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Effect of Vitamin E on the Vaginal Atrophy of Postmenopausal Women

      Objectives

      Vaginal atrophy is a silent epidemic that affects up to 50%-60% of postmenopausal women. Local,low-dose estrogen preparations are considered first-line pharmacologic treatment. For women concerned about hormone use a number of over-the-counter (OTC) vaginal moisturizer and lubricant products are considered first-line nonhormonal treatments. It has been reported that vitamin E vaginal gel improved the symptoms of volvovaginal atrophy However, oral vitamin E has never been well tested in a randomized clinical trial for efficacy against vaginal atrophy. Therefore the objective of this study is to assess the effect of vitamin E on the vaginal maturation index (VMI) of post menopausal women.

      Methods

      Participants in this placebo-controlled randomized cross over trial were 60 menopausal women who 4-12 months passed from their menopause. After randomization the women were given medication blister pack cards that contained an 8-week supply of study medication (400IU of vitamin E or placebo daily). Following 1-week no treatment , baseline period, the first group received one vitamin E soft gel daily (400IU dl-Alpha-tocopheryl acetate) while the second group received placebo for four weeks. In order to eliminate the carry over effect of cross over trial, one week washout was considered. Then the medication was reversed for each group and the study was continuing for another four weeks.Vaginal maturation index of the women before any intervention and after the first and second stage of treatment was evaluated.

      Results

      The study groups were homogeneous regarding age, BMI, time since menopause, educational and job status. No statistically significant differences were observed in the percentage of superficial, intermediate and parabasal cells within the groups at baseline and after the first and second stage of treatment.

      Conclusions

      Based on our trial treatment with vitamin E for 4 weeks has no effect on the maturation of the vaginal epithelium in postmenopausal women.