HealthDay News — For breast cancer survivors who are premenopausal at diagnosis, a pH-balanced vaginal gel is no better than placebo for improving dyspareunia and overall sexual function, according to a study published in the May issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Yun Hwan Kim, MD, PhD, from Ewha Woman’s University School of Medicine in Seoul, South Korea, and colleagues conducted a single-center study involving 136 breast cancer survivors who were premenopausal at diagnosis and had dyspareunia after adjuvant chemotherapy. Participants were randomized to a pH-balanced gel (69 women) or placebo (67 women) administered three times per week at bedtime and during sexual intercourse for eight weeks. 

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The researchers found that both groups experienced a significant improvement of dyspareunia, with no difference between the groups. From baseline, the increase in median pain score was 1.2 in both groups (2.8 to 4.0 in the pH-balanced group and 3.2 to 4.4 in the placebo group; all P<0.01). There was no significant difference between the groups in the overall Female Sexual Function Index score and the frequency of sexual dysfunction, but significant improvements were noted. The pH-balanced group had slightly but significantly improved vaginal pH and vaginal maturation index. No severe adverse events were seen in either group.

“The pH-balanced vaginal gel is not superior to the placebo in improving dyspareunia and overall sexual function,” the authors write.

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