Vaginal health of postmenopausal women on nutraceutical containing equol

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Abstract

Objective:

The aim of the study was to evaluate the effects of nutraceuticals containing equol on vaginal health of postmenopausal women with vulvovaginal symptoms and dyspareunia.

Methods:

One hundred twenty-six natural postmenopausal women on +1b +1c (2 and 3-6 y after the final menstrual period, respectively) of the Stages of Reproductive Aging Workshop were enrolled in a nonrandomized trial. Of these, 72 women accepted to use nutraceutical (group A). The remaining 54 women refused the treatment and participated as the control group (group B). Group A was prescribed one tablet daily to take orally, for 8 months. All assessments were made at baseline and at 4 and 8 months. Determination of vaginal maturation index (VMI), evaluation of vaginal pH, and assessment of vaginal atrophy symptoms by the vaginal health index (VHI) were carried out. Dyspareunia score was also measured.

Results:

Group A had a significant increase in VMI (68 ± 5 vs 58 ± 8) and improvement of vaginal pH (4.1 ± 1.3 vs 5.1 ± 1.7) compared with baseline, mainly after 8 months of treatment (P < 0.001). Group A had an improvement of VHI after 4 (13 ± 3, P < 0.01) and 8 (16 ± 2, P < 0.001) months of nutraceutical intake. Dyspareunia reduced after 8 months (5.1 ± 1.3 vs 3.8 ± 1.2, P < 0.001) but not after 4 months (4.7 ± 1.1, P = 0.06) of treatment. Group B showed no changes from baseline evaluation (P = 0.22).

Conclusions:

Nutraceuticals containing equol could be effective in modulating postmenopausal symptoms, particularly vaginal symptoms, and could be well accepted by the women who usually do not wish to use hormone therapy or cannot use it for medical reasons.

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