C•L•O•S•E•R Study

CLOSER (CLarifying vaginal atrophy’s impact On Sex and Relationships), a new study and the first of its kind in South Africa, has shown that 50 % of postmenopausal women are affected by vaginal dryness,16 and that women must be encouraged to seek help.16

Are you speaking to your doctor about vaginal dryness?

Download our Symptoms Report PDF which may serve as a useful starting point for discussion.


Here are a few more interesting facts to come out of the CLOSER study!

  • We found that many women avoid sex because of vaginal discomfort – and that sex is less satisfying or too painful, while some report loss of libido.16
  • Despite the negative impact of vaginal dryness, it is left untreated in 40 % of women, even though treatment is available.16
  • We did note though that 60 % of women using vaginal hormone therapy treatment reported being more optimistic about the future of their sex lives, more confident, and sexually attractive.16
  • In fact 74 % of women using vaginal oestrogen tablets said they would recommend them, and 61 % of these women reported that the treatment works.16
Early detection and management of vaginal dryness is important for your long-term wellbeing. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about vaginal discomfort, and don’t feel embarrassed or alone – because you aren’t!


Symptoms of vaginal dryness adversely affect sex and relationships, both physically and emotionally, for postmenopausal women and male partners of postmenopausal women.16

Other symptoms include:16

  • Bleeding during intercourse
  • Vaginal soreness
  • Pain during urination
  • Vaginal pain with intercourse/contact
  • Vaginal itching
  • Vaginal burning
  • Vaginal dryness
Vaginal discomfort has a negative impact on women’s feelings and self-esteem16

The women surveyed said vaginal discomfort had a negative impact on their feelings and self-esteem, with half of them believing they have lost their youth, or being upset that their bodies did not work as they did before.16


“Vaginal oestrogen is safe, effective & easy to use,” says Dr Carol Thomas, gynaecologist and President of the South African Menopause Society.

“The changes that happen in the body as a result of menopause are normal, and there is no need to suffer in silence. Women need to be encouraged to ask for assistance, and not to be embarrassed. Convenient treatments are available and consumers need to speak to their doctor or pharmacist about their options.”

50 %

of women receiving vaginal oestrogen claimed to be optimistic about the future of their sex lives16

71 %

of women reported having more confidence in themselves as sexual partners16

76 %

of women using vaginal oestrogen tablets would recommend these, with 61 % reporting effective treatment of vaginal discomfort16

76 %

of women felt happy that their body was “working again”16

Remember you have the right to have sex just for the pleasure of it,16 and to enjoy sex right up into old age.16 The International Menopause Society Writing Group promotes starting treatment early, before changes become irreversible.16 Don’t hesitate to improve your lifestyle when you are postmenopausal.

It’s time to get comfortable discussing vaginal discomfort with your healthcare provider, and to feel better about yourself and your future.



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