In a study carried out by Dr. Martha Goetsch*, M.D., M.P.H. at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, USA, a silicone-based personal lubricant from pjur was given to the participating patients to use.
The topic of the study was: The use of a superficially applied anesthetic and a personal lubricant to prevent pain during sexual intercourse in breast cancer patients after menopause.
Title of the study: Preventing Dyspareunia with Self-applied Topical Anesthetic Improves All Aspects of Sexual Function in Menopausal Survivors of Breast Cancer: a Randomized Controlled Trial
Introduction: Research has focused on vaginal atrophy as the cause of dyspareunia in postmenopausal women. This study explored whether penetrative pain was prevented after hypo estrogenic subjects applied analgesic liquid to the vulvar vestibule.
Unfortunately, women who have had breast cancer are more likely to experience vaginal dryness and uncomfortable sex because of their treatment. Because of this, a study was carried out on 46 breast cancer survivors who were finding intercourse very painful. Half of them were asked to use a pain relieving liquid and the other half a water solution before trying penetration twice a week, assisted by a silicone lubricant from pjur. Penetration could be by intercourse or by inserting a tampon and they kept a pain diary. Of the 41 who completed the 3 month test, the results showed that preventing pain with the lidocaine and providing lubrication with a silicone product improved the women’s overall sexual experience and they experienced comfortable intercourse.
Summary: Many women suffer from dyspareunia, the term used to describe pain before, during or after vaginal intercourse. In most cases this can be treated with Hormone Therapy, however, after breast or endometrial cancer women are advised to avoid medication containing hormones. As a result these patients experience increasingly painful symptoms.
Menopause in women younger than 40 years of age is called premature menopause or premature ovarian failure. Menopause occurring between 40-45 years of age is called early menopause and this is common in breast cancer patients due to chemotherapy and other medications. Chemotherapy is toxic to the ovaries causing loss of eggs and destruction of the supporting ovarian tissue. This in turn causes the body to lose estrogen.
Dr. Martha Goetsch carried out a study with 46 breast cancer patients at Oregon Health & Science University in the USA to find a suitable solution to this problem for the women affected. The study set out to investigate and prove whether the application of a local anesthetic would ease the pain and whether the simultaneous use of a silicone-based personal lubricant shortly before sexual intercourse could make the latter a pleasant experience again. During the study of 46 women who had previously suffered from breast cancer, half used a four-percent lidocaine liquid (a pain-relieving local anesthetic) and the other half a saline solution, with both groups combining this with a silicone personal lubricant from pjur prior to sexual intercourse or inserting a tampon. It was important here that the lidocaine or saline solution was allowed to absorb for three minutes directly before sexual intercourse. Prior to the treatment with lidocaine and pjur, the participating women rated their intercourse pain at an average of 8 on a scale of 1 to 10 – a high level of pain – and this significantly reduced when using the products. All participating women agreed to use the lidocaine or saline solution and silicone-based personal lubricant from pjur twice a week over the course of a month. This was to be scientific, comparing a placebo. After one month, the women who had used lidocaine and pjur had an average pain level of 1 during or after intercourse, while the women who received the saline solution still reported an average of 5. 43 of the participants completed this first phase of the study. Then all used the lidocaine and lubricant for another two months to see how long it took to achieve comfort and confidence in applying the lidocaine liquid. By the conclusion, 90% were having no pain with intercourse and having it as often as they wished.
Conclusion: According to these results, the study allowed restoration of participants’ sex lives and improvement in their sexual well-being. During sexual intercourse, the pain was significantly reduced after the application of lidocaine as a local anesthetic and the use of the pjur silicone personal lubricant. Reduction in pain and provision of lubrication allowed all other aspects of sexual function to improve or return to normal.
At pjur, we are delighted that our personal lubricant was able to contribute to a vital improvement in the intimacy of the women affected. For many years, pjur has made it their mission to improve the sexual wellbeing of men and women.
Abstract Details & Publication: For more detailed information about the Investigator, Objective, Design, Results and Conclusion please see the abstract attached; published in 2014 in ‘The North American Menopause Society’; on page 1330 ‘Abstracts: 25th Annual Meeting of NAMS’
More information about the study and the results can be read here: Journal Menopause, page 1330
* Martha Goetsch, M.D., M.P.H., Program in Vulvar Health, Generalist Division, Dept Ob Gyn, OHSU, Portland Oregon
For more information about the organisation please visit: www.ohsu.edu