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14th January 2023

Genitourinary Syndrome of the Menopause (GSM)

What is Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause (GSM)

Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause (GSM), formerly known as Vulvovaginal Atrophy (VVA) or atrophic vaginitis, is a condition that affects many perimenopausal and post-menopausal women. It is a group of symptoms and physical changes in the genital and urinary tract areas, primarily caused by the hormonal changes associated with menopause, particularly the decline in oestrogen levels.  

What are The Symptoms of Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause (GSM)

GSM symptoms encompasses a range of symptoms and can significantly impact a woman’s quality of life. Common genitourinary syndrome of menopause symptoms and manifestations of GSM include: 

  • Vaginal Dryness: A decrease in oestrogen levels leads to reduced vaginal lubrication, resulting in dryness and discomfort. 
  • Vaginal Itching and Burning: The thinning and drying of the vaginal tissues can cause itching and a burning sensation. 
  • Dyspareunia: Painful sexual intercourse is a common symptom of GSM due to vaginal dryness and thinning of the vaginal walls. 
  • Vaginal Discharge: Changes in the vaginal tissues can lead to altered vaginal discharge. 
  • Urinary Symptoms: GSM can affect the lower urinary tract, leading to symptoms like urinary urgency, frequency, and an increased risk of urinary tract infections. 
  • Urinary Incontinence: The weakening of pelvic floor muscles and changes in the urinary tract can contribute to urinary incontinence. 
  • Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections: Thinning of the urethral tissues can make women more prone to urinary tract infections. 
  • Pain or Burning During Urination: Urinary symptoms may also include pain or a burning sensation during urination. 

It’s essential for women experiencing GSM to consult with a doctor to discuss their symptoms and explore appropriate treatment options. With proper management, many women can find relief from the discomfort and distress associated with this condition.  If you would like to book in with a menopause specialist, click here.


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