Menopause is a multi-system change for women. From skin to memory and all areas in between, menopause and the symptoms it brings frequently cause lower quality of life. However, only 7% of women seek treatment for their menopausal symptoms due to lack of information and education. Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause, or GSM, is a relatively new term referring to menopausal-related changes to the vagina, vulva and bladder during menopause. These changes come about by lower levels of estrogen in the body.
Identifying Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause
There are 3 important areas of women’s health highly affected by menopause that fall into this new diagnosis. Let’s take a closer look at these 3 areas to watch in Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause
- Vaginal: The vagina is one area that is affected the most during menopause. Changes in the function and appearance of the vagina lead to sexual changes and even higher risk of urinary tract infections. Vaginal atrophy is one condition. Vaginal atrophy is a thinning of the vaginal walls that comes from lower estrogen production. Vaginal atrophy is a vaginal health area of GSM that leads to lower lubrication during arousal, painful intercourse and bladder issues such as higher risk of UTIs and some forms of incontinence.
- Vulva: Like the changes in the vaginal area, similar changes take place in patients with GSM in the vulvar area. Vulva atrophy is a drying and thinning of the vulva. With that, lower lubrication occurs making sex less pleasurable. Burning and itching are also hallmarks of vulvar changes in patients with GSM.
- Bladder: Urinary changes in GSM are the 3rd area affected. Less estrogen leads to some forms of incontinence. Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) is the loss of urine during physical activity. Women who had no issues with leaking urine before menopause, find themselves foregoing once enjoyable activities due to Stress Urinary Incontinence. In addition, conditions related to GSM such as vaginal atrophy, vaginal laxity and labial laxity transcend to bladder changes as effects on the bladder and urinary tract set in.
Hope For Patients with GSM
If you have Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause, there is hope for you. As we said, less than 7% of women seek treatment for their menopausal symptoms. Why? Simply put, there is conflicting information with regard to safety and effectiveness in menopausal treatments. Couple this with cancer risk statistics and side effect publicity and the result is no treatment at all.
Women in menopause and beyond need hormone balance and optimal health in the 3 areas we covered: vaginal, vulvar and bladder.
diVa® and diVaTyte™
diVa® and diVaTyte™ are non-surgical rejuvenation solutions that address changes in the vagina, vulva and bladder that afflict patients with GSM. diVa® and diVaTyte™ use CO2 fractional laser therapy which has been FDA approved since 2014. These procedures rejuvenate from the inside out, increasing vaginal and vulvar health and addressing bothersome incontinence – without surgery or downtime. They take 10 minutes or less and you will be back to your normal routine right away. Satisfaction rates are high, too: 84% of women report high satisfaction 2 years after their treatment.
Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy
Women in menopause and beyond need estrogen in certain amounts as well as other important hormones. Brain and bone health, skin integrity and memory retention are just a few of the areas these are needed. BioTE® hormone pellets provide hormone balance in a plant-derived formulation which many women prefer for safety. It’s convenient, too: pellets are inserted once every 3-4 months in the privacy of the office.
Do you think you may have GSM? Consult Inner Beauty today to find out for sure then plan treatments that fit your life.