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Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause

Genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM) includes genital, sexual, and urinary symptoms of menopause associated with physical changes of the lower urinary tract, along with the vulva and vagina. Genital symptoms include dryness, burning, and irritation, and sexual symptoms include lack of lubrication, pain, and impaired function. These symptoms are related to the lower levels of estrogen circulating in a woman’s body after menopause. Urgency, dysuria, and recurrent urinary tract infections are urinary symptoms of GSM. Around 20%-50% of postmenopausal women experience urgency and stress-related UI.

Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause Condition Overview

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BackTable is a knowledge resource for physicians by physicians. Get practical advice on Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause and how to build your practice by listening to the BackTable Urology Podcast, reading exclusing BackTable Articles, and following the work of our Contributors.

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Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause Diagnosis

A full patient history should be performed before diagnosing genitourinary syndrome of menopause. The genitourinary region can be irritated by lubricants, soaps, and powders, and antiestrogen medications can also cause symptoms of genitourinary syndrome of menopause in premenopausal women. Along with the patient’s history, a pelvic examination should be performed to check for lesions, labial fusion, friable epithelium, and introital stenosis. Laboratory tests are helpful in making a diagnosis. Cytology, ultrasound, vaginal culture, Pap test, are useful in assessing the symptoms of genitourinary syndrome of menopause. Differential diagnoses include bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis, and candidiasis.

Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause Podcasts

Listen to leading physicians discuss genitourinary syndrome of menopause on the BackTable Urology Podcast. Get tips, tricks, and expert guidance from your peers and level up your practice.

Episode #38

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In this episode of BackTable Urology, Dr Jose Silva and Dr. Esther Han discuss diagnosis and management of interstitial cystitis in women.

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Episode #31

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We talk with Dr. Ashley Winter about the importance of educating physicians and patients on female sexual health, including common presenting symptoms and newer treatments.

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Episode #12

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We talk with Dr. Yahir Santiago-Lastra, director of the Women's Pelvic Medicine Center at UC San Diego Health about the management of cystitis and pelvic pain syndromes. She shares her insights on genitourinary syndrome of menopause, pain evaulation and treatment, and procedural options including botox and sacral neuromodulation.

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Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause Treatment

First line therapies, such as long-acting vaginal moisturizers and low-dose vaginal estrogen, are used to treat postmennopausal women with vulvovaginal symptoms that are unrelated to sexual activity. If symptoms are related to sexual activity, a more complex treatment regimen is used. Systemic therapies include hormone therapy, selective ER modulators, bazedoxifene, and conjugated estrogens while local treatments can be hormonal or non-hormonal. Vaginal creams, intravaginal tablets, and intravaginal rings are all forms of low dose vaginal estrogen therapies. Non-hormonal therapies can be effective in women at risk for estrogen responsive neoplasia.

Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause Articles

Read our exclusive BackTable Urology Articles for quick insights on genitourinary syndrome of menopause, provided by physicians for physicians.

A surgeon performing a urinary diversion with cystectomy to treat complications of genitourinary syndrome of menopause

Genitourinary syndrome of menopause can have manifestations that are refractory to estrogen and pelvic floor therapy treatment, such as incontinence and cystitis. This article discusses various procedural and surgical options for these patients.

Female physician talking to a patient about genitourinary syndrome of menopause

Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause is a new term that describes various menopausal syndromes including dryness, irritation, and recurrent UTIs. This article covers clinical and holistic treatments for genitourinary syndrome of menopause.

References

[1] Kim, H.-K., Kang, S.-Y., Chung, Y.-J., Kim, J.-H., & Kim, M.-R. (2015, August 28). The recent review of the Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause. Journal of menopausal medicine. Retrieved November 5, 2021, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4561742/
[2] Gandhi, J., Chen, A., Dagur, G., Suh, Y., Smith, N., Cali, B., & Khan, S. A. (2016, December). Genitourinary syndrome of menopause: an overview of clinical manifestations, pathophysiology, etiology, evaluation, and management. AJOG. Retrieved November 5, 2021, from https://www.ajog.org/article/S0002-9378(16)30518-X/pdf

Disclaimer: The Materials available on https://www.BackTable.com are for informational and educational purposes only and are not a substitute for the professional judgment of a healthcare professional in diagnosing and treating patients. The opinions expressed by participants of the BackTable Podcast belong solely to the participants, and do not necessarily reflect the views of BackTable.

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Podcasts

Breaking Down Interstitial Cystitis with Dr. Esther Han on the BackTable Urology Podcast)
Women's Sexual Health with Dr. Ashley Winter on the BackTable Urology Podcast)
Management of Cystitis & Pelvic Pain Syndrome with Dr. Yahir Santiago-Lastra and Dr. Jose Silva on the BackTable Urology Podcast)
Breaking Down Upper Tract Malignancy with Dr. Katie Murray on the BackTable Urology Podcast)

Articles

A surgeon performing a urinary diversion with cystectomy to treat complications of genitourinary syndrome of menopause

Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause: Procedural & Surgical Management

Female physician talking to a patient about genitourinary syndrome of menopause

Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause: Medical & Holistic Treatment Approaches

Contributors

Dr. Esther Han on the BackTable Urology Podcast

Dr. Esther Han

Dr. Ashley Winter on the BackTable Urology Podcast

Dr. Ashley Winter

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