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Osphena: Is the New Pill for Older Women Safe?

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Prepare yourself: When the new “pink Viagra” marketing blitz kicks off in June, instead of graying guys talking about sex between evening-news segments, you’re likely to see “mature” women.

The name of this new sex pill for postmenopausal women is Osphena, and while the market for it might not be as huge as Viagra’s is for men, the drug’s maker is banking that it will appeal to millions – especially after the company launches its “education” campaign about “dysparunia,” which Osphena is designed to treat.

But how many women really need Osphena, and how safe is it?

The Scoop on Osphena

 

For answers, we looked to Newsweek’s Daily Beast, which has done some serious homework on the new drug. Writing in the Beast, Jennifer Block reports that there’s more hype than help behind the drug’s claims, plus some scary risks and several unpleasant side effects. (Full disclosure: Block is a contributing editor for Senior Planet.)

In “Will This Pill fix Your Sex Life,” Block asks:

  1. Is “dysparunia” a real disorder affecting a large percentage of women or just another example of “disease mongering,”like “female sexual dysfunction?
  2. How was Osphena approved by the FDA in February 2013?  Who did those trials?
  3. Is Osphena, which mimics estrogen, simply a ‘backdoor, off-label replacement for ‘hormone replacement therapy,’ with the same risks as HT?

The HT Background

 

In case you stopped following the back-and-forth on the risks and (questionable) benefits of HT, here’s a recap, courtesy of Block (read her story for a close look at the influence wielded by the drug companies around HT):

  • Back in the 60s, you may remember, drug companies started promoting the concept that menopause is a curable “estrogen deficiency.” Sales of estrogen-based hormone treatments skyrocketed.
  • In 2002 the Women’s Health Initiative abruptly stopped a trial of HRT that was looking at its benefits. Not only were there no benefits, but the risks were high:  increased chances of breast cancer, coronary vascular disease, stroke and blood clots.
  • The WHI findings remain controversial and drug companies would like to see them discredited, but several makers of women’s health policy have agreed on a global consensus statement: Menopause is not a disease, the statement says; and it doesn’t always need to be “treated” with hormones.

 

What Is Dysparunia?

 

Dyspareunia means pain before, during or after intercourse.  It’s for real and can occur for many reasons, from not enough foreplay to infection. Osphena targets Dysparunia that’s caused by vulvovaginal atrophy, a condition in which the skin of the vulva and the lining of the vagina become thin, dry and inflamed because of a lack of estrogen.  However, as Block points out, it’s kind of like gray hair and wrinkles: Most women have some of these changes as they age.  Like Female Sexual Dysfunction, she says, dyspareunia is an example of a new disorder designed to build a market for a drug.

Back Door Estrogen

 

Osphena isn’t estrogen; it just acts like one, and like estrogen-alone therapy, Osphena increases the risk of endometrial cancer.  Stroke and deep vein thrombosis are also risks of taking the drug, albeit low ones compared to estrogen-alone therapy, says the FDA.  These risks are detailed in a prominent black box warning on the drug.

Shortcomings of Osphena Trials

 

Block also points out that some experts have questions about the clinical trials that led to Osphena’s approval:

  • Two 12-week trials were funded by the drug’s developers; the lead authors have strong ties to the companies. Not unusual for drug trials but not exactly an unbiased effort.
  • The degree of improvement after 12 weeks was less than half a percent.  It “…sounds statistically significant…but how does that translate into something meaning to a person’s life?” one expert who reviewed the studies for Newsweek told Block.
  • Benefit didn’t far outweigh harm, concluded another reviewer. Roughly 14 percent  of the study’s subjects improved(over placebo), but a similar percent had adverse effects, such as infection.

The Multimillion-Dollar Questions

 

  • Is the “down there” change after menopause as dire as “vulvovaginal atrophy” sounds?
  • How many of the 32 million postmenopausal women who have it, have moderate or severe pain when having sex?
  • How many for whom sex hurts can’t be helped with non-prescription remedies or safer, hormone creams?
  • Is better sex worth the risk, if you have side effects?
  • Ultimately, it’s a personal decision.  What would you do?

Block sees Osphena as the tip of an iceberg that may bring women testosterone gels and nasal sprays and antidepressants rebranded as libido enhancers. The big question she concludes with is, “…will these treatments bring more pleasure to women or to the pharmaceutical industry?”

Click here to read Will This Pill fix Your Sex Life

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309 Comments

  1. MyBabyCakes2006 says:

    While I am on here reading the recent posts, let me bring up a very old subject….back when several mentionioned how hard it was to get the tablets out of the packaging. I have been taking the foil sheet of pills out from between the (plastic re-enforced) cardboard, by cutting the cardboard on 2 sides of the foil sheet and it will come right out. My Rx come from Tricare/Express Scripts 3 mo. at a time, so yesterday when I was filling my pill containers for the week, I took all of the pills out and put them into an empty pill bottle; and put the rx label on the bottle. Now I won’t have to fuss with removing the foil sheets but every 3 mo. I’m probably not the only one to figure this out, but just thought I would share, in case anyone needed the suggestion.

    Curious…sorry about them putting you on all those antibiotics. They are real killers of our own immune system, but guess it took a lot of years for them to figure that out. Whoever first discovered it, probably was not believed, of course. I was just put on one I have never taken before; it was indicated for these new leg ulcers, by the culture they did. I seem to be starting some of the stomach/diarrhea side effects listed. I have 5 more days to take it, but I will see the Wound Care Dr. Fri., when they re-dress and pressure-wrap the leg again. They seem to be healing a lot faster than 2 yrs. ago, before the deep veins were fixed. Seems as though I was still supposed to be wearing the real support hose all the time, and I did not know that. I was wearing the light support when I went out, and none at home. Lesson learned.

  2. tired of pain says:

    Well, I talked to my ob/gyn about osphena and she said her patients were having good luck with it and gave me a script. I had it filled, with my insurance and the online coupon, I paid $35. Before starting the drug, I emailed my rheumatologist to make sure it was ok to use it. His reply was NO WAY, since I have antiphospholipid syndrome, a blood clotting disorder, and osphena increases the risk of blood clots. Sigh. I guess my life of intercourse is over. I’m only 52 so this makes me sad. Husband doesn’t care, he’s more than happy to be satisfied orally.

  3. 1kittygal says:

    I have severely painful intercourse since menopause that has profoundly affected our intimacy. My husband and I tried several remedies with little result. My gynecologist prescribed Osphena and within a week, intercourse was less painful. I have been on it for two months now and it has brought back the intimacy we both craved. I’ll let the benefits outweigh the risks for now!

    • Curious says:

      Glad to hear of your success, 1kittygal! Congratulations! I agree, the risks are nothing compared to the potential benefits. It’s great to have another person reporting success.

      I’ve been on Osphena for about 10 weeks now and am definitely seeing an improvement in endogenous (my own) moisture. I still seem to be cycling through bladder infections — about every three to four weeks, no matter what I do to either provoke or avoid them. That would be one thing but my bladder doesn’t really tolerate antibiotics very well so it’s a fine line to walk. Because of that, we’ve been avoiding actual intercourse and just sticking to alternative endeavors (but I’m really anxious to see how much better things are due to the Osphena!). My gynecologist says that the Osphena will help with the UTIs as well. I see her next weeks, so I’ll get to bring her up to date and hear what she thinks now.

      Best wishes, everyone!

      • MyBabyCakes2006 says:

        From what I understand, it is mandatory to pee after intercourse, to clean out any bacteria that gets into the urethra. I always had trouble with that, since I always had to pee before, to keep fom being so uncomfortable during. Sometimes I tried for 30 min. or more to go, I just wanted to give up and go to bed.

        • Curious says:

          I wasn on lots of oral antibiotis followed by IV antibiotics for nearly a year for that nebulous “fever of unknown origin” diagnosis about ten years ago. I knew that wasn’t right, that it was a viral thing because that was thing for which I tested positive. But try telling that to doctors. By the time I was finally diagnosed, we were four years in and the virus had infiltrated my brain and I needed six months of IV antivirals so get it out.

          After that, my doctor gave me a prescription for Bactrim to use whenever I had symptoms of a UTI because it was difficult to get into his office. I didn’t keep track of how often the UTIs happened but I guess they increased over the years.

          I read an article recently about tolerance, the ability of bacteria to weather a course of antibiotics, and when they can hide out somewhere that an antibiotic doesn’t get to as easily the tolerance is higher. (Tolerance is different than resistant.)

          Between tolerance and resistance, I figure all these antibiotics I’ve taken over the last couple of decades have a lot to do with where I am with the UTIs.

          But the peeing before and after intercourse is great advice, and I do my best to follow it religously. At this point, I think I could write a book on surviviing and thriving despite UTIs and interstitial cystitis. Well, I probably still have a bit to learn about the latter… :)

  4. Evergreen50 says:

    Hi Baby Cakes, according to Newsweek, “Osphena’s label, risks include cancer, blood clots, and stroke. But other bothersome side effects showed up in clinical trials: women taking the drug had twice the rate of urinary tract infections, three times the rate of hot flashes, and 14 times the rate of yeast infections. “. But, I have had no UTI’s since taking Osphena and as I mentioned earlier, I don’t know that my yeast infections are related to Osphena. I’m doing fine now. Before taking Osphena, I was having UTI’s once a week.

    • Curious says:

      Oh crap, Evergreen, once a week? You barely had time to treat it before it came back! What misery. I’ve been running every two weeks to a month for the past nine months, and I’ve been feeling pretty miserable as a result. But every week…

      Do you mind if I ask, is your doctor treating you with three days of antibiotics? It seems that a longer course would a consideration. Also, I wonder if some of your yeast infections are from the antibiotic use that you’ve had to deal with as a result of the UTIs.

      • MyBaby/cakes2006 says:

        I agree with the yeast infections being from the antibiotics. Every time I am given an antibiotic for sinus, or something completely unrelated, I get a yeast infection; and that was with absolutely no sexual activity at all.

      • Evergreen50 says:

        @Curious…it was pretty miserable. The last two UTI’s I was treated with a three day antibiotic and the UTI did come back. Then I was treated with a week long antibiotic and put on Osphena. I bet you are right about the yeast infections. I was on antibiotics almost continuously for awhile. Haven’t had to go on antibiotics since taking Osphena. Yeah!

  5. MyBabyCakes2006 says:

    Evergreen 50, you said you were having more yeast infections, and mentioned that it was a listed side effect. I don’t find that side effect listed in any of the information pages I found and printed out. Actually, I thought most of you ladies were taking Osphena to stop the yeast infections, as well as the pain. With me it was just the excruciating pain frim the super-thin, non-stretching, dry, vaginal tissues. Osphena has improved the field, but I can’t tell if it has fixed things, since my husband is still not approaching me in any kind of romantic way.

  6. Curious says:

    Hi,

    I’ve been on Osphena now for about six weeks. I really want this to work!

    I’ve noticed some more vaginal moisture but it isn’t as dramatic as some of the people posting here have described. As for intercourse, we’ve tried it several time but that hasn’t been fully possible just yet. It’s better but we still have a ways to go.

    Our routine is to have some sort of sexual contact at least every other day. Since the vaginal pain started we’ve gotten really creative at this. While it isn’t quite what we’d like it to be, at least we have this.

    One interesting thing with Osphena is that I have noticed an increase in sexual sensation that I didn’t have prior to taking it. I feel it vaginally, in my nipples and other erogenous zones. Have any of you noticed this?

    The other reason I’m taking Osphena is to try and reduce the amount and frequency in urinary tract infections that I’ve been having for the past few years. My gynecologist says that improving the overall vaginal dryness and health will help this. Since this has become a real issue for me, I am keeping my fingers crossed.

    Oh, and so far no side effects.

    • Evergreen50 says:

      Curious, I did notice increased sensitivity initially but not as much now. I started taking Osphena mainly to prevent UTI’s and bacterial infections. Haven’t had a UTI since I started it.
      Haven’t had a huge increase in moisture but that has never been a big issue for us since we use lubricants. The moisture is better though.

      • Curious says:

        Evergreen,

        That is so great to hear that Osphena has helped so much with your UTIs. It’s what I’m hoping to achieve!

        I could wade through the whole site here to try and find your posts but it’s easier to just ask you: Were you have a lot of UTIs prior to taking Osphena? It is so frustrating so feel the early symptoms and know that another one is starting again…

        • Evergreen50 says:

          Curious, I was having UTI’s almost every time we had sex which is about once a week or so. They were so painful!

    • TX Gal says:

      I agree with you ladies on the UTI’s, I am really happy to say that I am no longer getting them. As far as sexual sensation…well just the thought of no more vaginal pain or UTI’s definitely gets you in the mood, and knowing you can enjoy a little fun without the pain after is a great aphrodisiac as well!! :)
      Cheers

  7. Newtosite says:

    Has anyone experienced a bit of depression and joint pain? I have been on the pill for 2.5 months and the sex is much better but I am wondering if my new symptoms are related?
    Thank you,
    Newtosite

    • Evergreen50 says:

      I have arthritis in my knees and hands, but it doesn’t seem any worse after 2 months on Osphena. I’m very physically active regardless. Other than more yeast infections, I don’t seem to have any other side effects. It is hard sometimes to know if symptoms are related to the drug or just getting older!

  8. TX Gal says:

    Hi, it sure was nice to find this link! It’s so sad that there are so many women like myself suffering with this problem. And the less you use it the more you seem to lose it…a vicious cycle!
    I am almost 60, two C-sections and a full hysterectomy at 33, HRT/Estrace for 18 years, now off since 2007, do not take any other meds except vitamins, occasional Zantac for stomach acid. Everything was fine until about 3-4 years ago when intercourse began to hurt. Lubricants worked for the dryness for a while but as of the last 2 years it was starting to hurt more and more and I would bleed! So I decided to try the estrogen vaginal cream, which did not work that well, messy etc. and when I forgot to use it consistently I would get hot flashes. That was aweful!
    Now I am giving a go with Osphena. It’s been about 2 months and I noticed the difference in 1 month. Intercourse was still a bit painful at one month but I could feel the improvement. I am grateful I have a patient affectionate spouse that doesn’t have to have sex, although I am certain he will definitely appreciate getting “Vagina” back! The dosage seemed a bit strong at first so I backed off to every other day dosage which worked fine for me (sure the docs would not recommend) So far no side effects other than vaginal secretions which means it is working! Having a romantic weekend with the Hubby, hope after 2 months on Osphena we both can have a pleasant time! I will come back to comment. Good luck to the others that are trying this option as well!

    • Evergreen50 says:

      TX Gal,

      I was wondering what you meant by “too strong”? Did you have some side effects? I was thinking about taking the pill every other day. Thanks!

      • TX Gal says:

        Evergreen, I would stick to the recommended dosage if you do decide to try it. My progress would have been faster (I think anyway). Maybe for first few days to get used to it, but we all have different reactions to meds. Feel I have a bit more to go to get optimum results, but ‘felt’ things were working better this weekend! :)

        • Evergreen50 says:

          TX Gal,
          Thanks for the reply! I’ve been using it for 6 weeks. I was wondering what made you decide to use it every other day as opposed to every day? What made it a ” bit strong”?

          • TX Gal says:

            I am not sure, just felt ‘weird’, almost lightheaded, so I dropped to half a tablet a day and then after another week or so,I felt better. Then I started taking the full dose again and felt fine. Perhaps I was just so estrogen deficient that I noticed the difference after 3 days. I am good now and hope that was just an adjustment that my body needed.
            How are you feeling after 6 weeks? Do you notice it already working for you that your wanting to cut back?

          • MyBabyCakes2006 says:

            I was wondering the exact same thing. I’m in my 5th month of taking Osphena, and cannot relate to anything happening that I would have thought it was too strong.

          • Evergreen50 says:

            TX Gal,

            There was no red reply button below your answer to my question. This reply will probably seem out of order. I’m getting a few more yeast infections than I normally would. So I wondered if it was ‘a bit strong’. Not sure if it’s related to the Osphena. Yeast infections are listed as a side effect.

          • TX Gal says:

            @Evergreen,
            So far I have not had any real problems only good results! I never had a problem with yeast but did get UTI’s after having sex with my husband almost every time the last few years, it was a double whammy of pain! Have not had any since taking Osphena and this weekend we were finally able to fully engage with NO pain! Yes, we are celebrating!

        • Evergreen50 says:

          TX Gal,
          Wonderful news that you are free of pain! So glad to hear it. I have not had any UTIs since starting Osphena. I was having them almost once a week. One sent me to the emergency room. It’s so nice to not have to worry about UTIs!

  9. CT Girl says:

    Hello, Has anyone else experienced a bad headache and numb face on Ospehena? This is the second day I have taken it. I thought first it was a coincidence, but the headache is back again and it is bad. I had Stage 1 BC three years ago, lumpectomy. My sex life died after going off HRT when I got BC. No one talked to me about it at any doctor’s appt. It is missing from my life with my husband and I feel like we are not the same anymore. The passion is gone and I want it back. Now I have the headache and I am not sure why Osphena is causing it. I want so much for something to work.

    • MyBabyCakes2006 says:

      You need to see your Dr. immediately, since Osphena’s Black Box Warnings are on Heart and Stroke…not breast cancer. The face numbness could very well be stroke…Osphena connected or not.
      Dr. Oz had a very good show on Wed. the 28th, about how stokes are affecting even younger women; and he clarified symptoms. You should also go on his website and look for the video of that segment of the show from Wed.

    • It's About Time says:

      I agree with Baby Cakes, call your doctor. Go there and get checked out. Don’t like the numb face and headache.

    • TX Gal says:

      CT girl, Sorry to hear you may be having some complications. Hope since your post it has resolved itself and you are ok. I felt a bit weird at first too and took the pill every other day. Then after about 10 days went on a daily basis. After I went off HRT 7 years ago the same happened to me, then after 3 years it became painful and after 5 years unbearable. I just started Osphena and hoping to get my vagina back. It’s really hard not to be passionate with your partner, so far I am lucky that he is ok with it but I am not and willing to stick with this (as long as I don’t get any side effects). I am with you, just want something to work! Best to you!

