Fractional CO2 Laser Therapy Versus 4% Topical Lidocaine Gel for Dyspareunia in Breast Cancer Survivors (BCLS)

  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    University of Cincinnati
Updated on 8 August 2022
laser therapy
breast cancer
Accepts healthy volunteers


This trial seeks to determine if therapy with a CO2 laser to the vagina is more effective than lidocaine to the opening of the vagina before intercourse to reduce painful intercourse in women who are breast cancer survivors. This study will also be looking at whether or not the CO2 laser improves pelvic floor function, bowel and bladder function, and sexual function before and after treatment.


This is a randomized trial to determine the comparative effectiveness of the CO2RE laser device relative to topical lidocaine in treating dyspareunia among breast cancer survivors. The large and growing population of breast cancer survivors experience a significant burden of urogenital symptoms including dyspareunia. Several studies have evaluated the feasibility and effectiveness of CO2 lasers for the treatment of symptomatic vulvovaginal atrophy in postmenopausal women suggesting improvements in atrophy symptoms with favorable histological and microscopic changes. There is little know about the effectiveness of CO2 laser therapy in breast cancer survivors.

Patients who are breast cancer survivors experiencing dyspareunia and desiring intervention will be randomized to two cohorts: (1) Treatment with the CO2RE laser or (2) application of 4% aqueous lidocaine applied to the vulvar vestibule for 3 minutes before vaginal penetration. The primary outcome will be the overall as well as lubrication, satisfaction, and pain domain scores on the Female Sexual Function Index instrument. Secondary outcomes will be according to other validated pain and pelvic floor symptom instruments.

Following initiation of treatment, both groups will follow up at one-week, 1-month, 3-months, and 6-months. At the 3-month assessment, subjects in the lidocaine arm will be given the option to undergo CO2RE laser therapy. A combination of validated and non-validated physical exam and survey instruments will be utilized at each visit in order to assess pelvic floor function, bowel and bladder function, and sexual function before and after treatment.

Condition Dyspareunia
Treatment 4% Topical Lidocaine Gel, CO2RE fractional laser therapy
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT03257670
SponsorUniversity of Cincinnati
Last Modified on8 August 2022

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