Factors associated with developing vaginal dryness symptoms in women transitioning through menopause: A longitudinal study

Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: To evaluate factors associated with incident self-reported vaginal dryness and the consequences of this symptom across the menopausal transition in a multiracial/ethnic cohort of community-dwelling women. Methods: We analyzed questionnaire and biomarker data from baseline and 13 approximately annual visits over 17 years (1996-2013) from 2,435 participants in the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation, a prospective cohort study. We used discrete-time Cox proportional-hazards regression to identify predictors of incident vaginal dryness and to evaluate vaginal dryness as a predictor of pain during intercourse and changes in sexual intercourse frequency. Results: The prevalence of vaginal dryness increased from 19.4% among all women at baseline (ages 42-53 years) to 34.0% at the 13th visit (ages 57-69 years). Advancing menopausal stage, surgical menopause, anxiety, and being married were positively associated with developing vaginal dryness, regardless of partnered sexual activity. For women not using hormone therapy, higher concurrent levels of endogenous estradiol were inversely associated (multivariable-adjusted hazard ratio: 0.94 per 0.5 standard deviation increase, 95% confidence interval: 0.91-0.98). Concurrent testosterone levels, concurrent dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate levels, and longitudinal change in any reproductive hormone were not associated with developing vaginal dryness. Both vaginal dryness and lubricant use were associated with subsequent reporting of pain during intercourse, but not with a decline in intercourse frequency. Conclusion: In these longitudinal analyses, our data support many clinical observations about the relationship between vaginal dryness, menopause, and pain during intercourse, and suggest that reporting of vaginal dryness is not related to androgen level or sexual intercourse frequency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1094-1104
Number of pages11
JournalMenopause
Volume25
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

Fingerprint

Menopause
Longitudinal Studies
Coitus
Pain
Hormones
Independent Living
Lubricants
Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate
Women's Health
Sexual Behavior
Androgens
Testosterone
Estradiol
Cohort Studies
Anxiety
Biomarkers
Prospective Studies
Confidence Intervals
Therapeutics

Keywords

  • Dyspareunia
  • Menopause
  • Sexual function
  • Vaginal dryness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

Cite this

Factors associated with developing vaginal dryness symptoms in women transitioning through menopause : A longitudinal study. / Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN).

In: Menopause, Vol. 25, No. 10, 01.01.2018, p. 1094-1104.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN). / Factors associated with developing vaginal dryness symptoms in women transitioning through menopause : A longitudinal study. In: Menopause. 2018 ; Vol. 25, No. 10. pp. 1094-1104.
@article{bfdcd3f26e114a14b6935fcf9b5b0b76,
title = "Factors associated with developing vaginal dryness symptoms in women transitioning through menopause: A longitudinal study",
abstract = "Objective: To evaluate factors associated with incident self-reported vaginal dryness and the consequences of this symptom across the menopausal transition in a multiracial/ethnic cohort of community-dwelling women. Methods: We analyzed questionnaire and biomarker data from baseline and 13 approximately annual visits over 17 years (1996-2013) from 2,435 participants in the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation, a prospective cohort study. We used discrete-time Cox proportional-hazards regression to identify predictors of incident vaginal dryness and to evaluate vaginal dryness as a predictor of pain during intercourse and changes in sexual intercourse frequency. Results: The prevalence of vaginal dryness increased from 19.4{\%} among all women at baseline (ages 42-53 years) to 34.0{\%} at the 13th visit (ages 57-69 years). Advancing menopausal stage, surgical menopause, anxiety, and being married were positively associated with developing vaginal dryness, regardless of partnered sexual activity. For women not using hormone therapy, higher concurrent levels of endogenous estradiol were inversely associated (multivariable-adjusted hazard ratio: 0.94 per 0.5 standard deviation increase, 95{\%} confidence interval: 0.91-0.98). Concurrent testosterone levels, concurrent dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate levels, and longitudinal change in any reproductive hormone were not associated with developing vaginal dryness. Both vaginal dryness and lubricant use were associated with subsequent reporting of pain during intercourse, but not with a decline in intercourse frequency. Conclusion: In these longitudinal analyses, our data support many clinical observations about the relationship between vaginal dryness, menopause, and pain during intercourse, and suggest that reporting of vaginal dryness is not related to androgen level or sexual intercourse frequency.",
keywords = "Dyspareunia, Menopause, Sexual function, Vaginal dryness",
author = "{Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN)} and {Elaine Waetjen}, L. and Crawford, {Sybil L.} and Chang, {Po Yin} and Reed, {Barbara D.} and Rachel Hess and Avis, {Nancy E.} and Harlow, {Sioban D.} and Greendale, {Gail A.} and Dugan, {Sheila A.} and Gold, {Ellen B}",
year = "2018",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1097/GME.0000000000001130",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "25",
pages = "1094--1104",
journal = "Menopause",
issn = "1072-3714",
publisher = "Lippincott Williams and Wilkins",
number = "10",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Factors associated with developing vaginal dryness symptoms in women transitioning through menopause

T2 - A longitudinal study

AU - Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN)

AU - Elaine Waetjen, L.