  10. Sweetie says:

    Hello Ladies…. I have been on Osphena now for almost a month. I have not tried intercourse yet, as I do not feel the “moisture” that you all are talking about. No discharge. Maybe because I had a total hysterectomy 18yrs ago, it may take a bit to return??? The only good thing right now is that I can actually pee and wipe without the excrutiating sandpaper feeling and stinging…so yippee for that. I will go get another month’s worth and see if the moisture returns for intercourse….still hesitant!

    • EK312 says:

      Sweetie, try the coconut oil. It’s almost a Crisco-like consistency, but even before my Osphena kicked in, this made 110% difference and we were able to have relations with no pain whatsoever. May be worth a try while you’re waiting for the maximum effect, which is typically after 90 days. Good luck!

    • It's about time says:

      Hi Sweetie, Thanks for checking in. Glad you are feeling somewhat better with the Osphena. Intercourse for me hurts even with the lubricant. I think my tissues are extremely thin… hopefully I’ll get the go ahead from my doctors to try it at some point. Good luck to you.

    • MyBabyCakes2006 says:

      Coconut oil is great for everything from cooking to skin, hair & scalp; but it is only creamy when it is just beginning to melt. You can stir a small amount as it melts, to get it to a smooth lotion-like consistency. In the kitchen, I keep a decorative canister of it on a candle/coffee warmer, so that I can soften it any time. I keep some in a switch-controlled, plug-in wax-melter, in the bathroom…for using on my hair & scalp. If it has firmed up, I can just turn the switch on for a few minutes. It will still liquify from the warmth of your hands; but not as evenly (it will feel like it has pieces of coconut in until it melts completely). 76 degrees is supposed to be the liquifying temp. for it. I use coconut oil for almost everything; it is both anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. I buy the large container at Sam’s Club; their price is as good or better than any I found when I was still ordering it. Buy the extra virgin, so that it has not been heat processed.

    • TX Gal says:

      Ditto for me however I have been on Osphena for 2 months now and definitely getting the moisture back. Ready to try again and feel the progress! I have noticed a slight orange tinge but feel its the dead cells sloughing off. Have my follow up next month. I will have to try the coconut oil. I have been using this stuff on the internet from the UK called “YESYESYES”. Pretty great stuff and not messy. Some cool ladies are marketing it and it is way better than the stuff at the pharmacy!

  11. MyBabyCakes2006 says:

    I need to check in with results from my Dr.’s appt. about the orange-color to my discharge. (I just haven’t had the time to do so.) He said that the cells in the Vagina are an orange color, and that with sexually inactive women, he often sees the orange color when doing a routine pap smear. He said he can actually tell if a woman is sexually active from that. Anyway, he said that the moisture which Osphena is bringing to the vagina, which is the discharge, is just sloughing-off those cells in the vagina. He said that eventually it may go back to the original tan or white color. He also said that the Osphena is working, and that my vagina is completely normal…even if My husband is now making other excuses to blame me for the lack of intimacy.

  12. Barbara, Senior Planet editor says:

    Hi ladies. Thanks to all for helping to make this such a helpful forum. We have a new Q&A column by senior sexpert Joan Price, and she wants to invite non-medical questions from women who are experiencing vaginal atrophy. If you have a question for her about partner or solo sex or relationship issues in the face of this painful condition, you can email her directly at sexpert@seniorplanet.org, or post your question in this forum. We’d like use the opportunity to raise awareness of the condition in a helpful way for all women who may or may not know why they are suffering. Thanks!

    • It's About Time says:

      Thank you Barbara, As you can see by my screen name I am grateful for this forum and the fact that someone is taking this condition seriously.I am not on the Osphena as I am battling some other problems that are auto immune in nature. I’m not getting any younger and neither is my husband. I will certainly keep Ms. Price in mind with my questions. It’s unbelievable that not one doctor or nurse or mom, female cousin or even a magazine article ever warned us that this would happen. Talk about a taboo subject! I thought it was because of my MS. Not so!
      I have been suffering for about 15 years from this condition. Estrace hasn’t really been helpful.
      I hope that more women and doctors start talking so maybe more therapies can be developed.

      • Forever painful says:

        I suffer with MS too – and have been in the same situation for 14 years! It has been so miserable!!!! I had a total hysterectomy and despite the relief from the pain I had, I can no longer have sex with my husband. It’s to the point that it’s really destroying our relationship. We have no intimacy because I dread it – yet if I so much as cuddle, hug, or kiss him, he’s so desperate for sex he jumps all over me. So I just avoid intimacy altogether now. It’s so sad. I have tried Estrace too. I tried creams. I have tried so many different things, including “exercises” and materials that help to exercise that area. But NO RESULTS. It makes me so sad and I am in desperate need of help!

        • tired of pain says:

          I’m in the same boat as you except for avoidance of intimacy. There are other things you can do to make your man happy, orally and such. Think about it, it can save your relationship if you want to save it.

          • MyBabyCakes2006 says:

            I wish my husband would have been happy with the oral route; would have been better for both of us. My experiences with him have told me that oral only makes it imperative for him to finish it with the real thing, after he’s ready and I’m not. In addition, he is a “plunger”, even orally, and I could not take that, especially since he is large. My previous methods with other men in my life (which seemed appreciated), and him too in the beginning, was not good enough for him now. He said it did nothing for him. It sure would have been a good way of continuing intimacy…but it still would have been with no lead-in to it. It’s really pretty gross, without the romance and intimacy beforehand…..or maybe that’s just me…very possible I guess.

        • It's About Time says:

          Dear Forever painful,
          I am the poster who has MS as well. I also have a few other autoimmune conditions.
          I did not have a hysterectomy but go through exactly what you do.
          I am wondering what medications you take for your MS. I am on Baclofen for over 20 years and I’m on Copaxone injections for 12 years. Also take Synthroid, Amantadine and Gabapentin,(Neurontin). I’m using Estrace for many years with no real relief. I’m 60 years old. If you don’t mind telling me your medications maybe we can figure out if the medicines are contributing to our problems with vaginal atrophy. Hope your MS is treating you well today.

          • Forever painful says:

            Dear It’s About Time,
            Thanks so much for sharing! This is the first time I’ve had a chance to share with someone else who is going through similar things. I also suffer from other things too – hypoactive thyroid (which used to be hyperactive until I had radiation therapy 30 years ago). I’ve also had Fibromyalgia since I was 20. (I’m now 55.) So I’m on Synthroid to, as well as Neurontin. I live in constant pain from MS and Fibro too, so I’m also on Duragesic patches (Morphine). Although I am desperately trying to go off of it as it is horribly addictive and causes me to be way too sleepy. I had no idea what affects this would have on me when they put me on it 12 years ago! I started on Avonex, but had trouble with that, so have been on Copaxone for the last 5 years. I’ve also taken Zanaflex, Klonopin, Paxil, and Cymbalta. I am still on Cymbalta. I used to take Darvocette for the pain – and that actually helped me the most – but it went off the market a couple years ago. (VERY sad day for me!)

            Tired of pain: Oh yes, I definitely do lots of other things to please my hubby. It’s, without a doubt, the only thing that has kept us together during this period of time. (Forever hopeful that it’s just temporary – although 14 years is pushing it!). Unfortunately, I have come to dread any sort of sex in the last couple years because I am suddenly repulsed by it! Maybe due to my frustration, maybe that coupled with my other pain. I’m really not sure why – because I still LONG for it! I still get aroused by my husband and wish beyond wishing that we could have it! But that’s why I dread it now and tend to avoid the intimacy too. (Although I REALLY miss that!) I can’t figure out why I am suddenly repulsed by it – as nothing else has changed. But I am. I try to do everything I can to make it as pleasant as possible, very romantic, yada yada . . . but still wind up feeling the same during the process now. I haven’t shared that with him, of course, because there is no way he’d understand. Heck, even I don’t get it!

            Anyway, I sure appreciate both of your inputs! I guess it’s nice to know I’m not alone with this problem – although I wouldn’t wish this on anyone! I so miss our sexual relationship. It really bums me out and I am doing everything I can to try and find a solution!!!!

          • tired of pain says:

            Forever Painful, I totally understand. I miss the intimacy of intercourse but it’s way too painful. I have a blood clotting disorder and can’t take any kind of hormone replacement. Osphena says it increases the chance of blood clots so that’s out for me, too. Luckily, my husband is more than happy going the oral route. He’s getting older, too, and things don’t always work right on him, either. We are both understanding of our shortcomings so it’s really not hurting our relationship. I guess it’s all just part of getting older. Getting old is not for sissies, that’s for sure.

        • looking for help says:

          I too have MS and have had a complete hysterectomy. I am concerned that Osphena might affect my MS. Do you know anything, or any reason that this drug might do that? I have samples from the doctor, and have taken 2 pills. I do notice a discharge. I am mostly concerned about the conflict with MS. And then there are the hot flashes! I am on Techfidera, and there are flashes with that, too.

          • MyBabyCakes2006 says:

            Osphena does give hot flashes and sometimes a discharge. My Dr. said that the discharge is the moisture that the Osphena generates in the vagina…like we had normally when we were younger.
            The MS questions will have to be answered by someone who has, or knows about it.

  13. EK312 says:

    I’ve been taking Osphena for about 6 weeks now, and notice a big difference. As my mother had breast cancer, I was a bit afraid to try this, but as someone posted below, it was actually an anti cancer drug (Tamifin I believe) that was being tested as such, and it does not impact breast tissue. I am only 47 and have been in perimenopause for over two years, finally no longer having periods since December, 2012. The intense pain with intercourse began last Fall. In addition to hot flashes, I have had a lot of weight gain (20 lbs.) throughout this past 18 mos. I don’t think it’s because of the Osphena, just getting worse the longer I go without a period. I guess it’s just part of the whole change. The other suggestion my doctor gave me was coconut oil. It works amazing, and even before the Osphena kicked in this worked 100% for us. Give it a try!

    • 1kittygal says:

      Funny you should mention the weight gain. I have put on 10 lbs in the last two months since starting Osphena. It is like my midriff blew up like a balloon! The medicine is working for the vaginal atrophy and pain but the weight gain is depressing. I don’t know what to do about this short of stopping the drug.

  14. Kay says:

    I have been taking Osphena for 2 months now and though the sex has been less painful, I am finding a side effect that no one else has mentioned. Once it wears off for the day, my moods change to severe irritation and anger. Yes, there are things in my life that can lead to some anger, but I am normally a mild-mannered person and I am finding myself being irrational. Anyone else?

    • It's about time says:

      Hi Kay,
      Almost sounds like a severe PMS. Have you discussed this with your doctor?
      I’m not on Osphena as I am addressing some other health issues that are serious. If they settle down I’m thinking of trying it. Thank you for letting us know your side effects. I hope the doctor can shed some light on this. Good luck.

  15. Wendy says:

    The writer of this article obviously doesn’t suffer from “dyspareunia”. Yes, it is real and painful and I’ve tried everything. I would just as soon forget about the sex but my husband wouldn’t be happy about that.

    I don’t believe in prescribing drugs for everything but I may try it after doing more research.

  16. Nottooold says:

    I started taking Osphena almost a month ago. It has taken away all the discomfort with intercourse. I’m very happy with the results because I hated using the estrogen vaginal cremes. The only thing I’m worried about is I developed a pain in my left breast/arm pit area in the last few days. I thought I may have pulled a muscle but it seems to be getting worse. Anyone have something like this and could it be caused by the Osphena?

  17. judith08 says:

    Is the only place you can buy ezorb is online? Do any places like gnc sell it? And can someone give me the osphena web site where I can find a dr. in michigan to see about getting it. Thanks appreciate it.

    • MyBabyCakes2006 says:
    • MyBabyCakes2006 says:

      Sorry, I forgot about your first question. As far as I know, online is the only place to get the EZorb; it is sold by the makers of it. For the first 3 months, you take double, then a maintenance dosage after that. The more bottles you buy at once, the bigger the discount you get. I think I ordered 6, and I will have to order another 6 again pretty soon. It works out to be only about $27 a month for minimum maintenance, and $40 a month for optimum maintenance.

  18. gmakathy says:

    LYNN, I’m sorry to read that your husband would be willing to leave you for something you have no control over! What if the site was on the other foot and he couldn’t get it up? ! After reading many of these posts, no one has said they’re doctors have suggested stretching exercises along with the various creams. My gyn suggested getting “toys” to stretch my very tight vaginal wall, doing this every day. At some point, I inserted my thumb so that I could feel what he was describing. It felt like a very tight rubber band about an inch into my vagina! Wow! Now I understood why my husband of 31 years could not penetrate without causing me severe pain. I too had been put on Estrace several years ago with no noticable difference. I have never done the exercises more than once a week due to the pain and bleeding, causing the vagina to be raw and sore for a week. I read here that one lady swears by olive oil so we’ll try that next time. I’ll look forward to reading how things go for all my fellow post- menapausal sisters!

    • MyBabyCakes2006 says:

      My Dr. had suggesting “stretching exercises”, but he did not elaborate on what to use. I did try for a little while, but I hated it so much. I needed vibration to numb the pain, and couldn’t get anything big enough to do any good , to fit. I was using a not-so-runny silicone lubricant. I finally quit, because it did not seem to be helping, and it just made me dread every “exercise” and then made me start absolutely hating sex and everything about it. Those exercises went more against me than for me, by way of ruining my mental attitude.

      • gmakathy says:

        I totally agree with everything you said about your experience! My Dr didn’t specify what to use but implied it. I don’t do any stretching in between our weekly or bi weekly sex and I bleed everytime and hurt for days. I wonder why God made our bodies like this since men for sure, want sex they’re whole lives! With all this pain and trouble, I’d be fine without it! Hey, wait, men loose they’re “ability” too, so if we take away all the drugs etc, we’re NOT intended to have it after a certain age! Ha, ha… trying to be funny during a NOT funny issue!

        • Forever painful says:

          Hi Babycakes,

          I had a female gyno that told me to exercise it by using vibrators and other toys. She gave the website to get them discreetly, and even told me what to purchase and how to use them (meaning how often, how long a time, and over what period of time). Plus she told me to get a shower head that had different settings that I could “Play with” and use it to stimulate myself too. I went through the whole nine yards and followed everything she said to the letter. After 6 months, I felt just like you did – and hated sex and everything about it. It was just such an exhaustive thing to go through with such hopefulness. It made the pain much worse, even when the doc altered directions several times. By the end of the 6 months I was more sensitive and in pain down there than ever! The only thing that did feel somewhat good was the shower head – but it did nothing to help stretch things out. It just felt sorta good, especially when I was in pain after my crummy exercises. This must have worked for some folks, or I doubt she’d recommend it. But ouch. Not for this gal!

        • tired of pain says:

          gmakathy, you are so right about getting older and things not working right for male or female. Who was the moron that invented Viagra? Guys, the aging vagina sometimes needs to retire. It goes through a lot in our lifetimes. Try to be understanding.

  19. gmakathy says:

    Thank you for sharing this info! I’ve been post-menopausal since my total hysterectomy 13 years ago and have osteopenia also. I will definitely look into getting ezorb Because if the absorption rates differ that highly, it’s worth any extra cost! Sadly, it seems the medical field doesn’t seem to take our female health issues seriously enough. Drug companies in cohoots with doctors. Lets get back to doctors in cohoots with patients.

    • MyBabyCakes2006 says:

      EZorb really isn’t that much more expensive than the 27% absorption rate Calcium Citrate was…if any more at all. Of course the initial double dosage for the first 3 months ads up to more, but maintenance after that can be about the same. I have chosen to do the Optimum maintenance at least until they make me have another Bone Scan; but the Minimum Maintenance is less pills than I was having to take before, to get the 1200 mg a day they have said we need.
      I hope we get good results. 27% was doing a fair job; 92% absorption makes more sense to me. If that doesn’t work, then will be the time to consider other alternatives.

  20. Miss Daisy says:

    Well, I took the plug. Got my RX of osphena yesterday and taken the first pill. I’m anxious for the results. Would be wonderful to make love to my husband for our anniversary on June 11th…with out pain!!!!

    • Katrina says:

      Miss Daisy; Good luck and we will be waiting to hear how your anniversary goes. Cheers!

  21. Evergreen50 says:

    Baby Cakes,

    I live in Nebraska , but I love Evergreen trees!

    Like you, my Osteopenia is under control. It’s remained stable for a number of years. I’m just hoping Osphena improves my scores.

    Regarding cost, my insurance picks up a majority of the co-pay. I only pay $65 for a three months supply. With the Osphena savings card my first prescription was a zero co-pay for three months. My next five refills will be a $35 co-pay. Then I will pay $65 for a three month supply.

  22. Sweetie says:

    Hello Ladies… have not been on the forum in a while…. went and picked up my first prescription yesterday, so very excited to see what the next few weeks hold…. :)
    The price was not bad with the Osphena savings card…. w/ my insurance would have been $160. w/ savings card only $60 and then I do believe $50 off for the next year…I have been thinking on the discharge issue…I do believe that we women who have had totally hysterectomies will not have the discharge, cause there is nothing there to discharge from… makes sense to me, so i am going with that…if I do get some discharge I will surely let you know… I will also let you know how other symptoms progress in the next few weeks… Thank you Ladies out there for your input and guidance. We ROCK!

    • MyBabyCakes2006 says:

      I’m the one who has ;mentioned having the discharge, and my Hystorectomy was TOTAL…everything. I am still having orange discharge since the one sexual encounter we had a month ago. I am concerned, and plan to see my GYN about it. Otherwise, it is only a bother because hair sticks in the dry discharge and HURTS when it pulls the hair. It does it worse when I wear a panty liner, which I need when I am away from the house, since a sneeze or cough can cause me a slight accident.

      • Katrina says:

        Babycakes; Just a thought regarding your discharge….maybe a Brazilian Wax would help?
        Of course the process for that is fairly painful for a few minutes also….

        • MyBabyCakes2006 says:

          Boy, it’s hard to locate the comments made on the comments-to-other-comments; they’re still at the bottom of each list. I’m sure I have missed some of the comments left directly to me.
          I don’t know what a Brazilian Wax is, but I can guess, and I’m definitely not in to that kind of stuff. I want all the coverage I can get, especially when I look at myself in the mirror. I did have a boyfriend a LONG time ago who wanted me to shave down there…and it was much worse growing out than the discharge hair pulling right now.
          I do have an appt. next Thurs. with my GYN, to check into the reason for the orange color of the discharge since our one sexual encounter over a amonth ago.

