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What is Vagifem and how do I use it?

Vagifem is a pessary that is inserted into your vagina. It’s used to treat changes in and around the vagina that commonly occur when levels of estrogen begin to decline during the perimenopause and menopause.

This includes symptoms of vaginal dryness, such as soreness, itching and pain during sex. Declining levels of estrogen can also cause urinary symptoms such urinary tract infections, urgency or occasional leaks.

How does Vagifem work?

Vagifem works by replacing the lost estrogen directly to the affected area, in order to relieve symptoms. It contains a type of estrogen called estradiol, which is the same type of estrogen made naturally in your ovaries.

RELATED: Vaginal estrogens: what is Ovestin and how do I use it?

When and how do I use Vagifem?

Each dose of Vagifem comes in a foil-wrapped, pre-dosed, single-use applicator, which looks similar to a tampon applicator. You can insert it when you’re standing up or lying down, and it’s best to use it before you go to bed.

When you start treatment you’ll use it every day for two weeks. After that, you’ll need to use it twice a week, but it is possible to use it more frequently if recommended by your healthcare professional.

What doses does Vagifem come in?

Each pessary contains 10 mcg of estradiol.

What are the benefits?

As Vagifem pessaries stick well to the vaginal walls, they aren’t as messy to use as some other creams and pessaries and don’t leave a sticky residue. The main downside is that Vagifem can only be used internally, unlike creams and gels which can be used around the vaginal opening and vulva. 

Who is Vagifem suitable for?

Vagifem is safe to use alongside HRT including gels, sprays and patches, and may also be suitable for people who are unable or don’t want to take HRT.

RELATED: Vaginal estrogen: what is Estring and how do I use it?

Can I expect any side effects?

You may experience soreness or irritation when you first start using Vagifem, especially if you’ve been experiencing symptoms for some time before you start treatment.


Vagifem manufacturer website

British National Formulary: Estradiol

What is Vagifem and how do I use it?

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