Genito-urinary syndrome of menopause

What is genito-urinary syndrome of menopause?

When a woman goes through menopause the ovaries stop releasing eggs, and this results in lower levels of estrogen hormone circulating each month. This is responsible for many of the common symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, night sweats and skin changes.

Symptoms

However, an area that is often overlooked is the vagina – many women at this stage note that it is less comfortable with sex, there can be dryness and even skin tears. Some women start to get urinary tract infections as well.

Treatment

All of these changes are due to lower estrogen levels in the vagina, so a simple treatment is to use an estrogen-containing cream. This makes the walls of the vagina healthier and more robust, improves blood supply and helps maintain a healthy bacterial environment (the ‘vaginal microbiome’).

In some women, estrogen-containing products will not be recommended. If you are having treatment for breast cancer or a blood clot, for example, you shouldn’t use any estrogen replacement. There may be non-hormonal strategies that can help.

How we can help

If you think you may have this condition and would like to talk to us about how we can help, please feel free to contact us. You can also request an appointment online.

Further reading

Further information

Symptoms

Postmenopausal bleeding

Any bleeding in the menopause is abnormal and needs to be investigated. It is most often caused by fragile tissues (vagina, endometrium) due to lack of estrogen production. Endometrial hyperplasia and cancer may be the cause in 5-10% of cases, and if promptly attended to, treatment is highly successful. Find out more