    • It's About Ti,e says:

      Hi Sweetie,
      I wish you the best of luck! Looking forward to your reviews. I can’t go on Osphena right now as I’m having health issues that I’m addressing. All issues are autoimmune. This time it’s not my MS. (relapsing-remitting ms)
      Thanks for your post!

  23. Lesley says:

    Uuuh, is there a way to find/ click to new comments that are supposed to be on your comment or thread ? I made comments yest. and got notices (from Katrina for example ) I had comments but cannot find them.

    • barbara says:

      Hi Lesley, comments are chronological – most recent first.

    • barbara says:

      Hi Lesley, comments are now chronological by request of this commenting group.

  24. Evergreen50 says:

    The reason my GP and gynecologist suggested Osphena as opposed to the other creams etc., is because it might soon be approved for osteoporosis. I do have osteopenia and this drug seems to work like Evista. If I have any negative reactions to osphena, I will post again.

    • MyBabyCakes2006 says:

      If Osphena ends up working like Evista, I’ll stop taking it, because I too have Osteopenia and already refused to take Evista…or any of the other drugs like that they suggest. I read that they keep the dead bone cells, and thereby make the bones look more dense even though they can actually be more brittle. Anyway, it’s creepy to think about keeping dead bone cells in my body. I opted for a new form of calcium that has a 92% absorption rate, compared to Calcium Citrate’s 27%. It is called EZorb, and I ran across it while looking for the definition of Osteoparenia. It really isn’t any more expensive than the Calcium Citrate I used to take, overall, and I read 11 pages of glowing testimonials about it. Some people have even brought their numbers back up to normal with it. Look it up, at ezorbonline.com; I carry flyer copies with me all of the time, to educate women about it. EZorb stimulates bone forming cells activity to convert calcium into NEW bone mass. No hanging onto dead bone cells, for me. I liked what I read; study it for yourself.

      • Lesley says:

        Babycakes, the site you mentioned is from/controlled by the manuf. and thus all info should be highly suspect (as are the studies I have seen so far on Osphena) Just saying…..

      • Evergreen50 says:

        BabyCakes,
        I was told by the GYN that the dead bone cells is true of drugs like Fosamax, but not Evista.

    • MyBabyCakes2006 says:

      Evergreen, are you by any chance in Arkansas? My Mother’s Senior group at her Church called themselves the Evergreens.
      According to the ads on TV, all of those Rx’s seem to have stomach/digestion side effects. I already have IBS, and Nexium did not help at all. Don’t need any additional problems in that area. I always figured that calcium was just going to have to do it for me. I put off the Bone Scan for 10 yrs, and am still only in those first stages. The calcium citrate worked good enough to do that.

    • Lynn says:

      I also have osteo; Am seeing my doctor next week and will ask for Osphena. Besides being in pain, feeling guilty for my lack of libido, my husband is ready to leave me and am thinking that may be the right decision. Very willing to try Osphena as a last result. I am hoping it will help. Thanks for listening.

      • MyBabyCakes2006 says:

        I also had the non-patient “husband problem”, but even though the Osphena seemed to have worked, he has not approached me again, saying that I do not want him. I don’t NOT want him, either; he’s the one not making advances for me to act on…which has always been my way to deal with sex. Guess I’d have to be climbing all over him for him to feel I want him, and that was never me, even in my younger, sex-active days. Some got libido back with Osphena, but not sure I actually ever had any…so I still have that problem and it is the problem now, between us.

        • Evergreen50 says:

          BabyCakes,
          You must be so frustrated by now. Hope your husband becomes more understanding.

        • Lynn says:

          Hi Babycakes, Am also hoping that your husband will be more understanding. Going through the same thing with mine. Stay in touch. Take care. Lynn

      • Evergreen50 says:

        Lynn, I’m so sorry to hear that your husband is not supportive. It’s got to be hard on you.

        • Lynn says:

          Evergreen, Thanks for your reply. It’s always nice to know that someone can understand problems we have all faced. Thanks again. Keep in touch.

      • gmakathy says:

        LYNN, I’m sorry to read that your husband would be willing to leave you for something you have no control over! What if the site was on the other foot and he couldn’t get it up? ! After reading many of these posts, no one has said they’re doctors have suggested stretching exercises along with the various creams. My gyn suggested getting “toys” to stretch my very tight vaginal wall, doing this every day. At some point, I inserted my thumb so that I could feel what he was describing. It felt like a very tight rubber band about an inch into my vagina! Wow! Now I understood why my husband of 31 years could not penetrate without causing me severe pain. I too had been put on Estrace several years ago with no noticable difference. I have never done the exercises more than once a week due to the pain and bleeding, causing the vagina to be raw and sore for a week. I read here that one lady swears by olive oil so we’ll try that next time. I’ll look forward to reading how things go for all my fellow post- menapausal sisters!

  25. Evergreen50 says:

    My vaginal dryness was pretty severe. My doctor had trouble taking a Pap smear because I was so dry. But for the last few years my husband I put up with it by using lots of lubricant and foreplay. It wasn’t till three months ago that I had to find a solution. Unfortunately, due to the vaginal atrophy, I developed Bacterial infections, pressure to pee all the time, yeast infections and constant UTI’s. One UTI was so severe that I had to go to the emergency room in the middle the night. I was bleeding heavily.

    At this point both my GP and gynecologist insisted that I use a RX that would help with vaginal atrophy. By the way, I’ve never had kids, cancer and still have my uterus, but I had menopause at 45. My husband is 49 and I am now 56 years old.

    So I started Osphena three weeks ago. So far I have had no side effects. I noticed a difference in vaginal moisture within a week. Also, my orgasms seem to be more intense and no UTI’s. I really don’t need the 20 minute backrub that my husband gives me as foreplay before sex anymore. But I look forward to the backrub as much as the sex!

    Anyway, I will update again in a month about my experience with Osphena. Thank you for all the comments below. It’s really helpful to see how others are reacting to the drug.

    • Curious says:

      It’s really great to read the new user’s comments and know that there are more people using Osphena.

      I’m especially interested to know that more of us have a link between the atrophy and UTIs — as I do.

      I see my gynecologist on the 13th and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that she’ll prescribe it.

      Good luck to everyone.

  26. Chrissie says:

    I’m 50 and had a total hysterectomy 14 years ago for a prolapsed uterus. Since, I’ve been on estrogen therapy for all but the last 21/2 years…my husband came home from Afghanistan and it took some time to find a new job. So, for that time I didn’t have any kind of meds on board. Just last month I called my gyn for vulvar itching. She diagnosed lichens simplex chronicus, a condition where the cells of the vagina and vulva experience actual change in response to the itch-scratch-itch cycle. I knew I was experiencing thinning of the vaginal wall and vulvar tissues, and because my husband hasn’t been home enough to have a normal sex life, it wasn’t an issue. My doctor put me back on Femring for estrogen, diflucan for a symptomless yeast infection and Osphena. She prescribed a 2.5% steroid ointment to be applied to the vulva, which produced relief within a day or so. I’ve been taking Osphena for 20+ days and I feel soooo much better.I had NO desire, no libido whatsoever. I go to see my husband in a couple of weeks and I fully expect to enjoy him.

    As far as side effects go, They’re listed in order of likelihood. Likelihood is affected by current and past medical history. Not having any chronic health issues, nor past cancers or family history of CVA, heart disease, or cancer, it’s unlikely I’ll experience any side effects. I’ll be glad to report on any developments.

    • Katrina says:

      Chrissie; Glad to hear it’s working for you too. Not sure if you still need the Femring but guess that’s for your Dr. to decide. Cheers!

      • Chrissie says:

        Thank you for the well wishes, Katrina. I will definitely stay with the Femring. Osphena is targeted for the vaginal cells only. Estrogen is good for vulvar cell health and moisture production, as well as vaginal muscle integrity and perineal elasticity. The frequent UTI’s and urethral thinning can also be helped by estrogen. With no family history of cancer, and no reproductive system for cancer to target, I am not afraid of estrogen. In fact, I’d made the decision long ago that fear of cancer would NOT dictate my life and health decisions. I’m definitely in favor of quality versus quantity of life.

        • Evergreen50 says:

          Chrissie,

          Both my GP and Gyn told me that Osphena works like estrogen only on vaginal tissues.
          So it is good for vulvar cell health and moisture production, as well as vaginal muscle integrity and perineal elasticity. My GP and Gyn do not work together, but they still told me the same thing. Also, told me Osphena is good to help prevent UTI’s because the UTIs are often caused by the thinning of the vaginal walls. With that said, I’m just glad to hear that what you’re taking is working for you. Good luck!

    • MyBabyCakes2006 says:

      You cannot use diflucan with Osphena. My GYN made sure I knew that before he sent in the Rx, since I keep a round of that on hand. I usually need it for the side-effects, when any other Dr. prescribes an antibiotic. It also has it listed in the drug information print-outs. Not long ago, I included that when I quoted a good deal of that print-out for the ones who had not seen it yet.

      • Chrissie says:

        Well, MyBabyCakes2006, I already did and the yeast infection is gone. No side effects, no problems. The thing to remember with side effects and drug interactions is that they CAN happen…not that they definitely WILL happen.

    • freebird14 says:

      Thanks Chrissie for posting about the itch cycle. I have been having that prob too. Going from creams to gels to premarin cream and now Ospena. I had a total hysterectomy 5 years
      ago the NP just stated I had atrophy. I don’t want to be on a bunch of hormones because I do have a family hx of cancer and heart problems. I am going to try what you are doing to see if that helps with this awful discomfort.
      Thanks again

  27. SuzyQ71 says:

    Hi ya’ll, I have been curious about Osphena since I 1st saw it on TV ad. I had a my uterus removed over 20 years ago when I 50+ yrs old. Since I had no history of breast or uterin cancer, my OBGYN put me on Premarin immediately. I continued using P until last year (almost 20 yrs ago) when I asked my new GYN for something that I could use that would target just the female organs instead of being injested thus coursing through my blood stream before reaching the target. She put me on Femring which worked very well but was quite pricey as it is Tier 4 drug. SinceI had been using HRT for almost 1/3 of my life, I decided about a month ago to stop using the Femring. ALL WRONG!!!!! Almost immediately I experienced hot flashes and within two weeks my vagina has atrophied. Intercourse is, to say the least excruciatingly painful and since my husband is very sympathetic we are having a difficult time in the bedroom. For me, lubricants (& we have tried 3 or 4) do nothing to alleviate the pain of intercourse. While the hot flashes are uncomfortable, I could deal with them if I could get back the satisfying passion we enjoy together without using estrogen. If O can do this I’m ready to give it a try. One of my concerns is the discharge I read about in this blog. Is this a side effect that is common with all of those who have been using O? Also, although I am relatively healthy my one issue is COPD. So I have a concern where that may be an issue.

    • Katrina says:

      No discharge to report…not in the beginning and not now.

    • MyBabyCakes2006 says:

      SuzyQ71, I seem to be one of the very few who have mentioned the discharge. I have actually thought about asking isn’t anybody else having the discharge. The discharge is driving me nuts, because the hair sticks in the dried pasty mucous, and quite often hurts when I move; especially since I seem to be moving most of the time. Mine was pale creamy tan for the first month, until we had relations for the first time; the next day it was reddish brown. I called the Dr., but he did not ask for me to come in. My husband has not taken advantage of the less pain again, and it has been another month. The discharge is beige/tan some days, and others is almost orange. I am concerned, and plan to call his office again…but not this week, since we are having out-of-town-company arriving tomorrow.
      Also, some recently mentioned it affected frequent urination; but it has not stopped mine. I always have that in the mornings, with or without my Lasix for ankle swelling and puffiness.

  28. HAPPY MAN says:

    I would like to convey the experience my wife and I have had with Osphena. My wife has been taking Osphena for 3 weeks now.

    Her Mother and Grand Mother both had breast cancer. She is afraid to take any estrogen products.

    Vaginal dryness was a serious problem for her. She would experience discomfort while walking. Also, she had a problem with frequent urination. The doctor said the dryness causes this.

    So far she has had no side effects. Yesterday we had a romantic encounter. In our romance, one thing led to another. I began to massage her vagina and then slipped my fingers into her. She was very moist and she became aroused and very passionate. We both agreed not to try intercourse at this time. We want to let Osphena work awhile. Prior to this drug, I could not even touch the outside of her vagina. Too much discomfort and a turn off for her.

    I am so happy for her. Her dryness problem has gone away and I can now sexually pleasure her like she deserves.

    We are both 66 yrs old. But, my wife looks 20 yrs younger than her age and is very attractive.

    Osphena has made a very good marriage even better.

    • Becca62 says:

      patience and understanding. I had not linked frequent urination, but yes even walking was made uncomfortable. Its worth the risk in my case. There’s a history of mothers cancer, and estrogen posed more risk. I was even told because I had a C-section to give birth and not through the birth canal it made me smaller. REALLY!! That’s a new one and it came from a GYN. Osphena worked for us.

      • AAA7353 says:

        Becca, I had two vaginal births, no cancer or chemo and have a severe case of vaginal atrophy. I was still getting my period when it began. Went thru menopause at 47 and it was downhill rapidly. I’m 60 now on Estrace, it gives very little relief. I think your dr is ill-informed.

        • becca62 says:

          I’d have to agree, Dr. not informed. AND an OB GYN at that. I’m just happy to have some relief.
          Urinary urgency gone and kept feeling like I had a bladder infection, I’m guessing from irritation. Now I have less dryness, less irritation and feeling much better. I’m not sure about the female viagra, but with all the pros I just mentioned, everything else would be a plus as well. Ob GYN comments: at least she gave me Osphena to try. I’d had creams and suppositories with no relief for years.

    • Katrina says:

      Happy Man; Thanks for your comments (though probably TMI). Osphena has also worked very well for our marriage. I know the “lubrication” is the main thing that Osphena brings back, but I have to say that my desire has returned as well in a big way sometimes more often than husbands. No matter though as I am comfortable going “solo” a couple times a week. Talk about TMI? It’s good to hear the comments from spouses.

  29. Lynn says:

    Hi All,

    Has anyone noticed the new TV ads for Premarin Cream lately? In the past week I’ve seen the commercial several times. Can’t remember ever seeing ads for this before, only after Osphena started TV advertisements. Sounds like competition.

    • MyBabyCakes2006 says:

      I don’t think there is any competition, since Premarin doesn’t work,as we all already know….and it puts us in that direct line of danger for Breast Cancer.
      I just wish I was also getting the feminine, sexy feeling from the Osphena that some others seem to be getting. The discharge makes me feel anything-but. But I’ll still take it over the messiness of Premarin, even if it worked; that isn’t a sexy feeling at all.
      Guess I would just rather not have to be on the Osphena, either, since it has not helped the way I myself feel. I’ve been on it 3 mo. now, and my husband has taken advantage of it once. He could blame it all on me before, but no longer. He wants me to be all over him for it, I guess, like all the young ones are these days. Sorry, that wasn’t me, even when I was young.

    • Beccasue62 says:

      YES I noticed that as well.
      Most of us have ben the premarin route,estrogens,

      I need to find penny stock on the Osphena and make some money, this really works.

  30. Paula says:

    Can anyone that has insurance tell me if osphena is very high. Just got a script for it and wondering what it costs. Thanks

    • Katrina says:

      My insurance won’t pay for it and the first script was $80 (with coupon from the Dr) and the next one was $130 and then for some reason, the following one was $50. Haven’t figured that out but didn’t want to complain. I got it at Walgreens.

    • MyBabyCakes2006 says:

      Mine costs me $13 for a 3 month supply from Express Scripts; but of course I have Tricare for Life. I was surpised myself, that I did not get charged a higher copay; as it turns out, I am paying the normal copay for a name brand product.

  31. CamperGal78 says:

    An update for the ladies here… I have had positive results so far with Osphena. (Note: I’m going to be a bit explicit here, not to be offensive but to give my fellow suffers the most detailed information possible.)

    Two very welcome improvements: first, I have LOTS of natural lubrication now, not quite like pre-menopause but certainly adequate. Secondly (an unexpected bonus!) my orgasms are more like in the old days too. One effect of menopause that I had experienced was a loss of intensity of orgasm: a “there but not quite” feeling. Now, within a week of starting “O” my orgasms are much closer to what they were pre-menopause.

    So far I have not noticed a major change in the other issue that I have, which is vulval pain. I am a bit less sensitive but still feel overly tight and intercourse is still mostly too painful. I am thinking some of that might be due to the fact that my husband and I have not had intercourse for around five years and I need to get things “in shape.” In any case I will continue treatment.

    I hope I don’t sound like a commercial for this drug, but so far I am EXTREMELY happy with the results I am getting. My sex life has improved markedly since I started this drug. My husband is happy that I am happier!

    I will continue to keep you all posted.

    • Lynn says:

      Hi CamperGal78,
      Not too explicit. Glad to hear that you’ve had such an improvement. Am definitely asking my doctor for a script. There is hope!

    • Katrina says:

      CamperGal; So glad that you are having good results too. Didn’t know if you saw my post below somewhere but I too had quick results from Osphena. My Dr. has me now taking it every other day because my libido was outpacing the husband’s and I was tempted to go to a “battery powered assist”. Ha ha

    • Miss Daisy says:

      Hi CamperGal78, it’s great you can have an orgasms an still be painful? I am so tempted to try O but still cautious.

  32. Sarah says:

    What is the ingredient in this if it’s not a hormone?

    • It's About Time says:

      I want to know that as well, Sarah. I believe it has to be a man-made chemical.

    • CamperGal78 says:

      Sarah,

      Here is a Wikipedia article on Ospemifene:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ospemifene

      Osphena is a “selective estrogen receptor modulator” (SERM).

      From another Wikipedia article: “SERMs act on the estrogen receptor in a selective manner, either as agonists [a chemical that causes an action], or as antagonists [blocks the action of the agonist], thereby granting the possibility to selectively stimulate or inhibit estrogen-like responses in different tissues.”

      So basically, Osphena acts like estrogen on some tissues (specifically the vagina) but doesn’t act like estrogen on other tissues (like the breast).

