Gina – an Over-the-Counter Treatment for Vaginal Dryness

Menapausal women
Gabananda at Pixabay

Menopause causes a variety of uncomfortable symptoms, they include sweats, sleep problems, mood changes, brain fog and weight gain. But there’s one symptom many women feel unable to talk about and that’s vaginal dryness.

What is Estrogen?

Estrogen is a female hormone which helps to regulate your periods. But it also affects your skin, bones, heart and blood vessels, your brain, and your pelvic muscles.

By the time you reach between 45 and 55, your hormone levels begin to drop and the lack of estrogen in your body produces perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms.

Vaginal dryness

One of the common symptoms of menopause is vaginal dryness or vaginal atrophy.  This means that the tissue surrounding your vagina starts thinning and it loses some of its elasticity. It can lead to itching and cause discomfort during sex.

Treatment for vaginal dryness

There is a new vaginal dryness treatment available over the counter at your pharmacy.

The treatment is called Gina and they are tablets that contain 10 micrograms of estradiol. Estradiol is the form of estrogen made mainly by your ovaries.

How does Gina work?

Using Estradiol tablets will ease the symptoms of vaginal dryness. Gina is a form of low dose HRT, and you place the tablets, using an applicator directly into your vagina. The hormone is then gradually released into the vaginal tissue.

Because Gina is available without a prescription it will only be available to women aged 50 or over who haven’t had a period for at least a year.  

If, however, you have had breast, ovarian or endometrial cancer, heart or liver diseases or you have suffered a stroke or blood clots then you will need to talk to your doctor. Your doctor can then decide whether or not to prescribe Gina to you.

At the pharmacy

Your pharmacist has a short list of questions you need to answer before you can make your purchase. If when you answer the questions, if it looks like you don’t have vaginal atrophy, your pharmacist will advise you to make an appointment to see your doctor as your symptoms may need further investigation.

You can also buy Gina If you have had endometriosis, but if you have previously used vaginal estrogen and you haven’t recently suffered from the condition.

Women who are already taking systemic HRT can’t buy Gina unless their doctor has confirmed the treatment as an option, or they have had vaginal estrogen in the past without problems.

How much do the tablets cost?

A packet of 24 tablets will cost £30.00. It is recommended that you take one tablet a day for two weeks and after that, you take a maintenance dose of 2 tablets a week. That means after the first month a packet of 30 tablets will last you for 12 weeks.

If you would like to give Gina tablets a try, come and talk to us at the pharmacy and we’ll go through the checklist with you.

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