Premarin Vaginal Cream is a prescription cream used to treat vaginal dryness in women, especially dryness that can result in painful sexual intercourse after and during menopause. Available with a doctor’s prescription, the cream should be used only by women who are not suffering from certain medical conditions. A number of side effects are associated with regular Premarin Vaginal Cream use.
According to the Rx List website, the main active ingredients in Premarin Vaginal Cream are conjugated estrogens, a mixture of estrogen hormones from several different sources. Estrogen is the main hormone responsible for the development of sexual characteristics in women, and the two dominant estrogen compounds included in Premarin are sodium estrone sulphate and sodium equilin sulfate. While the concentration of these estrogen compounds can vary in Premarin tablets and injections from 0.3 mg to 25 mg, Premarin Vaginal Cream contains 0.625 mg per gram of cream.
Vaginal dryness is a common problem for women undergoing menopause. This dryness occurs as a result of the sharp decrease in estrogen that accompanies menopause. The lower estrogen levels create a condition known as vaginal atrophy, or a progressive thinning and decrease in elasticity of the tissues that make up the vagina. These menopausal changes can cause burning in the vaginal area, unusual discharge, problems with urinating, such as incontinence, and pain and an increase in the occurrence of urinary tract infections. By providing the vaginal tissues a concentrated dose of estrogen, Premarin Vaginal Cream can reverse the symptoms of vaginal dryness and atrophy.
When vaginal atrophy occurs with the menopausal decrease in estrogen, women can begin to experience extremely painful sexual intercourse that often ends in unusual vaginal bleeding. These sexual problems are directly connected to the drop in estrogen, which causes natural vaginal lubrication to decrease and the entire vaginal area to become shorter and smaller in size. According to the Premarin Vaginal Cream website, the estrogens in the cream, when applied regularly, can restore vaginal lubrication and the elasticity of the vaginal tissues.
The most common side effects of Premarin Vaginal Cream use include vaginal infections, abdominal pain, headaches, nausea, back pain and light vaginal bleeding. More serious possible side effects include sharp increases in blood pressure, the development of jaundice, heart disease and the incidence of heart attacks, breast cancer, endometrial cancer and blood clots in the legs or lungs.
According to the Premarin Vaginal Cream website, women who have a history of breast or uterine cancer should not use the product. In addition, women who have a history of liver problems, heart disease, stroke, blood clots or who are experiencing unusual vaginal bleeding should avoid Premarin and other products containing conjugated estrogens. Women who are pregnant or who think they may be pregnant should also not begin using Premarin.