The Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause: An Overview of the Recent Data.Cureus. 2020 Apr 08; 12(4):e7586.C
The genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM) is a relatively new term for the condition previously known as vulvovaginal atrophy, atrophic vaginitis, or urogenital atrophy. The term was first introduced in 2014. GSM is a chronic, progressive, vulvovaginal, sexual, and lower urinary tract condition characterized by a broad spectrum of signs and symptoms. Most of these symptoms can be attributed to the lack of estrogen that characterizes menopause. Even though the condition mainly affects postmenopausal women, it is seen in many premenopausal women as well. The hypoestrogenic state results in hormonal and anatomical changes in the genitourinary tract, with vaginal dryness, dyspareunia, and reduced lubrication being the most prevalent and bothersome symptoms. These can have a great impact on the quality of life (QOL) of the affected women, especially those who are sexually active. The primary goal of the treatment of GSM is to achieve the relief of symptoms. First-line treatment consists of non-hormonal therapies such as lubricants and moisturizers, while hormonal therapy with local estrogen products is generally considered the "gold standard''. Newer therapeutic approaches with selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) or laser technologies can be employed as alternative options, but further research is required to investigate the viability and scope of their implementation in day-to-day clinical practice.