  33. judith08 says:

    The dr I see for my paps is just a general practioner and I usually see the np anyway. I will see what she says on my next visit for my results. They told me that medicare only pays every two years for a pap and every year for a mammogram. I see this dr. when I am in the south for the winter. I really dont have one when I travel north. I guess I will see how this pans out. I know I dont want the estrace, it doesn’t work! Why is it that these Dr’s don’t believe that we know our own bodies. I wonder if they know what it’s like when your body gets old but your heart doesn’t. Some of them just don’t understand or just don’t care or don’t care to listen.

    • MyBabyCakes2006 says:

      I think they are probably just too young to have experienced any of this….so no, they don’t know. They probably think it is all in our heads, like my husband did. They’ll get there, and then they will know.
      My GYN is a man, and he seems to understand my situation very well. Maybe he has had enough patients with it. Of course, he said that I bled, just examining me….every 2 years?…I don’t think so.

  34. judith08 says:

    I went to my dr. yesterday for my yearly female exam, I asked her about the osphena and she told me that it was just new on the market and she waits at least a year of it being on the market before she will prescribe it. She says she waits until studies have proven it to be safe. She said if my exam came back ok she would be willing to give me estrace, which I was using in the past and didn’t work. Also there is a risk with this too! She told me to use lots of ky jelly! Yuk! I didn’t tell her that I don’t have sex because of that reason. She didn’t sound too sympathetic. I’m at a loss here, not really sure what to do.

    • MyBabyCakes2006 says:

      I suggest you talk to your general practitioner, or any other doctor that you have a history with. I know we would normally ask our GYN, but can’t any doctor prescribe it? Give that a try.

    • Katrina says:

      Judith08; Maybe tell your Dr. that you have researched this yourself and that you WANT to try it. Let her know you will find another Dr. who will prescribe it to you if she won’t. Osphena has a phone number on their site and will probably refer you to a Dr. who will help you out. Just a suggestion. Good luck!

      • MyBabyCakes2006 says:

        Letting your GYN know that you will get it from another Dr. might backfire on you. I had my Primary Physician drop me, with a registered informing me, after I let it slip that I was going to my leg-vein Dr. for his opinion on my swollen foot. The NP was giving me an antibiotic, even though the blood test showed no infection and no gout. I kept calling about the antibiotic because I was having the side-effects that it said to stop taking it and call your Dr. I had called my leg-vein surgeon to ask about the foot, and they gave me an immediate apppointment. It was not an infection, only inflamation from the small veins they had worked on in my foot a couple months before (when they closed leg veins that the valves were not closing), and he said I should not be on the antibiotic. I came home to find they had tried to deliver the letter from my Primary that day. I called his office, and they would not even tell me what was in the letter. Anyway, the reason they dropped me has to do with Liability Issues apparantly, because I brought another Dr. and possible treatment in on the diagnosis.
        I had the next Dr. after that drop me again…but I had already dropped him on my own. He wanted me to take a blood test every appt., which he set at every month; when I have panic attacks every time they try to put a needle into my tiny tiny veins.
        My blood pressure bottoms out, and the veins dissappear, making it much harder on me; it is something I have no control over. The draw of the blood is also very painful, since it suctions the walls of the vein, sometimes preventing the draw. The lady at LabCorp who could draw my blood without a panic attack, had to just let it drip, and sometimes had to milk the vein to get enough blood. …enough description of my situation.
        I just would not mention it to your GYN, that you are going to ask another Dr. You won’t see her for another year, and by that time you will know if it was worth the try. (…and did you know that Medicare only pays for the Pap Smear and physical Breast Exam every TWO years now?)

    • Lynn says:

      Hi All,

      Am going to my doctor within 2 weeks and will ask for Osphena, Am 58 years old, nothing else has worked. I think it’s time to try something different. Have been shortchanged for so long, as well as my husband, would rather take a chance than continue living without the intimacy we both deserve. Please all, don’t lose hope like I almost did. The past years have been horrible and unfair. Will stay in touch. Am hoping that everyone reading this will find some relief. Lynn

    • Deborah Grove says:

      My NP has me using premarin cream vaginally and a topical ointment called fluocinolone actonide on the outside. It has worked great for me

      • MyBabyCakes2006 says:

        I’m too afraid of breast cancer to use the hormones. Besides, back when I did at first, it did not help. I not only had dryness, but paper-thin tissues without any stretch….and I needed lots of stretch, or at least my husband did. My Dr. had even prescribed self “stretching exercises”, which did not go over well with me at all. I hated the idea, as well as the activity. It was gross, and made me not care if he ever got any again.

      • Lynn says:

        Have used premarin, but have never heard about Fluocinoline Actonide. Am glad you’ve found that it works. Will ask my doctor about it. Am very curious.

    • Beccasue says:

      Osphena. Month one: Skin irritation decreased. My skin felt thinner than the tissue paper I was using. Month two: First sex in 2 years.
      Finally, normal sensations are returning. Forgot what that was like. My Internal med Dr can’t even talk with about it. Go to GYN. I was only Nurse Practitioners. Finally GYN / OB group joined my clinic. history, premarin cream, patches, and estrogen vag suppositories, KY all yuk, Don’t grosse out. Use Olive oil. Hey it works. No it doesn’t matter which one, virgin, extra virgin, just kidding. I bought Great Value from Wal Mart. That along with the Osphena,its all good.

      • It's about time says:

        beccasue, so happy for you! I’ve got so many other health problems right now and have put this on the back burner. But if and when it settles down I’ll look into Osphena.

        • HAPPY MAN says:

          I would like to convey the experience my wife and I have had with Osphena. My wife has been taking Osphena for 3 weeks now.

          Her Mother and Grand Mother both had breast cancer. She is afraid to take any estrogen products.

          Vaginal dryness was a serious problem for her. She would experience discomfort while walking. Also, she had a problem with frequent urination. The doctor said the dryness causes this.

          So far she has had no side effects. Yesterday we had a romantic encounter. She was very moist and she became aroused and very passionate. We both agreed not to try intercourse at this time. We want to let Osphena work awhile. Prior to this drug, I could not even touch the outside of her vagina. Too much discomfort and a turn off for her.

          I am so happy for her. Her dryness problem has gone away and she feels much better.

          We are both 66 yrs old. But, my wife looks 20 yrs younger than her age and is very attractive.

          Osphena has made a very good marriage even better.

  35. CamperGal78 says:

    The author does a great disservice to women who are suffering from vulvovaginal atrophy. It is not some made-up thing that a drug company cooked up, it is a very real problem for many women! And yes, it IS dire… painful and humiliating, it affects our deepest and most important relationships.

    I had never heard of vulvovaginal atrophy until I started menopause myself and suddenly, pretty much overnight, intercourse was so painful my husband and I just stopped doing it. We still have intimacy, but it’s just not the same, and my libido is definitely affected. My husband is very understanding, but the feeling that we cannot enjoy full intimacy with him never leaves my mind. We went from having a fantastic sex life to a not-so-great one.

    I too have tried hormone creams: Estrace, compounded bioidenticals, testosterone, you name it. None of them helped at all. After 5 years, I have pretty much given up. At my last pelvic exam my NP suggested that I try Osphena, and she gave me a a handful of samples. She doesn’t know anyone who has used it yet but I said I would give it a try. I have been doing my homework and yes, there are risks… there are risks just leaving my house to drive to work every day! I am willing to accept some risk if it means that I have hope of enjoying full sexual relations with my husband again. I am 54 years old and am not ready to spend the rest of my life without sexual intercourse!

    I’m so grateful I found this post and can hear your stories. I have just started taking Osphena, and I will report back. It’s high time we women stopped suffering in silence and started talking about this! Best of luck to everyone, and may you find relief.

    • MyBabyCakes2006 says:

      Good to have another on board.
      For me (and I am sure there are others with husbands like mine), the problem bigger than the severe pain, was that my husband truly believed it was all in my head, because of my Catholic upbringing etc. He said that he knew me, and that anything I really wanted, I always found a way to make it happen. Nothing else I had tried worked, and since we really did’nt have any intimacy other than intercourse itself, he was really difficult to contend with. He works nights, and the rest of the time we are never in the same room together, even…unless it is at a restaurant or the VFW, with lots of people around, and very little conversation between us. His subjects are always politics or economics, which are downers to me, and certainly nothing to make me feel close to him anymore. At least now with the Osphena, when he IS interested, I don’t have to avoid the situation because it’s going to feel like I’m being raped.

    • Curious says:

      CamperGal78, I agree there are risks to every aspect of life and this is just one more. Intimacy with my husband is far more important to me than the potential risk of Osphena, particularly when I can mitigate some of that risk with diet and exercise.

      I look forward to hearing what your experience is, as I know many others do as well. As for me, I’m counting the days to the next appointment with my gynecologist. I will hold her to her statement that she’ll let me give Osphena a try — because Estrace hasn’t been enough.

      Best of luck!

    • Miss Daisy says:

      Amen girl! I am so anxious to hear of your results!!!!

    • Katrina says:

      CamperGal; Thanks for your post. Well said!
      As you can see from my posts I am very happy with Osphena thus far. Even though my Dr. told me it wouldn’t improve my desire, just provide the moisture needed to avoid pain, I found that it really did improve the desire alot! I would say more about that subject but I have been censored by the moderators here…can you believe they would censor us “seniors”? Funny. But please keep us updated on your progress. I noticed a difference in the first month on Osphena. Cheers!

      • Barbara, Senior planet editor says:

        Hi Katrina, Senior Planet doesn’t sensor comments unless they are spam or abusive. We haven’t censored comments in this thread – as you can see from what’s posted. If we’ve let one of your comments fall through the moderation cracks, our apologies; we’ll look back and approve any we’ve missed.

        • Katrina says:

          Thanks for weighing in Barbara; Glad to know you don’t censor. I left a comment in January that never made it beyond “awaiting moderation” so must have fallen through the crack you mentioned. Thanks again! Katrina

    • TopazGirl says:

      I requested Osphena from my GYN MD during my annual visit yesterday. He tried to talk me out of it, wanting me to stay on my Premarin and vaginal cream. He asked me if I was prepared for more hot flashes. He asked which was more important to me, managing the hot flashes or my vagina…no hesitation on my part, I said MY VAGINA. He shook his head, still unconvinced, but gave me 25 day sample of Osphena, a discount coupon and a prescription for it as well as a script for my Premarin. I can’t take them together, but he is convinced I will be back to my Premarin in no time. If I can find this group again, I will update with my experiences.

      • Katrina says:

        TopazGirl; Please do let us know how Osphena works for you….we’re all hoping this is the answer we’ve been waiting for. I’m happy so far.

      • CamperGal78 says:

        TopazGirl,

        I am so infuriated (though not surprised) at the medical establishment’s attitude towards what we are going through. If you asked a man, “what’s more important to you, losing your hair or your penis?” I think we all know what the answer would be.

        The fact that female doctors are so reluctant to help us is a whole ‘nuther thing… I just keep feeling they are more worried about covering their you-know-whats than giving us the treatment we need.

        So as in most health care today, we have to be informed, proactive patients.

  36. MyBabyCakes2006 says:

    I am so envious of all of you who’s husbands have been supportive of your condition. Mine was estatic that the Osphena has allowed him to “have his wife back”. He has always claimed that my situation was such a hardship on him, but just the one night, and then nothing. He’ll NEVER admit that his drive is not like it once was; but I will end up putting up with the side effects of Osphena daily, for his once-in-a-while needs.
    My discharge went back to it’s normal tan color, and my Dr. did not ask to see me. His nurse said that if I did not have any itching or burning with the reddish discharge, it probably was not an infection; that the blood was probably from the tissues. I was anxious to see what happened with the next sexual encounter, but then he went on to bed after the VFW dance the next week, saying he was tired. (He works nights, and through these last 14 years, he has only been interested on nights following the VFW dances…and really not very often.)
    The side effect of the pasty discharge itself, is driving me crazy, since it dries in the hair and pulls when I move and walk….which really hurts, often every day. Just another example of me hurting daily, so that he can have his pleasure when he wants it, even if it is not very often. So you can see why I am envious of you all, even though the Osphena seems to be working for me. I do love him, but a lot of resentment is in the way; there is a definite lack of passion on my part. Perhaps I just do not love him in the right way.

    • Katrina says:

      Babycakes; I had to smile while reading your post. My husband too had been complaining for 12 years about my lack of libido and encouraging me to do “something”. And now I have and he’s really only interested maybe once every two weeks. Regardless, I like the way I am feeling now. Still have night hot flashes and an occasional leg cramp but otherwise I feel 20 years younger and feminine again so I will stay with the Osphena for now.

  37. Lynn says:

    Dear Ms. Daisy,
    I can totally relate to what you are going through, am not been able to speak to someone except doctors since my complete hysterectomy in 2007. They have not been able to help. My marriage and my state of mind has been terribly affected since then. My husband is very supporting, but I am feeling a lot of guilt because I am unable to satisfy him, and personally, myself, don’t care if I ever experience intimate relations again. That seems very unfair to my husband and to myself. Am willing to try Osphena now, since, side affects are not an issue now. Lynn; never in my life thought this would be an issue. Thank you for your response!

    • Miss Daisy says:

      Lynn, same issues with the giult! I am a women that went from 2 or 3 orgasums to 0. My Dr. Told me check online for comments concerning the osphena, since she only had 1 patient on it and not great results. Need more feedback to make a decision.

    • Lynn says:

      Dear Miss Daisy,
      Thank you for responding. Am starting a new job. Will see my doctor soon, will request Osphena, hopefully, it will help. The guilt and the feelings of loss on both my husband’s part and mine are overwhelming. After all this time, I will give it a shot. Couldn’t be worse than it is now. Lynn

      • Lynn says:

        Hi! Am thanking you again for responding. Know what you’re going through. It really isn’t fair. Please keep in touch. Somehow, we’ll get through this! Lynn

  38. Curious says:

    I saw my gynecologist a couple of weeks ago. She wants me to try Estrace (again) for six weeks and if it doesn’t relieve all symptoms, she is open to prescribing Osphena.

    I have interstitial cystitis, an autoimmune condition that results in damage to the walls of the bladder. Symptoms are pretty easily controlled by avoiding trigger foods and beverages but it means that I’m more sensitive to things in general. My gynecologist thinks that the bio-identical hormones that I was on last summer might have been the final straw that kicked off the IC. We’ll never know for certain, but they didn’t help with the vaginal atrophy and dryness, that much is certain.

    I really appreciate this forum, and especially Katrina and MyBabyCakes (and anyone else that I may have missed) who posts their experiences with Osphena. This sort of user experience is priceless when it comes to making a decision about trying Osphena myself.

    With luck in another month or so, I’ll be detailing what Osphena is like for me, too.

    Thanks and good luck, everyone.

    • Miss Daisy says:

      Curious, very anxious concerning your results. Please let me know!

  39. Miss Daisy says:

    I am 60 years old and very much “in love” with my husband. But, I have such terrible pain when we have relations. So, we don’t. It is very frustrating. I can tell my husband resist fondling thinking it will lead to love making, which is very painful to me. Not fair to either of us. BTW, I had breast cancer 2 years ago. Very cautious about what I should take, but very willing in order to bring love-making back to our marriage. Desperate! Help.

    • It's about time says:

      Dear Daisy, I am also 60 years old and have the same problem. Unlike most of the women here, I did not have a hysterectomy or cancer. Vaginal atrophy just started to happen in my mid-forties. By the time I reached my fifties my period was long gone,(around 47-48). I have tried lubricants, was on Prempro for 3 years for the hot flashes, (no help with the atrophy). Then on Estrace, which gives little relief.. I am in the same place you are. Not sure if I should ask my gyno for Osphena as I have some other health issues which are all auto-immune related. Ask you gyno about the Osphena several women here say they are getting good results. Good luck!

    • Katrina says:

      Miss Daisy; For sure I’d make sure your Dr. is on board with this. Yes, I had all the pain too from no moisture. As I said earlier, the moisture has returned and we don’t have to use any additional creams or lotions. Good luck.

      • Miss Daisy says:

        Hi, I am assuming you are using osphena? For how long? Did you have any other medical issues? My breast cancer was fueled by estrogen. Have to be careful. Really scared of cancer of the uterus! Thanks

        • Katrina says:

          Yes Miss Daisy; I am using Osphena. I had a physical before I started using it. Dr. said that since I didn’t have to worry about uterine cancer (no uterus anymore) and because I am active and have no problem with cholesterol or high blood pressure that I should feel confident in trying it. Osphena has no estrogen in it if I read the details correctly. I know it hasn’t worked for everyone but it is sure working for me! Cheers!

    • MyBabyCakes2006 says:

      Miss Daisy, I got out the printout that came with my Osphena Rx from Express Scripts; they do not send the paperwork that is sometimes inside of a medicine box. There are several things listed on here, concerning breasts and breast cancer. I will attempt to copy the applicable quotes for you and the others.
      “You should not use this medication if you are allergic to ospemifene, if you are pregnant, or if you have:
      - a history of heart attack, stroke, of blood clot;
      - unusual vaginal bleeding that a Dr. has not checked; or
      - any type of breast, uterine, or hormone-dependent cancer.
      Tell your Dr. if you have:
      - liver disease;
      - a history of breast cancer; or
      - risk factors for coronary artery disease.”

      “Ospemifene is usually taken once daily. Follow all directions on your Rx label. Do not take this medication in larger or small amounts or for longer than recommended. ….Take with food.”

      “Your Dr. should check your progress on a regular basis (every 3 to 6 months) to determine whether you should continue this treatment. Self-examine your breasts for lumps on a monthly basis while taking ospemifene.
      …..Any Dr. or surgeon who treats you should know that you are taking ospemifene.”

      Of course it lists all the side effects such as : “Sudden numbness or weakness, sudden severe headache, slurred speech”, etc.; “Chest pain, sudden cough, wheezing, rapid breathing, coughing up blood”; “Pain, swelling, warmth, or redness in one or both legs”; or “Any unusual vaginal bleeding.”
      …plus the common ones that we all seem to already know about.

