Vaginal Estrogens Do Not Affect Cancer, Cardiovascular Event Risk

Postmenopausal women who use vaginal estrogen are not at increased risk for cardiovascular events or cancer compared with those who do not use vaginal estrogen, suggesting the safety and efficacy of the therapy, according to findings published in Menopause. 

Carolyn J. Crandall, MD, MS, of the department of medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, and colleagues evaluated data from the Women’s Health Initiative observational study on 32,433 postmenopausal women without hysterectomy (3,003 users of vaginal estrogen during follow-up) and 14,133 postmenopausal women with hysterectomy (1,207 users of vaginal estrogenduring follow-up). Researchers sought to determine the association between the use of estrogen and risk for a global index event, defined as time to first occurrence of coronary heart disease, invasive breast cancer, stroke, pulmonary embolism, hip fracture, colorectal cancer, endometrial cancer or death from any cause. Follow-up was a mean of 6.4 years. The mean age of participants who never used vaginal estrogen was 64.8 years, and mean age of participants who used vaginal estrogen during follow-up was 65.5 years. 

The risk for invasive breast cancer, death, stroke, colorectal cancer and venous thromboembolism was similar between users and nonusers of vaginal estrogen after adjustment for age, education, past hormone therapy use, history of cancer, history of CVD, history of VTE, race/ethnicity, BMI, diabetes, physical activity level, hypertension, Gail model breast cancer risk score, previous fracture, smoking, household income and alcohol intake level. 

In an analysis of participants divided by hysterectomy status, the risk for several outcomes was lower among users compared with nonusers for a global index event (aHR = 0.68; 95% CI, 0.55-0.86), death (aHR = 0.62; 95% CI, 0.41-0.93), CHD (aHR = 0.39; 95% CI, 0.19-0.78) and hip fracture (aHR = 0.4; 95% CI, 0.16-0.96). 

“We did not observe an increased risk of cardiovascular disease or cancer among women using vaginal estrogen compared with nonusers,” the researchers wrote. “These findings should provide reassurance to women and their health providers regarding the safety of vaginal estrogen and will help to inform menopausal HT clinical decision-making.” – by Amber Cox 

Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Why Can't I Have an Orgasm?

Everyone deserves a satisfying sex life. And if you can’t orgasm, sexual activity can be frustrating and embarrassing. Instead of suffering in silence, it’s time to learn more about sexual dysfunction and the treatment options to fix it.

What Can I Do About My Impotence?

Struggling to perform in the bedroom is embarrassing. But if you have problems getting or maintaining an erection, you’re not alone. Millions of men suffer from impotence — and treatment can help. Learn what your treatment options are here.

Understanding Male Menopause

Menopause is a process that every woman experiences with age, but did you know hormonal imbalance (and its symptoms) aren’t just a women’s health issue? Male menopause is triggered by low testosterone, and it can impact your life in a number of ways.

How the O-Shot® Can Improve Your Sex Life

Low sex drive. Painful intercourse. Inability to orgasm. Sound familiar? You could be suffering from sexual dysfunction. It’s a real condition, and it’s treatable. Find out how the O-Shot® — a platelet-rich plasma therapy — could help you.

My Hormones Are Out of Balance

Hormones are important chemical messengers in your body. When they’re out of balance, you could experience a range of unpleasant symptoms. Learn the signs of hormone imbalance and what you can do to relieve your symptoms.

Help! I'm Struggling With Low Libido

Low libido can make you feel embarrassed, frustrated, and angry. It’s a common problem, but you don’t have to accept it. Learn more about sexual dysfunction, what causes it, and how you can treat it to revitalize your sex life.