The first product approved by the FDA to treat sexual symptoms of menopause contains the active ingredient prasterone — also known as dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). It is a dietary supplement that has been previously found to help treat sexual dysfunction associated with menopause.
Prasterone (Intrarosa), is a once-daily vaginal insert designed to help alleviate moderate or severe pain during sexual intercourse in post-menopausal women. The approval of Intrarosa is the FDA’s first for any DHEA-containing product and warns that the safety and efficacy of over-the-counter DHEA. The FDA further explains that, ”Prasterone has not been established for diagnosing, curing, mitigating, treating, or preventing any disease.”
Jeffrey Obron, MD, says, ”Pain during sexual intercourse is a very frequent symptom shared by postmenopausal women, this additional treatment option is for women seeking relief from vulvar and vaginal atrophy also called VVA, which is what causes the discomfort.”
“In clinical trials women with moderate to severe dyspareunia, the severity of pain decreased in two 12- week placebo-controlled studies,” explains Dr. Obron. The most common adverse reaction, according to the FDA, were vaginal discharge and abnormal pap smear results.
Dr. Obron suggests having a discussion with your gynecologist about Intrarosa and its potential use if you are challenged by VVA.