Menopause can mark the beginning of a series of changes in women's sex lives, known collectively as genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GMS). This syndrome includes symptoms such as vaginal dryness, pain during sex, post-coital bleeding, burning during urination and bladder infections. It affects up to 50% of women in the three years after menopause, and many are unaware that these problems are linked to this vital stage.

It is crucial to talk openly about these symptoms and seek medical advice when necessary. Although GMS is a rarely discussed topic in medical consultations and in society, especially among older women, it is essential to remember that a satisfactory and pain-free sexual life is a right for everyone, regardless of age.

Advice on Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause (GMS)

Symptoms of GMS and How to Prevent Them

Symptoms of GMS range from vaginal dryness to urinary burning and pain during sexual intercourse. These may be influenced by factors such as being overweight, which could act as a protector by converting hormones into estrogen, and smoking, which increases the risk of SGM due to its anti-estrogen effects. Interestingly, African American women tend to experience fewer tissue changes associated with GMS, possibly due to genetic factors or differences in the vaginal microbiome.

Symptoms of Genitourinary Syndrome

Medications and SGM

Some medical treatments, including aromatase inhibitors and GnRH agonists used to treat certain types of cancer, can exacerbate GMS symptoms by blocking estrogen production. The impact of tamoxifen and certain chemotherapy regimens on ovarian function may also contribute to the development of GMS.

Conclusion: Find Solutions and Support

GMS is a common but manageable challenge during menopause. If you are facing symptoms such as vaginal dryness or pain during sexual intercourse, consult your doctor to explore treatment options. There are various solutions that can relieve your symptoms and improve your quality of life. Remember, GMS is a treatable condition and not something to be ashamed of.

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