Authors: Labrie F, Archer D, Bouchard C, Fortier M, Cusan L, Gomez JL, Girard G, Baron M, Ayotte N, Moreau M, Dubé R, Côté I, Labrie C, Lavoie L, Berger L, Gilbert L, Martel C, Balser J.
Publication Year: 2009
Citation: Menopause 2009; 16(5):907-22.
This randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial studied the effects of 3 doses of DHEA or placebo given as daily vaginal suppositories for 12 weeks in 216 postmenopausal women with vaginal dryness. The suppositories were inserted at bedtime using an applicator. All measures of vaginal changes (pH, percentage of vaginal parabasal and supeerficial cells, vaginal secretions, and symptoms) showed an improvement after 2 weeks of treatment with all 3 DHEA doses compared to placebo. The cream did not cause serum steroid hormone levels to increase, unlike estrogen formulations applied intravaginally. DHEA converts naturally to active androgens, such as testosterone, in tissues, and this local conversion is postulated as causing the beneficial effects on vaginal physiology without raising systemic hormone levels.