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Genitourinary syndrome, the menopausal problem women may not know about

Genitourinary SyndromeMenopause can make you want to swear off sex. The decrease in levels of estrogen and other hormones after menopause causes changes to the vagina that can cause genital and urinary symptoms in women. This condition is known as genitourinary syndrome. Our Grapevine and Alliance ObGyns know that you might be hesitant to discuss these symptoms with us, but talking about the condition is the first step in treating it.

What are the symptoms of genitourinary syndrome?

“GSM is thought to affect about half of all postmenopausal women.”
http://www.issm.info/sexual-health-qa/what-is-genitourinary-syndrome-of-menopause-sgm

The symptoms of genitourinary syndrome may impact the clitoris, labia, vagina, urethra or bladder.

Genital symptoms

  • Vaginal burning, dryness or irritation
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Itchy genitals
  • Discomfort or pain during sexual intercourse due to lack of lubrication and tightening and shortening of the vaginal canal

Urinary symptoms

  • Feeling urgency to urinate
  • Burning during urination
  • Increase in urinary tract infections
  • Experiencing urinary incontinence

How is genitourinary syndrome treated?

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of genitourinary syndrome, you shouldn’t suffer in silence. Our Grapevine and Alliance ObGyns will talk about the problems in an open and caring way that we hope will make you feel comfortable and hopeful, knowing treatment is available.

There are a variety of treatment options.

Over-the-counter remedies include vaginal moisturizers and water-based lubricants to help reduce pain and irritation during sex. If these methods don’t work, our ObGyns may prescribe topical vaginal estrogen in cream, tablets or in a soft, flexible ring.

Some women may benefit from systemic estrogen or estrogen/progestin therapy, administered via pills, gel, patches or an estrogen ring.

Women with urinary symptoms may benefit from pelvic-floor physical therapy or other treatments for urinary incontinence.

Prevention advice includes regular sexual activity

When you are in the throes of genitourinary syndrome symptoms, you may find this bit of advice hard to imagine, but it’s important to spend some time in the bedroom. Participating in regular sexual activity can keep vaginal tissues healthy by increasing blood flow. If you’re experiencing pain, treatment can help you enjoy sex again.

You shouldn’t ignore the symptoms of genitourinary syndrome. Contact us – we’re here for you.

  

Gynecology Women's Integrated Healthcare

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