Non-Estrogen Options for Vaginal Dryness

The University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
Last Modified: December 13, 2011


I am interested in something other than low dose estrogen to help with vaginal dryness and spotting. Is there something 'natural' - no estrogen, no phytoestrogen, no xenoestsrogen for ER 100% positive patients?


Kevin Fox, MD, Medical Oncologist at Penn , responds:

There does not appear to be an immediate need for vaginal estrogen, so I think you are correct to avoid it. The best vaginal lubricants that do not contain estrogen-like substances are brands like Astroglide and KY.
I do not think it is necessary to avoid soy substances if you have ER positive breast cancer. I do not think it is necessary or wise to take soy supplements, and it is clear that you are not.
The only food substance that we really restrict is alcohol. One drink every other day is appropriate, but more than one drink per day is probably not.

Carolyn Vachani, RN, MSN, AOCN OncoLink Nurse Educator adds:

Vaginal dryness is a very common problem after cancer treatment and this often leads to painful during intercourse. There are 2 products that we recommend women try- in combination. Vaginal lubricants (such as KY, astroglide, etc.) are used during intercourse. Vaginal moisturizers (Replens) are designed to help vaginal tissue regain elasticity and moisture. Replens should be used 3 times a week for a minimum of 3 months, as it can take this long to achieve the desired effects. These are non-hormonal products.
This article on OncoLink may be helpful.

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat. Series, View the Life After Breast Cancer transcript.


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