Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause: Treatment may relieve pesky and painful changes down-there.  Symptoms often persist and affect most of us, so what is some effective treatment?

Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause

What is the genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM)?

On page two in The 2020 Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause Position Statement of The North American Menopause Society: Terminology, the definition used by the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) is:

Genitourinary syndrome of menopause describes the symptoms and signs resulting from the effect of estrogen deficiency on the female genitourinary tract, including the vagina, labia, urethra, and bladder”.

Symptoms

What may be symptoms of GSM?

In Vaginal Atrophy: Symptoms & Causes – Symptoms the Mayo Clinic explain:

Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause: Treatment

“Genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM) signs and symptoms may include:

  • Vaginal dryness
  • Vaginal burning
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Genital itching
  • Burning with urination
  • Urgency with urination
  • Frequent urination
  • Recurrent urinary tract infections
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Light bleeding after intercourse
  • Discomfort with intercourse
  • Decreased vaginal lubrication during sexual activity
  • Shortening and tightening of the vaginal canal”.

Treatment

What are some GSM treatment options?

In Vaginal Dryness: Treatment Options the NAMS elaborate on:

“The good news is that effective treatment options, such as nonhormone remedies or different forms of low-dose estrogen applied to the vagina are available. These can be combined for optimal symptom relief.

  • “Nonhormone Remedies…
    • Vaginal Lubricants…
    • Vaginal Moisturizers…
    • Regular Sexual Stimulation…
    • Expanding Your Views of Sexual Pleasure…
    • Vaginal Dilators…
    • Pelvic Floor Exercises…
  • Vaginal Estrogen Therapy…
    • An Effective and Safe Treatment…
    • Government-Approved Low-Dose Vaginal Estrogen Products…
    • Standard Doses of Estrogen Therapy…
  • Other Prescription Therapies
    • Ospemifene
    • Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)…”.

Health Care Provider

What if I think I have GSM?

If you think you have GSM, it may be in your best interest to choose to talk to your health care provider about this.

On page two in Vaginal Dryness: Treatment Options the NAMS note:

“Vaginal symptoms not related to menopause include yeast infections, allergic reactions, and certain skin conditions, so consult your healthcare provider if symptoms do not improve with treatment”.

In Vulvovaginal Symptoms After Menopause the Australasian Menopause Society elaborate on:

  • “Unlike some menopausal symptoms, such as hot flushes, which may disappear as time passes; genito-urinary problems often persist and may progress with time. Genito-urinary symptoms are associated both with menopause and with ageing”.

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Last Updated: 01 November 2020 – Last Revised: 01 November 2020
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