A comparative study of the effects of local estrogen with or without local testosterone on vulvovaginal and sexual dysfunction in postmenopausal women

J Sex Med. 2010 Mar;7(3):1284-90. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2009.01667.x. Epub 2010 Jan 19.


Introduction: A significant number of postmenopausal women suffer from distressing problems because of urogenital atrophy secondary to the decline in circulating estrogen levels. Treatment with topical hormones may provide relief in such women when used judiciously.

Aim: To study the effects of local estrogen with or without local testosterone on urogenital and sexual health in postmenopausal women.

Methods: Seventy-five postmenopausal women symptomatic for urogenital atrophy and sexual dysfunction were randomly divided into two study groups and one control group. The women in study group 1 received local estrogen cream; study group 2 received local estrogen and testosterone cream; the control group received nonhormonal lubricant KY gel for 12 weeks. The urogenital and sexuality score, along with the vaginal health index and the vaginal maturation index (VMI), was calculated at the beginning of therapy and 12 weeks later.

Main outcome measures: Changes in the urogenital and sexuality score along with vaginal health index and VMI.

Results: After 12 weeks of therapy, there was a significant improvement in all the four study parameters, which correlated well with the improvement in symptoms of urogenital atrophy and sexual dysfunction in both the study groups as compared with the control group. Improvement in sexuality score was greatest with combined estrogen-androgen therapy. There were no adverse effects and the therapies were well accepted without any compliance issue.

Conclusion: Local estrogen either alone or with androgen is highly effective in relieving symptoms of urogenital atrophy and in improving sexual function in symptomatic postmenopausal women.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Estrogens / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Postmenopause / physiology*
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / drug therapy*
  • Testosterone / therapeutic use*
  • Vaginal Diseases / drug therapy*


  • Estrogens
  • Testosterone