      “You should not use ospemifene together with estrogens, such as birth control pills or hormone replacement medications.” ….and the fact that you cannot take the antibiotic “Fluconazole” while taking Osphena; which my Dr. had already told me, since it is what he gives me for yeast infections.

      Maybe I got most of the topics that people have been asking questions about. If there was a way to upload a PDF copy of the whole 1 1/4 pages, to a link, I would be glad to do that.

      • Curious says:

        MyBabyCakes,

        The site that I always use for prescription drug information is rxlist.com because it offers all the same data that your doctor has in their Physicians Desk Reference. It also has patient-level information (in later pages) that is more relevant to the concerns of most people taking the drug in question.

        The important thing to know about Osphena is that it carries with it a black box warning, which you’ll see on the front page of the rxlist.com search. This is very unusual for the FDA to do but it speaks to the concern that some have about the drug. Maybe it was brought to the market because of demand with less than full data about the suspected problems. In retrospect, the FDA has been kind of arbitrary about their warning about drugs: Some that should have had a black box warning didn’t get it and others that did get it ultimately didn’t deserve it.

        (Does your husband know about the black box warning? Maybe if he did, and if he understood what it meant he would be a tad more understanding about what you are doing “so he can have his wife back”. Sorry if that is too personal a comment.)

        All that being said, I will still seek this drug because my intimate life with my husband is too big and too important a part of my life. Perhaps with more time and more users, the black box warning will be dropped. Maybe not.

        Thanks for typing out all the data from your printout so that everyone could see what it said.

        And that reminds me: I need to get a mammogram done before my next gynecologist appointment…

        • MyBabyCakes2006 says:

          My husband did read the black box warnings, and said they sounded like a pretty low percentage. They do seem directed more towards heart problems, stroke, and OTHER female cancers; even though it says not to use Osphena if you have had breast cancer. I had a full hystorectomy, so my concern is more about heart and stroke. Right now I’m not too worried since I have normal to low blood pressure, and I think my cholestrol is in good shape; at least it was last time it was checked. My Cardiologist says my heart’s beating strength is 60, where 50 is normal; whatever all that means. She says I have a small amount of extra fluid around the heart, but that she does not think it poses a problem. She looked up the Osphena warnings, and said that they estimate only 1% which is low. So for now, she said to go ahead and try it until the next echo-cardiagram in 4 months. Actually, the discharge is still the only negative I am having; but the constant discomfort of that is driving me nuts. I don’t seem to be bothered by any extra hot flashes. My hot flashes seem to be from stress or anxiety; especially when I have to get ready to go somewhere in a hurry, or at a certain time…which is still in a hurry for me.

    • Crys says:

      Hi daisy,
      I’m not a “senior” I don’t think lol. I’m 34 and was looking for info on weight side effects with osphena and came across this page.
      I wanted to chime in on your breast cancer concerns. I had endometrial cancer in 2010 at 30 and had a total hysterectomy. They put a mesh sling in which led to a ton of issues and had to have multi surgeries finally removing the mesh. All of this left my vaginal tissue a hot mess! I had to be placed on estrogen to heal the tissue or I wouldn’t get better.
      I’m brca 2+ and estrogen terrified me. But the risks had benefits and the plan to monitor closely weighed out so I was on vivelle dot for around 18 months. Creams caused a lot of irritation so I couldn’t do vaginal estrogen.
      Last year around this time I had a bad mammo then MRI then voila breast cancer. They can’t say the estrogen is linked for sure but I knew the risks. My urogyn and breast dr are some of the top in the country and directors of both of their respective depts at university of south florida so they knew what was best.
      I had a double mastectomy and reconstruction and partial lymph node removal. My cancer was stage 0 but had I not been on too of it it would have progressed.
      I’ve been off of vivelle for a year as well and my vaginal tissue at times feels like it’s trying to glue itself shut the dryness gets so bad. This leads to yeast infections etc which make the situation worse.
      As I said I’m 34. I have no “girl” parts left and at my age it really takes a toll on self image (thus why I was looking up weight side effects. The last thing I want is to gain weight on top of everything else) when I saw my breast doctor a few weeks ago I mentioned the dryness. He brought me samples of osphena and told me to give it a shot. He studied the chemical breakdown of it and such and told me that it’s tamoxifen pretty much has one altered chemical chain. It acts as tamoxifen in the rest of the body which is why the hot flashes etc are side effects. It’s repressing systemic estrogen but it stimulates an estrogen within the body that is directed specifically at the vagina.
      I have no breast tissue or ovaries so I didn’t need tamoxifen but my vaginal problems were still there and between the implants causing my upper body to constantly ache had my discomfort below from my atrophying vaginal tissue life was/is pretty miserable. I can’t live like this so I’m going to give it a shot.
      Because of the potential estrogen stimulation in the body the FDA requires that black box warning. I would speak to your dr about your concerns and consider how the benefit vs potential risks would be for you. You didn’t mention if you had a mastectomy or not (or maybe you did and I missed it.) but if there’s no breast tissue the risks are minuscule.
      Please forgive any typos my iPhone has a horrible sense of autocorrect humor.
      Good luck
      Crys

      • MyBabyCakes2006 says:

        Welcome, Crys; good to have another voice join us. I missed your and Curious’ posts before, since they were so far down in the list.

      • Katrina says:

        Yes Cyrys; Thanks so much for the very informative post. I hope you have good luck with Osphena. I am loving it. The only drawback so far (besides hot flashes and a few leg cramps) is that my husband has found that after 12 years of complaining about my diminishing libido, his desires have diminished too. Not sure it makes sense to take this expensive drug for a “once a month” romantic evening but I do like the way it makes me feel. I have to say I feel more feminine and not only have I not gained weight, I have lost weight. Not sure it’s anything to do with Osphena. I’ve been on it for a bit over 4 months.

        • Crys says:

          Weight loss would be awesome :) I lost weight after my hysterectomy but after the mastectomy I gained about 30lbs and with limited upper body strength it’s so hard to be super active to lose much.
          I’m on day 3 of taking this and I have noticed that my appetite seems depressed. I know I read someone say they were hospitalized for extremely high blood pressure and if oslhena does suppress appetite I can tell you what likely caused that. (I’m a respiratory therapist and worked trauma and critical care for 12 years so I have a tad of medical knowledge) I have migraines, estrogen gives me horrible migraines when it’s not steady in my body so that’s a plus to no estrogen ;) but I was on topomax a migraine med that decreases appetite as a side effect. I didn’t really notice I wasn’t eating or drinking much or sleeping much but I felt really energetic. That was the first 6 weeks maybe. And no migraines. Gotta add that. Then I got a horrendous migraine that wouldn’t go away. It was 3 days had getting worse. I felt this tingling feeling on one side of my head and thought I had a stroke. It was like something just popped. The headache wasn’t gone but I felt different. My husband left work and I decided that it was worthy of an ER visit. My blood pressure was 160/110. That’s a first for me. Ever.
          What happens is your electrolytes get whack. Calcium, sodium and potassium are critical for your cardiovascular system and when your not hydrating well or getting sufficient intake of those in your food it will hit you like a ton of bricks. Muscle cramps in your legs that my grandma says to eat a banana for are because your potassium is low. Increasing your fluid intake will help keep that from happening as well. Like if someone is on a fluid pill they’re usually on potassium as well so it doesn’t drop dangerously. But too much potassium isn’t good for you either. It has to stay regulated. The lethal injection that they give people in prison is potassium chloride in a mega dose.

          So a lot of the side effects I see for this medication aren’t necessarily the med (if my thoughts are correct. There’s not enough data out there to say for sure) they are things that could be prevented or lessened with proper nutrition, sleep, activity etc. sometimes we just forget to take care of ourselves and expect a medication to fix it. I’m preaching this to myself as well.

          Moral of this story is I lost weight as a nice side effect of a med that was a wonder drug for the reason I was taking it, but the side effects and my not being “smart” with my body and just thinking wahoo no migraines and I lost weight score, caused me more harm than good. I’ll cope with migraines as they come without taking that med.

          On another note, my urogyn has this thing he tells me “use it or lose it” having sex increases blood flow there which nourishes the tissue and relieves pain. But you have to do it regularly. The more the better obviously and not just because it’s sex but for your overall well being. Make sure lubes you use don’t have alcohol or parabens and stuff in them. Astroglide 100% natural in the brown and green box is the best. It’s not sticky or drying. If you keep blood flowing down there you might not have to worry about lube ;)

      • Curious says:

        Yikes, Crys, you’ve been through a lot so far. Here’s hoping that the next few decades of life treat you more kindly.

        Thanks for the extra information about Osphena – every extra bit helps and adds to the total for a better understanding of this new drug. Someone here said their doctor didn’t want to prescribe it until it had been out for a year (sorry, don’t remember who!), and while that is certainly sound policy there are those of us who just can’t wait.

        I have another 10 days until I see my gynecologist. I’m giving the Estrace a fair shot but it isn’t working enough to make intercourse possible. (It failed before.) I have a mammogram/breast ultrasound prior to the appointment so if all is well I expect she will go ahead and prescribe Osphena. I’m keeping my fingers crossed until then, just in case.

        I really am so grateful for this forum. The exchange of information and support is priceless. No one may have told us about this mess ahead of time but we’re figuring it out as we go. Thanks, ladies.

      • LawLady says:

        Hi Crys! I found this site/string when I was searching for “weight gain” in conjunction with Osphena. I have actually put on a bunch of weight and the hot flashes are murder, but it seems to be “working,” so I am putting up with the side effects so far. My story is somewhat like yours. Vulvar cancer twice and two partial vulvectomies. Total hysterectomy and ovary removal at 37. Was on estrogen/hormone replacement until I was diagnosed with estrogen-receptive cancer at 40. I’m 51 now and have HORRIBLE problems with vulvar atrophy due to all of my surgeries. So I had tried every possible RX and homeopathic/compounding pharmacy treatment and nothing worked. I am hopeful re: Osphena, but, as I said, have had both of the above side effects. Look forward to hearing how it’s all working for you. Best.

  40. MyBabyCakes2006 says:

    My tan discharge turned bright red this evening, with only the one sexual activity 4 days ago on Fri. night. I will call the Dr. tomorrow; my guess is that I will have to go into the big city so he can examine me. I cannot go tomorrow, because I already have a dental appt. here. If it was from the activity, seems like it would not have taken 4 days for blood to show up. If it is from the Osphena, then maybe. I sure do not want to have to stop taking it, although the cardiologist I was sent to just recently isn’t too thrilled about me taking it.
    Anybody else have their discharge change?

    • Katrina says:

      Please let us know what you find out!

  41. Katrina says:

    Progress Reports! I’d like to know of other’s experience with Osphena also. I am well into my third month on it and I have to say I am very very happy with the results. My doctor said I wouldn’t notice a difference for about 12 weeks but it started working in the first month. No pain during intercourse and the natural “moisture” returned..huge improvement. At first I had some leg cramps and hot flashes at night. I drink lots more water now when I take the pill and leg cramps are gone but I still have minor hot flashes at night. A small tradeoff. I also have to say I feel more “feminine”…don’t know if that’s related but I like it! I went back to my Doctor and told him the Osphena was working TOO well so he has me taking it every other day now. I hope you get my meaning….husband couldn’t keep up. Please share your experiences…lots of us are curious.

    • MyBabyCakes2006 says:

      I’m just into the beginning of my 3rd month. We finally tested it, since he’s been impatient. I still have to use lots of silicone lubricant, and most of the pain was gone. Sure wish this stuff would give me a sex drive, along with tissue improvement. I still had to pretend; which is hard when you don’t remember how. Everything that feels good is all on the outside, for me; and I can’t handle but just a few minutes of that, since I drink very little now. In my younger days, I was usually drinking when sex happened.
      The tan discharge looks a little pinker; hope that is nothing to worry about. Wearing panti-liners is already getting old; the discharge dries and pulls hairs, which is uncomfortable.
      Anyway, overall the Osphena makes a big improvement, and maybe my husband will stop saying how I had just one day cut off the sex….when he has needs.

      • Katrina says:

        MyBabyCakes; I don’t have any discharge. And I don’t have to use any other lubricants at all. Of course I think a glass of wine helps too…we’ve been together 15 years. Nothing wrong with a little wine and a good fantasy. Good luck and I’m glad it’s helping some.

      • Curious says:

        For what it’s worth MyBabyCakes, as I got drier and sex got more painful I researched a lot of lubricants — as I’m sure we all did. The best one I came across is called Liquid Silk, and it is water based dimethicone.

        As I said, FWIW.

        • Natural Woman says:

          Instead of lubricant products, try using 100%
          vitamin E oil. No chemicals added and great for your skin too. Vitacost sells it in a glass pump bottle for $7.

        • MyBabyCakes2006 says:

          The one I found that worked better for me, is a silicone (dimethicone) one, that is much thicker than most, so not at drippy, anyway. It is KamaSutra Pleasure Lotion; I found it online, and happened to be the first I ordered. When I ordered a different silicone one later, I found out that they are not all as thick as the KamaSutra.
          My oil choice would have to be coconut, since I use so much of it anyway (great for hair & skin); but it would be too drippy for me, in it’s liquid form.

          • Lesley says:

            On coconut oil: I use for everything now–started exp. on me before intended use on dogs ears. Is a wonderful thing. (I have just got here because of a link saying to use as vag. lub–hey–wonderful-have not yet, but will try. Did use “outside” on lab. irritation and totally stopped).

            I buy extra virgin in jar at Walmt where you find vitamins for about $10/ 10oz…it is hard like wax and I dig it out of jar to use . It melts at 74* My house is 68* yr round. ( It is NOT liquidy in the natural form…maybe cooking types which I’ve not bought and may have additive to make them liquid?) 100% extra virgin is hard waxy in cool jar but melts fast on tip of finger …would be v. easy to try vaginally.

            As additional benefit, it is mild antibiotic/anti fungal like vinegar without the sting/ icky smell and it also immediately elim. any odor anywhere–not covers up….The more I use it the more I like it. (My burri girl in Figi said they use for everything there-teeth, hair,blemishes, deod., feet fanny etc.)

            I am researching this new med because tho orgasmic/very much enjoyed sex originally, sex is so painful/I am so tight/shrunk/dry/ probably thin skinned too, even if I try to bear pain, my husb. stops of late, when he sees my face in pain. Thank god. Never been raped, but I sure feel that that must be something like how it feels.

            Very worried about side effects of all drugs. No cancer etc. but I always try to wait a yr. for side effect info. as someone’s Gyn said. (Baby aspirin on rare occassion is all I use).

            Anyone here also sensitive to wheat or glutin (not saying total Celiac, as was tested and came out neg), but this extreme vag. dryness irritation seemed to lessen when I stopped wheat …also noticed NO MORE dark circles under eyes.

            (I seem to be hughly estrogen sensitive –several big fibroids removed throughout life–I think Estrace made my breasts HUGE–HATE HATE big boobs and made me gain weight).

            Also have had post meno. breakouts; lost hair on legs but suddenly noticed no hair on arms and almost none under arms–do not know when that happened. Hair on head is also about half as thick, but had very thick hair so I get blank looks from friends or Dr….no hot flashes or other that I recognize.

  42. Katrina says:

    I just left a message for the “Osphena” official website managers. It is such a lame site; no updates, no forum, no newsletter, even though I signed up for the “Inner Circle” a few months ago. Anyone else notice this? I know it’s a Japanese company but obviously they have a US entity handling communications. Bad PR in my opinion.

    • It's about time says:

      Katrina,
      I did the same thing about a month ago. When someone replies you have to go searching for it, there’s no order to the site. I suggested a quote and reply format. I was lucky to have found your post!

      • Katrina says:

        Thanks for contacting them too. We’ll see if anything happens. By the way, today I went to pick up my prescription (4th month) and Walgreens had marked it down from $130 (with discounts) to $50! Boy was I surprised. Don’t know what that means but I’m happy.

      • MyBabyCakes2006 says:

        You have to go searching on this site, too. I also suggested a quote & reply format for this Senior Planet website a couple weeks ago.

        • Barbara Aria, Senior Planet editor says:

          Hi MyBabyCakes, comments are threaded, so that replies to a comment appear under that comment. We’ve now switched the order in which comments appear, with the most recent comment (and replies to that comment) appearing at the top I hope this helps.

          • It's about time says:

            Thank you very much Barbara. I was surprised to find the latest comments so quickly. Glad to know someone is there to help.

          • Katrine says:

            Thanks Barbara! This was a big help. This is the only forum for this discussion that I have found. I have many friends looking for information on Osphena and I point them here.

          • Curious says:

            This format is so much better. Searching for the newest comments at the bottom of the page was frustrating because it took too much time to comb through all the older threads.

            Thanks for the change!

          • Barbara, Senior Planet editor says:

            You’re very welcome – we’re glad we could could help.

  43. judith08 says:

    I have bc/bs as my secondary insurance. I have to get my scripts through express scripts which is through my bc/bs. When I discuss this with my dr. should she code it so my insurance will pay for it? I know I will have a co-pay, I do on my other meds. I have tried the vaginal suppositories which did not help. I am hoping this will be available for me to try. I guess I am like other women my age and just chalked it up to growing old, that sex becomes painful so you just stop.

    • MyBabyCakes2006 says:

      Tricare uses Express Scripts, too; but I think the insurance (Tricare or BC/BS) still dictates what is on the formulary list for their own patients…but don’t quote me on that. The Formulary List is their list of approved drugs to cover at all. I had a new allergy medication prescribed, and the co-pay was real high, even though it was generic; because it was Non-formulary (not on their list).

  44. judith08 says:

    Does anyone know if insurance pays for this? I have medicare and a supplemental insurance.

    • MyBabyCakes2006 says:

      judith08, It depends on your Supplement, if your Rx coverage comes with it. Some do, like Tricare for Life, and others don’t. Read the comments already here, and you’ll see what I mean.

      • Katrina says:

        Well, Blue Cross/Blue Shield does not pay for it. Maybe my Doctor isn’t “coding” it correctly. I will speak to him. See my comments above regarding costs.

