Week 6: Post-Menopausal and Sexuality Issues in the Maturing and Older Adult
Menopausal and Sexuality Issues
- How does low-dose estrogen work, and what specific symptoms may it help alleviate?
- That is, what is the mode of action that allows it to resolve the symptoms of the patient?
GSM is caused by lack of estrogen and hence the administration of low-dose estrogen increases the availability of estrogen and thus relieves symptoms such as vaginal burning, vaginal discharge, burning with urination, and particularly recurrent urinary tract infections. Low levels of estrogen are linked to recurrent urinary tract infections (Ferrante et al., 2021). This is because estrogen stimulates the bladder to produce natural antimicrobial substances (Stanton et al., 2020). Estrogen also strengthens the urinary tract tissue as it closes the gaps between cells in the bladder lining. By closing the gaps, the hormone makes it difficult for bacteria to enter the deeper layers of the bladder and hence preventing urinary tract infections. The study by Ferrante et al (2021) also shows that estrogen prevents the shedding of bladder cells and this further prevents bacteria from entering the bladder. These are mechanisms through which that estrogen effectively treats GSM symptoms such as urinary tract infections that may be characterized by symptoms such as vaginal burning, vaginal discharge, and burning during urination.
Ferrante, K. L., Wasenda, E. J., Jung, C. E., Adams-Piper, E. R., & Lukacz, E. S. (2021). Vaginal estrogen for the prevention of recurrent urinary tract infection in postmenopausal women: a randomized clinical trial. Female pelvic medicine & reconstructive surgery, 27(2), 112-117.
Stanton, A., Mowbray, C., Lanz, M., Brown, K., Hilton, P., Tyson-Capper, A., … & Hall, J. (2020). Topical estrogen treatment augments the vaginal response to Escherichia coli flagellin. Scientific reports, 10(1), 1-11.
How does low-dose estrogen work, and what specific symptoms may it help alleviate? That is, what is the mode of action that allows it to resolve the symptoms of the patient?
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