According to the Cleveland Clinic, at least half of menopausal and post-menopausal women suffer from vaginal atrophy. If you are one of them, it doesn’t make you feel any better to know you have so much company, does it? We understand. And we can help you take action to dramatically improve your vaginal symptoms, quickly and comfortably.
For many women, the loss of estrogen during and after menopause causes the vaginal walls to become thinner, to lose hydration, and in some cases to become inflamed. This is commonly known as vaginal atrophy, or atrophic vaginitis. However, vaginal atrophy can lead to unwanted urinary symptoms as well as painful intercourse, so doctors now refer to this condition as genitourinary syndrome of menopause. That’s a lot to say, so we just call it GSM.
Common Symptoms of GSM
Genitourinary syndrome of menopause can produce a long list of symptoms, including:
- Vaginal dryness
- Burning or itching in the vaginal area
- Vaginal discharge
- Uncomfortable or painful intercourse, due to decreased vaginal lubrication
- Spotting or bleeding after intercourse
- Frequent and/or urgent urination
- Burning sensation with urination
- Urinary incontinence
You may start to experience these symptoms even before you enter menopause, or you may not see any symptoms until well after menopause. Every woman is different. Yet, whether you have one or more of these symptoms, it can be not only uncomfortable but embarrassing. Many women find themselves pulling back from activities or relationships and reluctant to tell even their doctor about their concerns.
However, it is important to see your doctor, not only because relief is available, but because other conditions such as a yeast infection can produce similar symptoms of dryness and irritation.
Causes of GSM
Estrogen promotes vaginal health, by stimulating secretion of fluid that lubricates and cleanses the vaginal canal. Estrogen also helps maintain a slightly acidic pH within the vagina, which reduces risk of infections.
As estrogen production naturally decreases during and after menopause, the vaginal walls become thinner, and the vaginal area loses moisture and elasticity. You may become more prone to vaginal or urinary tract infections. Besides menopause, women can lose estrogen due to:
- Surgical removal of the ovaries
- Pelvic radiation therapy or chemotherapy for cancer
- Breast cancer hormonal treatment
- Certain medications (including some birth control pills)
If you smoke, you have never given birth vaginally, or you do not engage in sexual activity, you may be more likely to experience GSM symptoms.
Treatment Options for GSM
There are numerous over-the-counter products that can help relieve the symptoms of vaginal atrophy, at least when it comes to improving your sexual experience. These include vaginal moisturizers such as Replens and K-Y Liquibeads as well as pre-intercourse lubricants such as K-Y Jelly.
There are also prescription estrogen-based products that can be inserted into the vagina or applied topically to the vaginal area to relieve symptoms over time. Pelvic floor exercises (Kegel squeezes) can help improve urinary incontinence.
While these measures do offer distinct benefits, they only work as long as you keep using them. In some cases, that can be quite expensive.
MonaLisa® Touch Provides Long-Term Results
Most women simply resign themselves to the multiple frustrations of post-menopausal vaginal atrophy. But why, when real help is now available? MonaLisa® Touch is a non-invasive treatment that uses advanced laser technology to stimulate renewal of the vaginal area, internally and externally. This works to restore natural hydration, suppleness, and pH levels.
Not only is MonaLisa® Touch impressively effective, the treatment is surprisingly simple. It takes just three 5-minute treatments. Instead of frustrating, embarrassing symptoms, you can look forward to everyday activities and intimate relationships with renewed comfort and confidence. That could change your life.