  45. Lynn says:

    I had to undergo a complete hysterectomy 6 years ago at the age of 52, and only 5 months into my first marriage. Life has never been the same for me nor for my husband. Seems terribly unfair and is more than a little uncomfortable. Have tried HRT and herbal alternatives, but they resulted in side effects like high blood pressure and basically no relief from the problem. I feel shortchanged and I know my husband does too, as we’re not yet 60. I’m willing to try Osphena, but am sure the cost is outrageous. This condition is most definitely real and painful, and although my husband has been very understanding, it has still unfortunately changed the dynamics of our relationship.

  46. shiloh says:

    There is absolutely a need for something to help women. Stop focusing on men’s needs only. My pain is awful.

    • Katrina says:

      I’m trying to find better prices for Osphena. I went to Walgreens to pick up my second prescription and they wanted to charge $130. I left it there and came home and called the number on the “Osphena savings card”. It says on the front “Pay no more than $35 for the next 5 refills”. Not true. They do pay part of the fee for the drug so we figured out that Walgreens is charging $215 for a month’s supply. So I guess my $130 is not so bad. I called Costco and their full price for Osphena is $195.68 so I think I will transfer the script there. Anybody get a better deal at a national pharmacy?

      • MyBabyCakes2006 says:

        I’m the lucky one who has Tricare, but with those prices for people without good Rx coverage, you can sure tell which sex is on the bottom of the importance totem pole. I haven’t heard anyone mention that Viagra and Cialis are that expensive.

        • Curious says:

          Our insurance doesn’t cover Viagra or Cialis. Ten Viagra tablets cost about $250.00; Cialis is a little bit more but in the same ballpark.

          The patent should have expired on Viagra years ago but Pfizer has managed to keep it intact through legal wrangling.

          My husband is very healthy but he worries about me because of my health problems. Worry tends to get in the way of performance, hence the ED drugs.

  47. Sweetie says:

    Ladies… after reading lots of comments in this forum, and really giving it some thought last night, I think I am contacting my doctor..side effects – do we really know the side effects of ANY of the other medications that your trusted physcian prescribes to you. I figured, if I am going to leave this world because of a side effect from this “pill”, then I am going to enjoy ALL the time I can with my husband in a good relationship..go out with a bang is what I say! :)

    • Katrina says:

      My feelings exactly Sweetie! My husband has a “condition” and probably has only a few years of quality time left and he deserves an “enthusiastic” partner. That’s why I started taking Osphena. And I’m so glad I did. I’m now taking every other day because the new stronger libido was outpacing husband’s. Ha ha. Haven’t noticed a difference yet but no other side effects have appeared besides the hot flashes at night. Just turn the a/c down lower!

      • Lesley says:

        Was wondering if you/ anyone had cut the pills in half or quarters even after achieving some positive effects? Would think that smaller dosing but continuous would be better.

  48. Sweetie says:

    Intercourse with my husband of 18 yrs has been the most painful thing in my life this past 3yrs. I am going to be 53 in March and had a hysterectomy at the ripe age of 35. Had I known what was in for me, I would have fought not to have “the plumbing” removed…I would have endured the constant pain of my uterus and ovaries rather than not be able to have sexual relationship with my husband. Yes, something needs to be done to help us, and I truly hope this is the answer, but like everyone else, who is going to take the first step to see if it REALLY works and what the side effects are going to be.

    • It's About Time says:

      Sweety,
      So sorry that you’re suffering so much. That was so young to get a hysterectomy.. my doctors wanted to do one on me around your age for painful fibroids. I changed doctors and took Lupron therapy. (injections to turn off the estrogen for a 6 months but I could only stand the side effects for 4 months) The fibroids shrunk but came back.. a few months later I had laser laparoscope surgery. That held me over till menopause however at 43 started feeling grating pain with intercourse. 47 went into menopause, no more periods. The pain with intercourse got worse and I bled each time. Estrace was prescribed but it really only takes the edge off but not to the point where I’d say it works. I’m 60 now, still use the estrace but it is still painful to have intercourse. I have MS and am not sure if I’m a candidate for Ospena. I take meds for the MS to control the fatigue and muscle spasm. My point is that I did not have a hysterectomy and have the same problems that women with hysterectomies get. I hope you can try the Osphena so you can enjoy a healthy love life. God knows you deserve that. Good luck to you. Keep us informed of your progress.

  49. SC LADY says:

    Having Osphena air its commercial during our
    family time before 7:00PM is nauseing. Why do you have to advertise this product at all. You can’t buy it over the phone. I would suggest you hitting the doctors with this info. To hear that sex hurts, to hear the word vagina and vaginal discharge is unacceptable to any woman. There are well over 50 monthly magazines that you can advertise this product in. Why go on TV and do this. Children are going to be afraid to marry because Sex Hurts. They don’t know what menopause is and saying vagina is just beyond TV. You cheapen your product. It makes it sound like the vagina is a dirty thing that you have to put up with. And what will boys say!!! Our children have enough to deal with these days and hearing your ad just adds to it. I am very disappointed that a drug company would stoop as low as you have. And vaginal bleeding, just another thing that you need to talk with your doctor about. Get off the air–it is not the market place for your drug and any woman who disagrees is not the woman that America approves of. Shame on you—-

    • Katrina says:

      SC Lady; Really? Osphena ads are worse than “erectile dysfunction” ads or menstrual product ads? Your television remote has a mute button for a reason. You don’t have to let your children hear anything. And please don’t say you speak for “other women”. You don’t speak for me, nor do you have the right to decide what “America” approves of. Shame on you!

    • Curious says:

      This product needs to be advertised because the problems of sex after menopause aren’t something that people even know exist! I think it imparts very important information.

      I’m 55, I am an RN but I don’t work for medical reasons and I’m the youngest of a large family. Until this happened to me, I never heard of it. My husband is also from an even larger family and he never heard of it, either.

      I’m sure that the ad was poll tested as everything is these days and nothing is in it that was deemed to be objectionable. I’m all for keeping things appropriate but when vaginal products have been advertised for decades on television it is just one more. Add Viagra and Cialis advertisements and you must realize that this is simply one more facet in a larger picture but it hardly is improper by itself.

      But you do have one perfectly appropriate option: Change the channel when the ad comes on. Your right not to be offended stays completely intact, the rights of others to be informed remains and the right of a company to do business as it sees fit under the law is in place, as it should be.

      As for assuming that any woman who disagrees with you is not the woman America approves of, that is very presumptuous of you. Not a bit of shame here.

      • It's about time says:

        SCLady,
        When I started having these symptoms I thought I was a freak. Not one doctor or nurse practitioner ever warned me of the ramifications of menopause. That’s the SHAME here.. as for the commercials, they are aired during school hours and late at night. My grandchildren when at home watch Nick JR. Channel, Dora, Bubble Guppies, etc. My daughter in law never gives them the remote for the tv. She controls the channels. When they’re old enough to use the remote, they’ll be in school when those commercials are aired. (Mostly during soap operas). It was a very traumatic time of my life.I I wish I’d seen one of these commercials to know it happens to some women after menopause. By the way children know the names of body parts now a days. Vagina isn’t a bad word. I’m not a liberal, I’m very old fashioned woman who believes in monogamy and sex with your spouse not a boyfriend.

    • MyBabyCakes2006 says:

      With all the rude and crude “reality” TV shows on the air these days which I do not watch by choice, by the way, how can one see a similarity in the Osphena ads? Actually, they made them very tastefully, for the important information they convey. If they did not have the ads on TV (I don’t read magazines), I still would not have even known the product existed and that there was new hope for us. I saw my first ad the very night of my yearly GYN exam (which by-the-way, Medicare thinks should be only every 2 years; thank God for Tricare picking up the slack.) Anyway he had not even mentioned Osphena to me, and we had been discussing my problem for several years. When I called and asked if there was a medical reason he did not tell me about Osphena, he said it was because of how expensive it is. So after all the years of all other feminine products being advertised, this is definitely the most important feminine product to be added. My husband never even believed me, when I said most of my friends had the same pain problem I did; he kept insisting it was all “between my ears”…so he was NEVER patient with me…in fact he thought if I couldn’t or wouldn’t, I ought to give him permission to go elsewhere. We haven’t tested the Osphena yet, but hopefully he no longer thinks I am making it up, or the only one with a non-stretch-tissue problem.
      SC Lady, information is what we were never given as girls or younger women; it’s about time for full disclosure, along with some solutions.

  50. Dee says:

    I am 50 years old and had a hysterectomy when I was only 36. I suffer from dysparunia and bleeding after intercourse. I started taking Osphena. Initially I received samples from my GYN. Since I am very sensitive to meds including hormones I decided to just take half the dose to see what would happen. I had results within just a few days. And after only a couple weeks it was wonderful to experience sex again without pain! After awhile I increased the dosage to the full amount but started to experience leg cramps so have cut back to half the dose with good results. Other side effects include hot flashes and a wee bit more emotional, similar to PMS… But it is well worth it! My insurance pays but it is still pretty expensive. Only taking half the dose though, helps. I would recommend this drug to women suffering from the same condition. Hopefully there will eventually be a generic and it will get cheaper.

    • Katrina says:

      Dee; I’m glad to hear you are having positive results also. Saw my Dr. yesterday and asked what I should do if my new libido is now stronger than my husbands? (isn’t that a first?) He told me to take the pill every other day for awhile and see if that helps. About the leg cramps. Try drinking more water before you go to bed. I found that lots more water helped with that. Still getting hot flashes but a minor irritant at this point.

      • Curious says:

        Can you give us an idea of the price range of Osphena?

        • Katrina says:

          Dee; I’m fascinated that your insurance paid for this. Mine didn’t. The first prescription was $80 with a coupon which you can download from the Osphena official website. It says that the first few scripts should only cost you a $35 copay but Walgreens came up with $80 as my final price. My doctor had given me the first five weeks as free samples.

          • MyBabyCakes2006 says:

            Tricare Express Scripts is usually the first to turn down a non-generic Rx, or it be sky-high in price because it is non-formulary (means it is not on THEIR List). I can’t believe that this time they are covering something that other Ins. companies do not. My Doctor had to even beg and beg to get me Synthroid, instead of the generic stuff, even when we could not get me regulated on the generic. My Osphena is costing me $13 for each 3 mo. supply, and I am considering myself very lucky indeed.
            Now I have to worry about being taken off of it, after being sent to a cardiologist to find reasons for ankles swelling real bad for 3 days last Christmas. She said I had diminished pulse in my right foot, and doppler tests were done today on my heart and legs. I thought the Peripheral Artery Disease was over with after veins in my legs, with non-closing valves, were closed and now have good circulation in my legs. With the Black Box warnings on Osphena, I know if they find anything, I won’t be able to keep taking it. We haven’t tested it yet, but guess it’s time….at least we’ll know what we may be losing.

          • Katrina says:

            Babycakes; Good luck with the tests and please keep us updated…….

  51. JustMe says:

    I had a total hysterectomy at age 33. I will be 50 this year.I have tried HRT, creams, Vagifem and Estring. I have been waiting for something like this to come out for a very long time. I have suffered with the atrophy for years, I will be starting the drug this week.

    • Katrina says:

      JustMe; I will be anxiously awaiting your updates to this forum. Although they said I might not notice any improvement for 12 weeks, I noticed improvement in less than a month. And so did my husband when we did a “test run”, so to speak. I did have a few leg cramps early on but started drinking more water when taking the pill and before going to bed and that seemed to take care of it. Cheers!

  52. Sabrina Comments says:

    You know what happened to me? My primary care physician asked me if I was still having sexual relations with my husband. We’re both in our seventies. I answered “no.” And she screamed and said, “That’s because he has Alzheimer’s, isn’t it?” I am the monster who refused to engage my sick husband. But she never heard me scream bloody murder when I get a pap smear; I feel as though I am being slit to death with a knife whenever anything enters me.It hurts all the to my navel..

    • Katrina says:

      Sabrina; If my husband did not still have the desire, I would not be experimenting with this drug. But as it turns out, I feel better now and our relationship is better too. I am feeling more feminine and younger. I have not gained any weight, in fact seem to be losing weight….

  53. It's about time says:
    • Katrina says:

      Thanks for that link. I agree with her, it’s all about the “blood flow” affecting the sensation. I have that sensation back and am loving it.

    • Lesley says:

      Gee, I do not think interesting–have always heard all this stuff….wonder now if only from woman who never enjoyed sex when younger due to fear of p.g.?
      The T V ads for this new drug and this very complaint column are the first I ever heard of PAIN on attempted sex (rather suddenly) after meno. NO ONE EVER shared this. Really. ( I am with that RN who posted above).
      I NEVER thought the joy of sex would become the pain of sex. To me this woman’s book is exactly the opposite of MY reality.

  54. betty says:

    Osphena was prescribed to me, a healthy 70 year old, who takes one medicine, Synthroid. I took this osphena for 25 days and came home from the hospital today because of an extremely dangerous hypertension. I had stopped taking this drug 3 days prior to this episode. Nothing else changed in my life and I know in my heart that this drug was the issue. I will never take it again and will not recommend it to anyone.

    • Juls114 says:

      Betty, I’m sorry you had this reaction. I’ve been taking it for approximately five months now. I haven’t had any adverse effects. I would totally recommend it to others. It has helped me a lot.

    • Katrina says:

      Betty, also sorry you’ve had this reaction. I don’t take any other meds except 1 baby aspirin every morning. I don’t have a problem with high blood pressure but am monitoring it. At this point I would recommend it to others to try. I’m happy with the way I’m feeling and so nice to not have to use any creams or oils before intercourse. The moisture is definitely back. And I have to say I am feeling “feminine” again. I can’t say the Osphena is responsible for this but I love this feeling…..

    • I've About Had It says:

      Beth,

      Could you tell us what your baseline blood pressure was?

      Also, thanks to everyone who tells us about your experience, good or bad.

      • Fancy says:

        Baseline pressure was normal

    • Lesley says:

      Thanks for sharing. This info is very imp. to me. Losing the joy of sex is imp. but not as imp as losing your life/health!

  55. Katrina says:

    I’ve been on Osphena for a little over a month now and I really really notice a difference. Intercourse is not painful now and it’s so nice to have some “moisture” back. I also am feeling the desire again. Don’t know why, but it is there. Husband has been pleasantly surprised. Don’t have the calf pain anymore and do have a problem with getting too warm sometimes at night but otherwise nothing negative. I feel 20 years younger!

  56. MyBabyCakes2006 says:

    I am having a little more discharge now, and it is tan in color, like pre-period used to be. Don’t know if I should worry if there is blood in it. I only have a Vagina left…nothing else. Would someone who is on Osphena and experiencing the side effect of discharge, let us know if yours is taking the same form? It is getting thicker than it was, also, and the panti-liner doesn’t want to absorb it well at all. I will need to start changing liners more than once a day.

  57. Katrina says:

    Okay, 15 days on Osphena and all is well. I was having some pain in my right calf for several days and had some concern, but I have also been jogging further lately in new running shoes so the pain could be from those. The pain is gone now and I have to say I’m feeling better and better. The “moisture” seems to be returning as is some desire…husband walking around with big smile!

    • It's About Time says:

      Hi Katrina,
      I’m so happy for you! It’s great that you do not have side effects. Katrina please keep us posted and let us know how you are after a couple of months go by. Good luck and God bless you.

    • HeresHoping says:

      Hi Katrina,
      I am also about 15 days on Osphena. I have not experienced any side effects, but can’t tell any real differences with regard to moisture or desire. Haven’t actually “put it to the test” if you get my meaning, but plan to soon to see if there is any improvement. So happy to hear that you are seeing results! Gives me hope!

  58. Cj says:

    I am so offended at these commercials during the nightly news. How do I answer my 11 year old daughter when she asked “what is painful sex.” What do they mean “after menopause ?” This is a child who has not even gotten her period yet. These commercials should be limited to later night programming

    • PGJU says:

      If the child is asking questions, it is time to educate her. It is not like it was when you were young. Children hear and see much more about sexuality far earlier now. And, considering girl children were wed and bed at 12 or as soon as they bled in much earlier days, the fact that we try to “protect” children from basic biological information for as long as possible seems illogical and puritanical. It is also not only silly, it can be downright stupid in case someone else gets to educate them, sometimes incorrectly, first.

  59. Anna says:

    Does this product work for women who have had a total hysterectomy? I am 51 and had everything removed ( meaning both uterus and ovaries) in August and have painful intercourse and burning during and after regardless of what lubricants I use. If it works I am calling my OB/GYN ASAP!! Let me know your results.

    • MyBabyCakes2006 says:

      I went through normal menopause 17-19 years ago, and then total hystorectomy 13 1/2 yrs. ago. (Since they had to do exploratory surgery anyway, I requested everything be removed, to prevent chances of those cancers.) I already had the pain problem then, and I guess we both hoped that the surgery would even help.
      Some of the side effects only effect those who can still get those cancers, and I don’t have colestrol or heart problems; that is why I felt pretty safe trying Osphena. If it doesn’t work, I won’t keep taking it, and I will still have tried everything I can, to fix the problem. My husband still BLAMES ME, still believing that most of it is in my head. Mine has not been patient at all. He says he knows me, and that when I want something, I make it happen…that just does not apply here, but he won’t listen, even to the doctor. He even thinks that if I can’t, I ought to give him permission to go elsewhere…..”not in my lifetime!” He goes with someone else because I have a physical problem, and he’s out of this house!…..I would miss the dancing we do once a week, though. It is the only thing we really do together besides eat out (and without much conversation).

      • I've About Had It says:

        That must be awful! Sorry MyBabyCakes2006

  60. donna says:

    After 6 yrs of pain, monthly UTI,BV and also 5 gyno’s dozens of tubes of creams, suppositories, ring, Bio’s, nothing has helped my new Dr. said he doesn’t want to give me Osphena due to side effects but does want to eject Botox up there but I would have to pay $800-$1,300 for the shot and according to him the results are suppose to be positive. What do you think about that? Also the Dr. is supposedly an expert in these conditions. Someone please HELP!!!!!

    • HereHoping says:

      I say, find another doctor! The fact that he won’t prescribe a medication that you have asked for and instead offers a more expensive and invasive procedure is evidence that he is not in tune with your needs as a patient. That is just my humble opinion. I am on week 2 of Osphena and have had ZERO side effects. Still can’t tell if there is any benefit yet, but I understand that it can take up to 12 weeks to experience optimal benefits. I’ll keep updating as time goes on.

