Use Vagifem to treat the symptoms of menopause, like vaginal dryness and irritation.

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Rear of box containing 24 Vagifem 10mcg tablets
Blister pack of 6 Vagifem applicators
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10 mcg

12 weeks / 24 tablet(s) - £45.00

What is Vagifem?

Vagifem is a type of vaginal hormone replacement therapy. It is used to treat the symptoms of menopause that affect the vagina, such as dryness and irritation.

The vaginal tablets contain the active ingredient estradiol which belongs to the group of hormones called oestrogens. Estradiol is a female sex hormone and is the same as the estradiol produced by a woman’s ovaries.

During menopause, the ovaries produce less and less estradiol until they stop producing it altogether, causing many symptoms. In the vagina, the lack of oestrogen can cause dryness and irritation which is called vaginal atrophy. Vagifem helps to treat these symptoms.

Vagifem is a brand name of estradiol topical and is manufactured by Novo Nordisk Inc. There are alternative versions available such as Vagirux or generic vaginal estradiol 10mcg tablets.

How does Vagifem work?

Vagifem works by replacing the oestrogen that is lost during the menopause. Vagifem is a tablet which is inserted directly into the vagina to provide immediate relief if you have discomfort in this area.

Vagifem is for use in post-menopausal women only. If you are under 50 or it has been less than 12 months since your last period, you should speak to your doctor for advice before using Vagifem.

Is Vagifem safe?

Vagifem is a safe and effective treatment but there are risks associated with any HRT. Once you start using it, you will need to see your doctor for regular check-ups at least once a year. You should also go for regular breast screening as recommended by your doctor.

HRT may increase the risk of:

  • womb (endometrial) cancer
  • breast cancer
  • ovarian cancer
  • blood clots
  • stroke

Because Vagifem is used as a local treatment in the vagina, it’s absorption into the blood is very low. So, it is less likely to cause the above conditions to get worse or come back during treatment with Vagifem. If you are concerned, speak to your doctor who can offer advice.

If you need further information about Vagifem, you can read the patient information leaflet.

How to use Vagifem

Vagifem is available in one low dose which is 10mcg. The standard treatment is to insert 1 Vagifem tablet into the vagina every day for 2 weeks, and then 1 tablet twice a week, leaving a 3 or 4 day gap between each dose.

Vaginal tablets come with an applicator and instructions showing you how to insert them.

To use Vagifem, you should:

  1. tear off one single blister pack and open at the push-button end
  2. insert the applicator carefully into the vagina until you feel some resistance, usually around 8 to 10cm
  3. release the tablet by gently pressing the push button until you feel a click
  4. remove the applicator from the vagina and throw it away

The tablet will stick to the wall of the vagina so it will not fall out when you stand up or walk. If you miss a Vagifem dose, use the medicine as soon as you remember. You should not use a double dose if you have forgotten a dose. If you use more Vagifem than you should, then you should speak to your doctor for advice.

You should not stop using Vagifem without talking to your doctor. They will explain the effects of stopping treatment and will discuss other possible treatments available to you.

Vagifem is not a form of contraception. If it is less than 12 months since you last had a menstrual period or you are under 50 years old, you may still need to use contraception to prevent pregnancy. You should speak to your doctor for advice.

If you become pregnant while using Vagifem, stop using it right away and contact your doctor.

Medically reviewed by:
Dr Kathryn Basford

Dr Kathryn Basford is a qualified GP who works as a GP in London, as well as with ZAVA. She graduated from the University of Manchester and completed her GP training through Whipps Cross Hospital in London.

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Article created: 01 Oct 2021

Last reviewed: 01 Oct 2021

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