Although the positive effects of vaginal estrogens and the selective estrogen receptor modulator, ospemifene (OS), on the vaginal epithelium are well recognized, less is known regarding the effects of these therapies on the lower urinary tract or vaginal muscularis. Clinical evidence suggests that vaginally administered estrogenmay improve overactive bladder-related symptoms. The objective of this study was to compare the effects of OS, vaginal conjugated equine estrogens (CEE), or both on the vaginal wall and lower urinary tract in a rat model of menopause. Contractile force of the bladder neck, dome, and external urethral sphincter at optimal field stimulation did not differ significantly among treatment groups. Pharmacologic responses to atropine, carbachol, and potassium chloride were similar among groups. Vaginal epithelial thickness and differentiation were differentially regulated by CEE or OS. Ospemifene altered epithelial differentiation pathways in vaginal epithelium in a unique way, and these effects were additive with local CEE. Unless contraindicated, the beneficial effects of vaginal CEE on the vaginal wall outweigh those of OS.
Although ospemifene has no effect on the lower urinary tract, it alters vaginal epithelium in a unique way that is additive with local estrogen.