      Good luck to you Donna!

      • betty says:

        i took this drug for 2 weeks and it damn near killed me with hypertension. There are good reasons a Dr. would not want to prescribe this drug. Look up it Black Box warning. Scary.

        • It's about time says:

          Hi Betty,
          Did you suffer from hypertension to begin with? If so your doctor was very careless.
          Glad you’re okay now.

          • Fancy says:

            No, bp is always in lower 100 range. Started with not feeling quite right to stroke level hypertension. Took me 5 days after stopping the drug to get back to normal

    • amelia says:

      I know someone who had the botox done for utis /bladder infections. It did work. Let us know what you decide.

  61. Dana says:

    I just saw the commercial for Osphena. I am 48 and have severe vaginal atrophy. I had a total hysterectomy in 2002. I use Vagifem but it doesn’t really help. Sex is pretty much non existent as it is very painful. My husband is patient but it isn’t fair to either of us. I’m very sensitive to all medications, so the side effects make me nervous but I will ask both my General doctor and gynecologist about it.

    • Katrina says:

      I also had a complete hysterectomy in 2002. I’ve been taking Osphena for about 10 days. I have noticed a difference already and am hopeful. The moisture seems to be returning and I caught myself staring longingly at the “pool guy” yesterday. Hahahaha.

    • christine says:

      Well I went to my Dr. today, and told him I was not leaving his office unless he perscribed Osphena to me. It was expensive but I swear its less than getting a divorice!! My husband has also been very patient but come on…this has better work. I also have tried all the creams, nothing worked for me either. Sex felt like a knife going right through me. Something out there has got to work!! I only wish it was not going to take so long. But oh well what another 3 months!! Its already been almost 2 years.

  62. HeresHoping says:

    I had breast cancer at 34. The chemo pushed me into early menopause at 40. I have suffered with this ever increasing painful problem for the last 8 years! Because of the breast cancer, I can’t take HRT. I tried bio-identical HRT without success, all the creams and jellies without success and just heard about Osphena and got a prescription this week. My fingers are crossed for it to work! My poor husband has been wonderful, but the lack of intimacy is not fair to either of us! For those of you with issues with night sweats, I have suffered with those for years! We got the Dual-Temp system from Sleep Number and now I sleep through the night dry as a bone. I keep my setting on the medium cool side and I don’t freeze, but I definitely don’t sweat anymore! Good luck to all of us!

  63. Katrina says:

    I am years past surgical menopause. Sex has been very painful and poor husband has been very patient. When my nurse practitioner told me about Osphena I decided to try it. I’ve been on it less than a week and fingers are crossed. Thanks for continuing to post your progress with this drug for the rest of us.

    • It's about time says:

      Good luck Katrina. Sorry for all you’re going through. God bless you.

    • mybabycakes2006 says:

      For me, the level of pain is a definite 10, having progressed fom level 1 which began 17 years ago right about the time we got married. We had already been together for 9 years, so my husband blames “The Wedding Cake” as having caused the problem. Because he had been with other women in the past, who were menopausal but apparantly did not have any atrophy, he thinks I am the only one claiming the problem. I have tried everything my GYN has suggested, and some he did not, but nothing helped, so was not worth the risk, since there is breast cancer in my Father’s immediate family. My husband says ‘that part of my life may be over, but his is not’, even though he just went through radiation and seed insertion for Prostate Cancer. In fact he claims that he knows me, and knows that when I want something bad enough, I make it happpen…..therefore he has been putting all this in my lap, even though I keep telling him 5 or 6 people that I know have the same problem, including his own daughter.
      Yes, I will do my own trial with Osphena, since it is now available. I saw the first commercial on it the very night of my yearly GYN Exam (1/8/14); when he said that my Atrophy was severe, and that just examining me had caused bleeding…..but he never mentioned the Osphena. I called about it the next day to see why he did not mention it, and was told he did not mention it because it was rather expensive. He called in the Rx to Express Scripts for me, and I am going to take it to see if it will help after the 12-week period that the trials found successful. I have been cautioned that I cannot use the Yeast Rx Fluconazole with it, that I use occassionally for a Butt-crack sore that reappears once in a while; I will have to call for a different medication fo that.
      People have mentioned Insurances not covering this, and we have Tricare Express Scripts, and they are paying the same on it as any other normal Name Brand Drug; not expensive at all.
      I hope it works, but if it does not after a reasonable time, I will discontinue it because of the possible side effects. A prayer for the rest of you who do decide to try it…and especially for those who don’t. God Bless.

      • It's About time says:

        Babycakes, My heart goes out to you. My atrophy is severe as well. Never had a problem before perimenopause started. I was around 43 or 44 when I felt the irritation like a cheese grater. I started missing periods at 47 at about a year later my periods stopped completely. I also had blood after intercourse. Scared the hell out of me as I thought I had cancer. No, atrophy. Sex was totally impossible, the pain was beyond a 10. The problem was not dryness it was lack of tissue.
        I am using estrace on and off for 6 years with little help. I have autoimmune illness and take medications for MS and other problems. I am not dead yet I’m 60 not 90. Never smoked, never drank. Can’t understand what happened and why so fast.
        Good luck, will you keep us posted on your progress? Thanks.

        • jen says:

          Been on bioidential hormone replacement for 2 years and it is wonderful. Completely cured of atrophy, I’m 64 yrs. old and sex has never been so great. I have gained 20 lbs. while on BHR and I asked doctor about this but he said weight is not from the bioidential replacement. I don’t believe this.

          • It's about time says:

            Jen,
            Thank you for your testimonial. My best friend who lives in Florida just started BHR. She is doing it for lack of libido and some atrophy. How bad was your atrophy? Like I said in a previous post mine is beyond a 10 with pain when trying to have intercourse. I am on estrace with little help.
            Can you tell me if you are taking DHA? Also are you in NY? I would only go to a reputable doctor as I take medication for my ms symptoms. I also have a rare arthritic condition that may or may not stem from lupus. I am functional and mobile even though my feet have neuromas and I am in chronic pain from all these problems I deal with it. I even wonder if the BHR would help with these problems. I love my husband and he loves me, he is a dear man. Thank you again.

          • PGJU says:

            Jen, I will be going the BHR route too if I can find a doc knowledgeable about it. Is your weight gain on the scale only, or have your clothes stopped fitting? There is no way I will touch this new drug. And in the article at the end, anti-depressants were mentioned as a future remedy for a lack of sex drive?! Laughable! Anti-depressants my sex drive AND my ability to self lubricate. Doctors and the pharmaceutical industry are dangerous IMHO, unless you get the rare doc with the ability to think for themselves.

          • Wheezer says:

            At 58, the pain is horrible, thank goodness after being married fr 40 years my hubby is very understanding of the pain I would go thru and then end up with UTIs and feeling like I needed a heating pad for my bottom. We stopped having intercourse because of this, we do have other wys of satisfying each other, but it still not the same. I would fret about having intercourse because I anticipated the pain andbhow it was going to feel and I was in agony during it, that’s not a good healthy relationship for both , your partner is afraid of hurting you and you are resistant to wanna have intercourse, you will try anything. I just started osphena and have been on it now for 3weeks and I believe I’ve seen a change in that when I take a shower the soap that I was using no longer burns as I wash down there… I’m hoping that more results will continue.. There has been a change.. Woohoo!

          • It's About Time says:

            So glad you are getting some relief, Wheezer. If I can get personal, is your pain during intercourse in your pelvis? You say you used a heating pad. This is not my problem it’s more in the vaginal area, inside and out. Not sure of Osphena would help. I’m 60 and having this problem since before I reached menopause at 47. Thanks for your post.

          • srq says:

            I am 60 and have been on osphena since Aug. 2013. It has helped me so much! I was in such discomfort I could not wear paints. In just three weeks it did what two Dr. tried to fix over two years , with more creams then I could count.
            I do get hot flashes at night time. Not sure how long I can stay on the drug and would like to know if the problem has gone or just hiding by the use of the drug? Love any answers.

          • HeresHoping says:

            Hi It’s About Time,

            I have been on Ospena for 3 months now. My pain was in the vaginal area, both inside and out…just like you are explaning. And GREAT NEWS!! It is definitely helping! I can say that I do not have the stabbing pains in the vaginal area at all and just a little pain “upon entry” TMI…but there is NO pain during or after and no more bleeding!! YAY! So far, so good. No noticeable side effects either. :)

          • MyBabyCakes2006 says:

            Jen,
            When I tried the one insertion of BHR, just about everything they claimed would happen, either did not or the opposite happened. One of those things that they claimed was losing weight; I don’t remember losing any. I guess it did help the atrophy a little bit, but not the libido at all, even though I believe they gave me too much testosterone. They gave me Progesterone in an oral lozenge, from a mail-order pharmacy. None of it was covered by Medicare, so neither by my Tricare for Life, except for the Rx. The cost was almost $3,000 a year, paid in advance yearly. I got about half of the money back, because of the negative problems it had caused me. Of course they claimed I was the only one affected the way I was. I couldn’t see taking a chance on that form of hormones, concerning breast cancer; 2 of my Dad’s sisters had it, and I don’t know about the other 4 sisters.
            I am trying the the Osphena; been on it only 12 days, though. I am having a brown discharge, that so far the panti-liners I wear for sneezes or just plain ‘not getting there in time’, has taken care of. Someone said the discharge was gross, but so far not.
            The trials showed improvement in 12 weeks, and I don’t want to invite infection by tearing tissues, so I don’t know if it is working any at all. I’m not the one anxious for this to work, anyway; wish it was supposed to help with libido too. Our attempts at sex haven’t been romantic for a long time…even before the pain was real bad…so I’m not really looking forward to it at all.

  64. livinglifeagain says:

    I was 47 when I had my hysterectomy and I wasn’t prepared for the after affects of this. I have had chronic UTI’s for 2 1/2 years, painful urination and painful sex. After going to two Urologists who did nothing for me except prescribe antibiotics over and over again, I went to see my OB-GYN to discuss the ongoing problem. He gave me samples of Osphena to try and within two weeks of taking it I was in a much better place. I have taken it for 3 months now and the only problem I have had since starting it is night sweats. I seem to be more sensitive to temperature changes now than I was prior to taking Osphena, but I can live with this side affect compared to the problems I have been experiencing for the last 2 1/2 years!

    • It's about time says:

      Dear Livinglifeagain,
      Thank you for telling us about your experience with Osphena. I’m so glad you are feeling better. Sorry about the night sweats. Are you getting hot flashes during the day? Thanks again.

      • livinglifeagain says:

        I don’t get hot flashes, but I seem to get extreme swings from freezing to roasting any time I change environments. If I leave my car to go into a restaurant, I don’t seem to adjust to the temp change for about 15 minutes. This is directly related to the Oshpena because it never happened prior to me taking it. Overall, I feel that this was a good addition for me to make my life better.

        • It's about time says:

          Thank you Livinglifeagain, doesn’t sound too bad. Not sure if I’d be a candidate with Raynaud’s disease. I will check into it. Good luck to you and thanks again.

      • Juls114 says:

        I have not had hot flashes or night sweats. However, I have only been taking it for about 6 weeks.

  65. Juls114 says:

    I have been on the Osphena for about 6 weeks now. I also use Estrace cream (1x day externally), testosterone ointment(2x day every other day), estradiol pills (1x day – lowest dose possible), 12.5 mg DHEA daily and GNC brand progesterone cream at bed for 21 days/mo then off for 7 days. FINALLY with the osphena, it seems to have helped the itching/burning quite a bit from the vaginal atrophy. I have also started taking cranberry supplements daily to help the acidity of my urine. It’s been almost a year since my hysterectomy due to endometrial ca. I’m almost 49. Hopefully this will help slow the atrophy down. I think the osphena has helped balance the ph in my vag. I originally used the estrace cream vaginally, but it seemed to be causing problems bc I didn’t seem to be shedding anything vaginally. I’d have to clean internally every few days. Estrace internally was just gross!! I had to call my specialist to request it. Be proactive!!

    Good luck!!

    • LP17 says:

      Do you take all of these treatments at the same time? Or are these different things that you have tried?

  66. Jane says:

    Try Bio Identical Hormone Replacements. I have been using almost 10 years successfully. I get regular Paps/examines and no irregularities. I go to a MD with Homeopathic background. I also get great compliments.

    • jori says:

      I tried the bio identical hormone replacement. Personally they didn’t help me much. The hormone suppositories or cream to help with dystrophy makes you smell terribly and it simply didn’t help and I am so for the bihr. Maybe something like this product taken internally will. The cost of the simple lab bill for bidhr and then the Dr.s apt is really out of line.I think the compound RX’s are reasonable. You would think there should be something out there for women and I hope this is it . like I mentioned I am for the bihr but I don’t think the Dr prescribes the doseage strength that is needed to make a difference

  67. Kathryn says:

    The vaginal discharge side effect is disgusting.

    • Mrs G says:

      Agree! Glad someone mentioned it. Might be small price to pay if some relief comes from the Rx. Maybe.

  68. tired of pain says:

    I have a blood clotting disorder and cannot take HRT. I so miss comfortable sex with my husband, I wonder if I can take this drug? Never heard of it until today, I saw a commercial on tv.

  69. Not too old yet says:

    I am 59 and have used the estring. In the initial stages of menopause it has helped. Then about 2 years ago the pain started. Went off the estring to a vaginal suppository. Did not improve. Went back to estring and estrace cream and still have a lot of pain. I have put a message in to my dr to try Osphena. Have a great husband but this is really ruining our intimacy. Love the descriptions such as cheese grater, sandpaper, etc. People (such as the author) who haven’t experienced this have NO IDEA how painful this is and how harmful it can be for your relationship – even one of 30+ years. I would love to hear from more people who have had some experience with Osphena. I certainly am willing to try it.

  70. MoBe says:

    It’s synthetic. Why would you opt for this when there are bio identical hormones available. BHRT (bio identical hormone replacement therapy). There are smarter options.

    • It's About Time says:

      Hello MoBe,
      I have never been offered BHRT. I do know that when I was suffering from severe hot flashes I bought soy, (Estroven). I had so much breast swelling that my doctor sent me for a mammogram even though I had one 6 months prior. He surmised that it was from the soy. I stopped it and the swelling went down.
      Are there bio-identical hormones for vaginal atrophy? Please share. Thank you.

      • RobinC says:

        Yes, there are bioidentical hormones that work on vaginal agrophy. They’re made by compounding pharmacies and are personally formulated for you. I used to live in Indianapolis and there was a compounding pharmacy near my GP’s office. I told him about my problems with painful intercourse, and he prescribed a low dose of Tri-est troches(little waxy beads that you let dissolve slowly in your mouth) and a progesterone cream. The pain is gone, and I’m on the lowest dose that’s workable for me and my doctor assures me that it’s safe longterm. Do an internet search for a compounding pharmacy near you, go in and talk with them and read their literature about bioidentical hormone therapy then talk with your doctor. Some doctors won’t go the bioidentical route. I had to change doctors within one practice to one who will work with bioidentical hormones. Btw, I’ll be 60 this year, and I’ve been on bioidentical hormones for the past 5-6 years with no adverse side effects or problems. I do have a lot of cancer in my family so I got tested for the Brca1 gene, and I don’t have it, so I feel safer taking the hormones.

        • I've About Had It says:

          I tried the bioidentical hormone route five months ago. I was really excited to try them, expecting great things. The result was one UTI after another. My doctor said he’s never heard of any link between the two but frankly, I’ve got some uncommon problems so I’m used to the “I’ve never heard of that before” line. I officially gave up on them last week because nothing has improved since I started them and instead they’ve only gotten worse.

          (And you can’t describe the pain of sex adequately to doctors without getting graphic because they don’t understand the problem as we’re feeling it: “My husband’s penis has suddenly turned into a large bottle brush.”)

          Two months into the bioidentical hormones I was diagnosed with Interstitial Cystitis. (“No, there can’t be any link!”) It took a little time to figure out the dietary triggers but I got that under control and haven’t had any problem for the past three months.

          But still the UTIs. I was on a daily low dose of Bactrim but was still getting symptom flares which made my urologist think I had a resistant bacterial UTI so we’re trying to catch a culture. What if it was the bioidentical hormones that triggered the IC?

          And sex which used to be fabulous and is a critical part of my 30 yer marriage has become a source of frustration. If we weren’t creative and my husband wasn’t so patient, it’d be completely depressing.

          When I saw my gynecologist for my routine PAP two months ago she gasped about how awful the vaginal atrophy had gotten. She put me back on Estrace. I’m due for a recheck in another month. I do feel a little bit better but hardly what I’d call normal.

          I plan to ask her about Osphena at that time. I was shocked at the black box warning when I looked it up but how thoroughly was the study? I can’t find “the number to treat” and “the number to harm” for Osphena, both significant pieces of information to know when it comes to pharmaceutical studies and deciding whether it’s a drug safe to take. Maybe my gynecologist will have more answers.

          At any rate, this is no reasonable way to live. Bouncing from one UTI to the next is ridiculous. Taking antibiotics endlessly is foolish and ultimately damaging in itself. Having such a limited sex life is a study in frustration and not one that I’d recommend to anyone. Weighing the risks, this sounds like an option worth trying.

          • Fancy says:

            There was only 2- 12 week study that was funded by the makers of this drug. Black box warning is for real. This drug all but killed me after 23 days. User beware!

  71. Debbie says:

    Saw the commercial this morning and googled osphena to learn more. I am so shocked to see everyone’s comments about their dr’s lack of education and solutions to the problem. I too entered menopause around age 50, and by 55 had developed most of the symptoms everyone describes. I talked to my nurse practioner, a woman just a few years younger than me. She prescribed Estring, a low dose estrogen ring that is inserted vaginally. It has “cured” my symptoms and restored the vaginal tissues to nearly premenopausal status. I was concerned about the side effects and talked to her about it, but was assured there is little risk. Anyone heard of serious side effects from Estring?

    • It's About Time says:

      Hi Debbie,
      So glad you did so well with the Estring. I am on Estrace for over 6 yrs, on and off with not much help. I think it’s the same medication but application is different.
      Does the Estring stay in for a month? How about any side effects? Thank you from me and hopefully this will help others here.

