normal side effect of menopause. Be proactive and talk to your clinician about treatment options.   

For more information and to download a discussion guide, go to www.painfulsexaftermenopause.com.

What is Osphena® (ospemifene) tablets?

Osphena is a prescription oral pill that treats moderate to severe painful intercourse, a symptom of changes in and around your vagina, due to menopause.

Important Safety Information for Osphena

Most Important Information you should know about Osphena

Osphena works like estrogen in the lining of the uterus, but can work differently in other parts of the body. Taking estrogen alone or Osphena may increase your chance for getting cancer of the lining of the uterus. Vaginal bleeding after menopause may be a warning sign of cancer of the lining of the uterus.  Your healthcare provider should check any unusual vaginal bleeding to find out the cause; so tell them right away if this happens while you are using Osphena.

Osphena may increase your chance of getting strokes and blood clots.

You and your healthcare provider should talk regularly about whether you still need treatment with Osphena.

Call your healthcare provider right away if you get changes in vision or speech, sudden new severe headaches, and severe pains in your chest or legs with or without shortness of breath, weakness and fatigue. Osphena should not be used if you have unusual vaginal bleeding; have or have had certain types of cancers (including cancer of the breast or uterus); have or had blood clots; had a stroke or heart attack; have severe liver problems; are allergic to Osphena or any of its ingredients; or think you may be pregnant. Tell your healthcare provider if you are going to have surgery or will be on bed rest.

Possible side effects of Osphena

Serious but less common side effects can include stroke, blood clots, and cancer of the lining of the uterus.

Common side effects can include hot flashes, vaginal discharge, muscle spasms and increased sweating.

Tell your healthcare provider about all of the medicines and supplements you take as some medicines may affect how Osphena works. Osphena may also affect how other medicines work.

Please click here for Full Prescribing Information, including Boxed WARNING.