This Morning: Early menopause sufferer explains symptoms
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Women can access oestrogen treatment for vaginal dryness for £2.50 per week after a pharmacist consultation. The Gina 10mcgs tablets are the first HRT product to be made available without a prescription.
The drug, also known as estradiol, was reclassified after a landmark ruling by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency in July.
Dr Paula Briggs, chairman of the British Menopause Society, said the change would improve women’s access to treatment.
She said: “Estradiol vaginal tablets have been available on prescription for over 30 years and have a wealth of efficacy and safety data.
“Urogenital atrophy is one of the most common challenges women face after the menopause.”
Dr Briggs added: “This reclassification means they can now access a low dose vaginal oestrogen which treats the underlying cause of vaginal atrophy, at their local pharmacy.”
Oestrogen levels decline after the menopause which can cause dryness, soreness, itching and burning as well as lead to uncomfortable sex.
Around half of postmenopausal women are thought to be affected.
Gina is applied directly to the affected area, providing a low dose of oestrogen to ease symptoms. The treatment is available for postmenopausal women who are over the age of 50 and have not had a period p for at least a year.
A survey of 1,000 women by Gina’s manufacturer Novo Nordisk discovered that only half of them felt comfortable talking to their GP about their vaginal health.
Sanjay Verghese, vice-president of the giant Danish pharmaceutical company, commented: “People who were previously only able to get treatment from their GP now have Gina as an easily available option, that treats the cause and not just the symptoms of vaginal atrophy.
“We are confident Gina can contribute to the growing movement empowering women to not only manage but to thrive after menopause.”
The HRT tablets will be available online and at more than 500 Boots stores initially before being rolled out to other pharmacies later this month.
The recommended retail price for Gina is £29.99 which equates to £2.50 per week.
The first package provides seven weeks’ supply while the dosage in subsequent ones will last users for 12 weeks.
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