  72. Too young to give up says:

    Apparently, Ms. Block’s “homework” did not include having conversations with women who actually suffer from dyspurania / vaginal atrophy, else she would not dismiss it so smugly & nonchalantly. I was post-menopausal at 50, met my current partner at 52, when I was just beginning to experience painful intercourse on occasion. Within a year, I went from an extreme desire for sex to dreading it. It has definitely caused issues in my relationship, and were my partner a less understanding & loving man, it may well have destroyed our relationship altogether (he happens to be a very virile 49 year old). It’s not the drug companies “creating a disorder” that prevents a solution to the problems women face suffering in this regard, but the attitude like Ms. Block’s that sex is only important for men to enjoy and women just need to deal with it as part of the aging process. I haven’t tried Osphera yet, but plan to consult my GYN about it, as Vagifem has brought little relief. Yes, this condition is “dire” for those of us in a loving relationship that feel we are too young to give up on sex. I just wish the drug companies could find a treatment that didn’t have so many risks & side effects.

    • It's About time says:

      Hello Too Young,
      Your comment hits home. I am not a newlywed but was post menopausal by 50 as well. I started having problems when I was peri menopausal. Not one of my gynocologists (a group) explained to me what was happening, they shrugged their shoulders. I am now 60 so you can see how long this is happening. I started over with the Estrace a few weeks ago, used it for the two weeks, oh, it’s a pain and messy.
      I wouldn’t mind if it helped, it did not. Luckily, I have a great husband of 36 yrs. We are not dead yet even though health issues have plagued us, autoimmune illnesses.
      You are correct, if attitudes prevail no one will ever solve this problem. I’m afraid it’s too late for me but not for you. Good luck with your marriage and may God bless you both with much happiness, that includes painless and enjoyable lovemaking.

      • Too young to give up says:

        You are very sweet & kind – God bless both of you as well. You never know what may come along to help both of us !

  73. BREEN says:

    WHY DID EXPRESS SCRIPTS REFUSE TO FILL THIS PRESCRIPTION?

    • Mrs G says:

      Can’t help you with this. I don’t have Express Scripts as my carrier. Good luck.

  74. HUSBANDOFGAYLE says:

    GAYLE AND I HAVE BEEN MARRIED FOR 10 YRS. SHE IS 57 AND FOR THE LAST 5 YRS INTERCOURSE HAS BEEN VERY PAINFUL FOR HER AND OF COURSE NOT ENJOYABLE FOR EITHER OF US. I WAS EXCITED WHEN I READ ABOUT OSPHENA, I SHOWED HER THE MAGAZINE AD AND SHE WAS VERY CONCERNED ABOUT THE SIDE EFFECTS SO SHE IS NOT INTERESTED AND STILL DOES NOT WANT INTERCOURSE. I HOPE SOMEONE COMES OUT WITH SOMETHING BETTER AND SAFER, BEFOR WE GET TOO OLD!

    • Juls114 says:

      HusbandofGayle and all. I know what the side effects are said to be. A dr. once asked me if I wanted to be a participant in another medication for something totally different. I told him I didn’t know bc I was going to have to have ankle surgery. He told me not to do it then bc one of the side effects listed would be “may cause you to have ankle surgery.” It was a medication for dry eyes. . . That’s how some of those side effects get listed.

      I had a young man of 30 at my office, die suddenly, totally unexpected in April. After that, I told my CA specialist, I realize there are risks with these hormones, but I want to be happy and feel good while I’m living, or I’m not living. The way I look at it, there are risks associated with EVERYTHING. . . you may as well be happy while you’re living, bc there is no promise for tomorrow.

      I can tell you at this point Osphena does seem to be helping some. Keep in mind I do use estrace cream topically (not inserted), estradiol 2mg, a compounded testosterone ointment vaginally AND 12.5 mg. of DHEA, every day, in addition to Osphena. But if I can get through daily life without having to pee all of the time and little to no itching and burning, plus no problems after intercourse (once since I’ve been on this med), hey, this is enjoying life!!

      • Mrs G says:

        I agree that it’s quality of life. My husband and I both miss the intimacy of actual intercourse. I think the Osphena might be working but it took at least a good six weeks or so of pills before it kicked in. However, it would be nice to have the pills in a packaging other than the stiff plastic pop out. Those are killer on my RA and my nails!!

        • It's about time says:

          Mrs. G
          Thank u for your honesty. I can certainly relate. My husband and I miss the intimacy as well.
          I take so many meds for my MS and other auto immune problems. I am hesitant to take anything else. I often wonder if my illness has anything to do with the vag atrophy. Now u say u have RA. Does anyone else here have auto immune problems?

          • Juls114 says:

            You’ll get real talk from me, even if you don’t want it. . . :)
            I’ve actually got cytomegalovirus. Found out about that when I went to be a bone marrow donor several years ago.

            I agree, even for me, with no RA, those packages are so hard to get the pills out of!!

          • Mary says:

            Hi I am new to this. I was just diagnosed.and am supposed to start taking this medicine. Looking up info on this drug. I do have an autoimmune disease, cellular colitis, from taking baby aspirin for to many years.. Who knew that I was the type that couldn’t take aspirin .. Hopefully this will help. I have been getting UTI’s one after another.. Talk about embarrassing ! I still work, I guess it’s time to retire.. Thanks for the info.

          • dypoca says:

            Yes, I have M.S. and vaginal atrophy. And I to would love to have the intimacy back in my marriage, but the pain is to great. That’s how I found this by looking up Osphena I’m going to ask my dr about taking it. I would give or take almost anything that would help.

          • Rhonda says:

            I am 55-yr-old and have RA and many other auto immune problems. I take 31 pills a day and Actemra infusions every 4 weeks. I had cervical cancer when I was 20-yr-old and had a hysterectomy. I was put on hormone replacement immediately but when my mother was diagnosed hormone receptive breast cancer I was taken off them. I have dealt with dryness for years and a few years ago my Dr. gave me a RX for Premarin cream to use at night. That has helped some but most recently a lot of pain with intercourse. He gave me a script for Osphena. I had no trouble with my insurance covering it. Now I wonder how many days before it starts to work?

  75. It's about time says:

    Hello Jules and all,
    Thank you all for your honesty. I feel alone in this and it is quite distressing.
    I am not experiencing the urinary problems thank God but have MS and other intestinal problems that are serious. Jules if you would be so kind as to let us know how this pill works for you, we would be indebted. Good luck to you and everyone else here.

  76. Pearl says:

    I’m engaged and for the last yr I’ve suffered w/vaginal astrophy. I’ve used Estrace (caused irritation); a vaginal tablet (Vagifem) (this 2 caused irritation. My 3d GYN advised taking Ospena (white tablet; this is my 2d week. I’m not to place ANYTHING (including sexual activity) in the vaginal area for 3 wks. I’m nervously awaiting its results. Seriously, if I endure another UTI symptoms; I feel I’m over the intimacy; but who knows i pray i won’t still endure pain regardless. I understand not giving birth; DNC and osteopenia contributes toward this painful period of life. Many blessings to all.

    • Jules says:

      I’m 48. I had a total hysterectomy in Jan. 2013 due to endometrial ca. The vaginal atrophy has been nothing short of excruciating!! Constant yeast infections, itching, burning. I wasn’t prepared for all of this. I have tried 2 different estrogen pills, estrace cream (which is gross and didn’t help), testosterone cream. I asked my specialist about this. I’ve been on it for almost 3 weeks. I’ll have to see how it works.

    • It's about time says:

      Pearl, lots of luck on your engagement. I am sorry you are suffering. Hopefully some genius woman gyno will come forward with something else for us! We can dream.

  77. It's about time says:

    I can’t tell you the frustration that I’ve been going through for years with this very painful condition. My husband and I were blessed enough to still be getting along and still very much in love after 36 years of married life. Unfortunately the sexual side of our relationship seems to have ended when I was in my 40′s as the pain started during perimenopause. The cheese grater feeling started then and I had no idea what was happening to me. By the time I actually went through menopause at 47, it was virtually impossible to have relations. The pain was like a knife. When I forced it I’d bleed, a fright after you haven’t had a period in two years. Still not educated about vaginal atrophy. Why in the world are the gynocologists discussing or even handing out a brochure on the subject? My goodness, everything is talked about in 2013 on television and in the classrooms. Why are the babyboomers being left in the dark?
    I don’t know if I’d try an oral anything for the condition. I’m 60 now and have used Estrace on and off thru the past 7 years. It really doesn’t help at all.
    My argument is that this condition should be discussed with a patient going through perimenopause.

    • amelia says:

      Hi Everyone,
      I had a gyn remove my ovaries without my permission for a minor cyst when I was 42. I am now 47. I went through everything that everyone is talking about here with atrophy, pain, infections, etc. After 7 different doctors were not much help, through forums, I learned alot and developed a treatment plan. I tried many oral and vaginal hrt. I could not tolerate any that were oral. I tried many low dose vaginal estrogens but they all contained an ingredient called propylene gylcol which is a skin irritant and bothered me more. So, I finally had a gyn order a script for a custom compounding pharmacy for Estradiol(estrogen) suppository in a natural base of oils. It makes an enormous difference and I only use it 2 times per week. In addition, during the year of many infections,(bv), I read on a forum about Femdolphilus by Jarrow to balance your vaginal ph. I took this for a while until I felt better and it really helped. I also got a natural suppository for yeast infections and keep in if I need it. I only hope this continues to work. I do have a fear of what life will be like going forward since I am only 47. I still feel traumatized by the day that my husband could suddenly no longer penetrate me after a fantastic sex life. This is how I found out what the doctor did since he never told me. This is how I found out what vaginal atrophy was. As a younger woman, we are not told about this, at least, I wasn’t. I never had children and I am wondering how many women on here have not had children as well and how much impact that has on developing atrophy?

      • Juls114 says:

        What kind of natural suppository?

        • amelia says:

          It is estrogen just not in an irritant base. Custom compounded.

      • It's about time says:

        Amelia,
        I hope you found a medical malpractice attorney and are suing that doctor. He also should be reported to the American Med. Assoc. He should have his license revoked and never practice surgery again. Even if you signed papers for him to remove anything he needed to, the fact that he failed to inform you is malpractice! The ovaries are what gives us our hormones. Just terrible, I’m so sorry he did this to you.

  78. Mrs G says:

    I’m a breast cancer survivor – chemo kicked me into menopause. Nine years later my doctors still tell me to avoid estrogen so this sounds worth a try. Let’s face it – everything has possible side effects. Maybe I’ll be lucky. Nice to think there’s a chance to have sex at 60 that doesn’t hurt.

    • bjames says:

      You bet this is real. At 58 I started having horrible burning after intercourse, and It does interfere with the quality of one’s relationship. I’m about to try this in hopes that it is less harmful than the prempro I was taking.

    • JNH says:

      At 44, I also began chemo for breast cancer and immediately went into menopause. When I finally came out on the other side of chemo, and finally began feeling like a human again, I was dismayed to find that sex was physically impossible because of the vaginal atrophy that had set in. This is pain like I had never experienced with intercourse, and my sexual relationship with my husband came to a screeching halt. Not only had I gone through the hell of cancer, now I have no intimacy with my husband. I am very uncomfortable with the idea of estrogen supplements, and this new drug seems like it may be the answer. For the author of this article to brush aside the idea that vaginal atrophy is a serious issue shows me that she has absolutely no personal experience with this. If she had, she would realize how debilitating emotionally this is. I, too, will wait to see what further studies show, but I will definitely be asking my GYN about this at my next appointment.

      • Juls114 says:

        Dear JNH:

        I’m sorry you are even younger than I am and going through this. I agree, much more needs to be said about vaginal atrophy. I know it’s different in everyone, but it’s a serious problem!!

    • hownow63 says:

      Mrs. G., I am also a breast cancer survivor. At the age of 33, My ex-husband had me spayed because he was tired of my endometrial bleeding (which was most likely brought on by stress from his emotional abuse more than physical issues), and because HE did not want any more children…until he married the woman who ruined our marriage and his second one. Who, me, bitter? I was able to keep my ovaries until a tumor took one three years later. Now, I am 51, and have been married to the most wonderful man for ten years. He is so patient with me, even though intercourse is nearly impossible without an hour of gentle manual stretching of my vagina, and even then, the pain is still intense. Pretty embarrassing. He works in Texas, so we only spend a few weeks a year together. My questions are: does this drug work, and is it worth the risks? Can I take it only when we are going to be together, or must I take it every day? The painful intercourse only began this past year. I thought the unpleasant effects of menopause were over. Surprise, the joke was on me! I am willing to take the risks if the drug really works. My husband is still very…healthy…and it isn’t fair to either of us to be practically celibate.

      • Juls114 says:

        Hownow63,

        You have to take it everyday.

  79. Geri says:

    I agree with all the above comments. Not one to like to take meds, the pain of of atrophy has been incredible. Creams don’t do it. Not only is sex painful, but simple urination. It is truly insensitive for this to be touted as a female viagra. The purpose is different IF it works without compromising the overall health of the woman. I’m in “let’s wait and see”mode. You never want to be among the first to take a new medication. All of the side effects are not evident. However, if this can ease the pain of atrophy, it is definitely worth a consideration! I’m all ears!

  80. sandysnow says:

    Post menopausal vaginal atrophy is very real and very debilitating. It is not a question of ‘will this new pill improve my sex life’ but more a hope that something can be done to prevent the feeling of sandpaper being scraped around the vaginal canal, a burning which feels as though mustard has been inserted and the ever scary bladder infections. Continuous bladder infections equals course after course of antibiotics and risk of kidney infections. This condition is very real, and although osphena
    may not be the answer, I know many women pray that somebody will come up with a way to resolve the loss of oestrogen and the slew of symptoms and misery it leaves. Ask a woman with this misery if she would rather have erectile dysfunction or bladder infections. You will then find out how important ‘sex life’ is.

  81. Georgia says:

    After years of UTI,s and damaging antibiotics,and vaginal creams that gave me side affects like severe headaches,& seeing double.My UTI,s were only 3 to 4 weeks apart. Im 75 I don’t care about having sex.but I needed something for my misery. My Dr. recommended Osphena. Ive been on it since June, no UTI so far. I hope it works.My pills are white, not pink. My complaint is the’re way too expensive.

  82. Sylvia says:

    This is not only a “sex” drug, and it can’t be compared to Viagra. The information I have been given states the drug has the possibility to stop atrophy. Atrophy can result from menopause- or a hysterectomy. Not all women have this, but the condition is painful. It causes infections that cannot exactly be treated on antibiotics as they keep returning- due to the atrophy (a lack of normal PH inside of the vagina- causes these infections). This article, in my opinion, is crass. It isn’t just for “old women” either- I am 38- had a hysterectomy too young- and paying the price. Once again- Viagra is covered by insurance- so a man can get an erection. This drug has potential to stop SURREAL pain. I am wondering if insurance companies will cover this for women? The pill stops lots of painful conditions- and isn’t covered. This is a never-ending cycle….. If it is NOT covered and helps women stop hurting- then Viagra needs to be pulled from insurance coverage too.

    • calicokitty says:

      I completely agree with the above comment. This disorder is not a “new disorder” and that is very insensitive to say. It would be the same as saying that “menopause” itself is a new condition. We all age and with it comes menopause and the conditions/disorders that come with it. They aren’t “new”…maybe women are just willing to talk about them with their dr’s and do something and not suffer anymore. This is an EXTREMELY painful condition and it can wreak havoc on a relationship…

    • Tom says:

      get your facts correct before opening your mouth Sylvia. Viagras main purpose when introduced was for certain types of heart conditions. Male erections were found to be a side affect for men with ED. Insurance companies cover Viagra for the heart condition patients and require a doctors written recommendation for it. Viagra is not covered for the sole purpose of getting an erection.

      • John says:

        I stumbled into this looking for info for my wife.
        I’ve been on ED meds for 6-7 years and can say I’ve never had an insurance that would cover any ED scripts. I am also a heart bypass survivor and my cardiologist sees no purpose to prescribe ED meds. One would think there’d be something besides estrogen by now.
        She’s taken Premerin for some time now with mixed results.

        • Phredlover says:

          The medical field has failed women on so many levels. I am a total hysterectomy patient. I have take HRT for several years. the biggest change for me was when my physician prescribed not only low dose estrogen replacement, but testosterone gel. I am 57 an am a new woman. I have had NO adverse side effects. No only is my sex life phenomenol, but i feel young again. My mind works well, no more muscle loss, no aches and pains when getting up in the morning…i could go on. The medical field needs to cover HRT for women, including the use of Testosterone gel.

      • Prissymt says:

        Hey, Tom! ED might not have been the sole reason the Viagra was developed, but I would be willing to bet that 99.9% of the prescriptions written are ONLY for ED. I am 60, went through premature menopause, and am at a point with vaginal atrophy that I can’t possibly have relations with my wonderful 72 year old husband who – yes – has needed to take Viagra for years. He is a veteran and his ED scripts are covered at the VA. I was happy that the prescription worked for him, but I was and still am very worried about the side effects he sometimes experiences. I would like to find something to help me to participate in a very important part of life, and I would certainly like the drug companies to pay for it. Especially since now my private insurance costs almost $800 a month. For me alone, really! From a woman’s point of view, if Viagra for ED is covered by some insurance companies, then sanitary napkins and tampons should have been covered by insurance years ago. It’s a bodily function,not a choice, as Viagra for ED is. And honestly for many women it is not a negligible cost. I do not agree that the PILL should be covered as that is a personal choice. I do, however, believe that it should be subject to price controls. I think you are just seeing at firsthand some of the frustrations we women have with taking a back seat at times. I have a very real disease that mostly women – and few men – unfortunately have to deal with lifelong. It is so debilitating that the suicide rate for sufferers is significant. But because doctors, mostly male, didn’t understand it, women were told they were just “hysterical” and sent home to suffer. Really backward, huh? Walk a mile in our shoes! It can be tough, and unless we vent about these things we will never make any progress!

        • Juls114 says:

          Prissymt: AMEN! Vaginal atrophy… I think it has been the WORST side effect of the hysterectomy I had no choice in. Nobody even mentioned that to me. I’ll be 49 in April. Having to get up, get ready for wok, go and itch and burn almost every day has been terrible!!