Efficacy and safety of low-dose regimens of conjugated estrogens cream administered vaginally

Gloria Bachmann, Céline Bouchard, Diana Hoppe, Radhika Ranganath, Corrado Altomare, Alberta Vieweg, Jay Graepel, Eileen Helzner

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99 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of low-dose conjugated estrogens (CE) cream for treatment of atrophic vaginitis. METHODS: Postmenopausal women (N = 423) with moderate-to-severe vaginal atrophy were randomized to CE cream 0.3 mg or placebo once daily (21 days on/7 days off) or twice weekly for 12 weeks, followed by open-label treatment with CE cream for 40 weeks consistent with their prior regimen. Primary endpoints were changes in vaginal maturation index (VMI; percentage of superficial cells), vaginal pH, and severity of participant-reported most bothersome symptom (vaginal dryness, itching, burning, or dyspareunia) at week 12. Endometrial safety was assessed by transvaginal ultrasound and endometrial biopsy for 52 weeks. RESULTS: At week 12, improvements in VMI with daily and twice-weekly use of low-dose CE cream (27.9% and 25.8%, respectively) were significantly greater compared with placebo (3.0% and 1.0%, respectively; P < 0.001). Improvements in vaginal pH with daily and twice-weekly CE cream (-1.6 for both) were also significantly greater relative to placebo (-0.4 and -0.3, respectively; P < 0.001). VMI and vaginal pH responses were sustained through 52 weeks. Both CE cream regimens significantly reduced most bothersome symptom scores compared with placebo (P ≤ 0.001), including those for dyspareunia (P ≤ 0.01). There was no report of endometrial hyperplasia or carcinoma. Adverse events occurred with similar frequency among the active and placebo groups during the double-blind phase. CONCLUSIONS: Daily and twice-weekly use of low-dose CE cream was equally effective in relieving symptoms of vulvovaginal atrophy. Both regimens showed endometrial safety and sustained efficacy during 1 year of therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)719-727
Number of pages9
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


  • Atrophic vaginitis
  • Conjugated estrogens
  • Endometrial hyperplasia
  • Postmenopausal
  • Premarin Vaginal Cream
  • Vaginal cream


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