Objective: To disclose a clinical and histopathological effect of local low-dose oestradiol treatment on the vagina.
Design: A randomised, double-blind trial.
Setting: Two gynaecological departments at University Hospitals.
Subjects: Forty-eight postmenopausal women scheduled for surgery because of genital prolapse.
Intervention: 25 micrograms oestradiol or placebo, administered as vaginal pessaries daily, 3 weeks prior to surgery.
Main outcome measures: Cytological, histological and clinical changes of the vaginal mucosa.
Results: The thickness of the vaginal wall increased as did the oestrogenic index. No clinical effect was seen apart from decreased incidence of recurrent cystitis postoperatively.
Conclusions: Preoperative oestrogen treatment has been shown to reduce the incidence of recurrent cystitis and may be needed for stimulation of vaginal mucosa; the short-term clinical effect is not convincing, however.