IMR Press / CEOG / Volume 46 / Issue 6 / DOI: 10.12891/ceog4959.2019
Open Access Original Research
Vaginal health: insights, views, and attitudes (VIVA). Results from a survey in South Korea
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1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Soonchunhyang University Seoul Hospital, Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea
2 Department of Urology, Soonchunhyang University Bucheon Hospital, Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine, Bucheon, Republic of Korea
3 Department of Interdisciplinary Program in Biomedical Science, Soonchunhyang University Graduate School, Asan, Republic of Korea
4 Department of Biostatistic Consulting, Clinical Trial Center, Soonchunhyang Medical Center, Bucheon, Republic of Korea
5 Department of Biostatistic Consulting, Clinical Trial Center, Soonchunhyang Medical Center, Bucheon, Republic of Korea
Clin. Exp. Obstet. Gynecol. 2019, 46(6), 938–942;
Published: 10 December 2019

Purpose: This study investigated the awareness and attitude on the subject of vaginal atrophy in postmenopausal women in South Korea. Materials and Methods: After the translation of the questionnaire used in the international Vaginal Health: Insights, Views & Attitudes (VIVA) survey into the Korean version, a total of 500 postmenopausal Korean women were given a personal interview survey to complete a structured questionnaire. Results: Forty-four percent of the women experienced vaginal symptoms after menopause, but only 14% of the women considered vaginal symptoms to originate from vaginal atrophy. More than two-thirds of the women believed that sufficient information about the symptoms and treatment options of vaginal discomfort were available and 77% of Korean women indicated their gynaecologists or other doctors as the main source of information regarding vaginal health. However, 46% and 64% of women who had vaginal discomfort had never consulted a healthcare professional or never received any treatment; 57% and 70% of the women in this survey replied respectively that if they had been aware of hormone therapy and topical hormone medicine for treatment of vaginal symptoms, they would have taken it. Conclusions: Korean postmenopausal women suffered more severely for shorter duration from their symptoms than those in international VIVA survey, and they tended not to have treatment or to consult with a healthcare professional. Many Korean postmenopausal women dismiss symptoms of vaginal atrophy due to a lack of awareness and being ashamed and considered a taboo to mention their vaginal condition as well as sexual life.

Vaginal atrophy
Postmenopausal women
VIVA survey
Figure 1.
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