Are you experiencing vaginal dryness, burning, itching, painful sex or problems with urination?
You may have a condition known as GSM. You don’t have to “just live with it” – there are treatment options.
What is GSM?
Genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM) is a condition that is characterized by a variety of symptoms resulting from changes in hormone levels during menopause.
How many women does it impact?
The prevalence of GSM is high. It is estimated that at least 50% of women develop GSM symptoms.
What are the symptoms?
Women generally experience a wide range of symptoms with GSM. These symptoms are often bothersome and impact quality of life.
Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Vaginal dryness, burning, itching
- Painful sex
- Decreased lubrication
- Urinary urgency or frequency
- Bleeding after sex
- Frequent urinary tract infections
- Reduced sexual interest
- Vulvovaginal tissue thinning
Many treatment options are available to address symptoms of GSM. Treatment plans will be tailored to alleviate your most bothersome GSM symptoms.
Treatment options may include:
- Hormone therapy (creams, pills, patches, rings)
- Use of lubricants or moisturizers
- CO2 laser therapy
- Radiofrequency and microneedling
What to expect on your visit
During your visit, you can expect your care team to listen to and address all of your concerns in a safe and trusted space. A consultation for GSM may include:
- A history and physical examination
Menopause is defined clinically as 12 months after a woman’s final menstrual period. Or, menopause can be diagnosed through laboratory tests.
The majority of women experience perimenopausal symptoms 5 years before and after reaching menopause. However, some women can experience these symptoms as long as 10-15 years after menopause.
A common symptom of GSM is thinning of the vulvovaginal tissue, which can lead to tissue bulging into nearby organs, like the bladder, urethra, and rectum. Thinning of tissue can lead to weakness, and cause problems with the bladder.
Thinning of the vulvovaginal tissue within the internal and external genitalia can cause pH changes in the vagina, and also can make it easier for bacteria to enter the urethra, causing increased infections “down there”
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