Intrarosa (prasterone) was recently FDA approved to treat moderate to severe painful sexual intercourse (dyspareunia) caused by vulvar and vaginal atrophy (VVA). VVA is a common condition affecting up to 50% of postmenopausal women that results from the loss of estrogen during menopause. This causes the walls of the vagina and surrounding tissues to become thinner. Symptoms including dryness, irritation and soreness around the vagina and vulva, as well as painful intercourse. In clinical trials, Intrarosa was shown to improve the structure of the vaginal tissues and reduce pain during sexual intercourse.
Intrarosa is the only FDA approved vaginal treatment for dyspareunia that is not an estrogen. Instead, it contains dehydropiandrosterone (DHEA), a sex steroid that is a precursor hormone to both estrogen and testosterone.
Dr. Kroll, director of Seattle Women’s commented, “During the course of the trial, I directly observed the improvement in both vulvar and vaginal tissue. With the intracellular increase in both estrogen and testosterone, we were able to see a local effect on the tissue. This led to healthier tissue, making intercourse more comfortable. With the rise in local testosterone levels, there may be an effect on sexual desire. No woman wants to have sex if it hurts. By treating the pain, we often see a significant improvement in a woman’s sex life. A new study is currently underway to investigate the effect of this same treatment, Intrarosa, on low libido. I am looking forward to seeing these results.”
Intrarosa is a vaginal insert used at bedtime and is now available in pharmacies.