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Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause (GSM) is a group of conditions that affect the genital and urinary tracts, including vaginal dryness, itching, burning, and painful intercourse, as well as urinary symptoms such as urgency, frequency, and recurrent urinary tract infections. These symptoms can be debilitating, affect quality of life, and can lead to sexual dysfunction and social isolation.

During menopause, a woman’s estrogen levels decrease, causing changes to the genital and urinary tracts. These changes can lead to the thinning of vaginal tissues, decreased elasticity, and reduced lubrication. These changes can also affect the urinary tract, leading to symptoms such as urinary urgency, frequency, and recurrent infections.

The main risk factors recognized to be associated with GSM besides the menopause itself are the absence of vaginal childbirth, decreased frequency and sexual abstinence, chemotherapy or radiation treatment for cancer, and the removal of the ovaries. Additionally, some medications, such as certain antidepressants, can contribute to the development of GSM.

There are various treatment options, including non-hormonal therapies, hormone replacement therapy, and vaginal laser therapy. Non-hormonal therapies such as vaginal moisturizers, lubricants, and topical estrogen creams can help relieve vaginal dryness and discomfort.

Hormone replacement therapy can help improve symptoms of GSM by increasing estrogen levels in the body. Vaginal laser therapy, uses a laser to stimulate the production of collagen in vaginal tissues, which can improve vaginal elasticity and lubrication.
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