Dehydroepiandrosterone intra vaginal administration for the management of postmenopausal vulvovaginal atrophy

J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2015 Jan:145:139-43. doi: 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2014.09.003. Epub 2014 Sep 6.


The effects of intravaginal administration of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) for the management of symptomatic vulvovaginal atrophy are reviewed. A literature search related to vulvovaginal atrophy, vaginal atrophy, atrophic vaginitis, estrogen, dehydroepiandrosterone, vulvar itching, burning, dryness, dyspareunia, and libido was performed. Relevant articles addressing the incidence, management, and outcome of DHEA therapy were identified and used for this Expert Opinion. DHEA compared to a placebo is an effective treatment improving symptoms of vaginal atrophy: dyspareunia, burning, itching, and dryness. Objective parameters of vaginal atrophy, specifically pH, vaginal maturation index (VMI), and investigator-evaluated changes in the vagina: moisture, epithelia integrity and color were improved compared to baseline and placebo. There were significant improvements in libido and dyspareunia with the intravaginal use of DHEA that contribute to improved quality of life for postmenopausal women. Dehydroepiandrosterone administered intravaginally on a daily basis is an effective treatment for symptoms, and signs of vulvovaginal atrophy along with libido in postmenopausal women. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Essential role of DHEA'.

Keywords: Dehydroepiandrosterone; Dyspareunia; Libido; Vulvovaginal atrophy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Atrophy
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone / administration & dosage*
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone / therapeutic use
  • Dyspareunia / drug therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Libido
  • Ovule / drug effects
  • Postmenopause*
  • Quality of Life
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vagina / drug effects*
  • Vagina / pathology
  • Vaginal Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Vaginal Diseases / pathology*


  • Dehydroepiandrosterone