AU - Crawford, Sybil L.

AU - Chang, Po Yin

AU - Reed, Barbara D.

AU - Hess, Rachel

AU - Avis, Nancy E.

AU - Harlow, Sioban D.

AU - Greendale, Gail A.

AU - Dugan, Sheila A.

AU - Gold, Ellen B

PY - 2018/1/1

Y1 - 2018/1/1

N2 - Objective: To evaluate factors associated with incident self-reported vaginal dryness and the consequences of this symptom across the menopausal transition in a multiracial/ethnic cohort of community-dwelling women. Methods: We analyzed questionnaire and biomarker data from baseline and 13 approximately annual visits over 17 years (1996-2013) from 2,435 participants in the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation, a prospective cohort study. We used discrete-time Cox proportional-hazards regression to identify predictors of incident vaginal dryness and to evaluate vaginal dryness as a predictor of pain during intercourse and changes in sexual intercourse frequency. Results: The prevalence of vaginal dryness increased from 19.4% among all women at baseline (ages 42-53 years) to 34.0% at the 13th visit (ages 57-69 years). Advancing menopausal stage, surgical menopause, anxiety, and being married were positively associated with developing vaginal dryness, regardless of partnered sexual activity. For women not using hormone therapy, higher concurrent levels of endogenous estradiol were inversely associated (multivariable-adjusted hazard ratio: 0.94 per 0.5 standard deviation increase, 95% confidence interval: 0.91-0.98). Concurrent testosterone levels, concurrent dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate levels, and longitudinal change in any reproductive hormone were not associated with developing vaginal dryness. Both vaginal dryness and lubricant use were associated with subsequent reporting of pain during intercourse, but not with a decline in intercourse frequency. Conclusion: In these longitudinal analyses, our data support many clinical observations about the relationship between vaginal dryness, menopause, and pain during intercourse, and suggest that reporting of vaginal dryness is not related to androgen level or sexual intercourse frequency.

AB - Objective: To evaluate factors associated with incident self-reported vaginal dryness and the consequences of this symptom across the menopausal transition in a multiracial/ethnic cohort of community-dwelling women. Methods: We analyzed questionnaire and biomarker data from baseline and 13 approximately annual visits over 17 years (1996-2013) from 2,435 participants in the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation, a prospective cohort study. We used discrete-time Cox proportional-hazards regression to identify predictors of incident vaginal dryness and to evaluate vaginal dryness as a predictor of pain during intercourse and changes in sexual intercourse frequency. Results: The prevalence of vaginal dryness increased from 19.4% among all women at baseline (ages 42-53 years) to 34.0% at the 13th visit (ages 57-69 years). Advancing menopausal stage, surgical menopause, anxiety, and being married were positively associated with developing vaginal dryness, regardless of partnered sexual activity. For women not using hormone therapy, higher concurrent levels of endogenous estradiol were inversely associated (multivariable-adjusted hazard ratio: 0.94 per 0.5 standard deviation increase, 95% confidence interval: 0.91-0.98). Concurrent testosterone levels, concurrent dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate levels, and longitudinal change in any reproductive hormone were not associated with developing vaginal dryness. Both vaginal dryness and lubricant use were associated with subsequent reporting of pain during intercourse, but not with a decline in intercourse frequency. Conclusion: In these longitudinal analyses, our data support many clinical observations about the relationship between vaginal dryness, menopause, and pain during intercourse, and suggest that reporting of vaginal dryness is not related to androgen level or sexual intercourse frequency.

KW - Dyspareunia

KW - Menopause

KW - Sexual function

KW - Vaginal dryness

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85063054991&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85063054991&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1097/GME.0000000000001130

DO - 10.1097/GME.0000000000001130

M3 - Article

C2 - 29916947

AN - SCOPUS:85063054991

VL - 25

SP - 1094

EP - 1104

JO - Menopause

JF - Menopause

SN - 1072-3714

IS - 10

ER -