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Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause: Can Laser Therapy Help?

Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause: Can Laser Therapy Help? When a woman’s estrogen levels fall at menopause, her body goes through numerous changes. Her ovaries stop releasing eggs, she gradually stops menstruating, and she can no longer become pregnant. She also might have hot flashes, insomnia, and moodiness. And she might develop genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM).

GSM is a collection of symptoms involving the genitals and the urinary system. Women may experience vaginal dryness or genital irritation. Intercourse can become painful because of poor lubrication or narrowing in the vagina. Frequent urinary tract infections, pain during urination, and an urgent need to “go” are other symptoms.

Usually, treatment for GSM depends on the symptoms. First, doctors make sure the problems aren’t caused by another medical condition. Next, they might suggest vaginal lubricants, moisturizers, or low-dose vaginal estrogen therapy. Pelvic floor physical therapy may alleviate urinary problems.

Scientists have been investigating laser treatment, too. In September 2018, the journal Menopause published the results of a study on microablative fractional CO2 laser therapy.

CO2 lasers are often used by dermatologists for skin resurfacing or rejuvenation procedures. Their use for GSM is fairly new, and their effectiveness and safety have been a matter of debate.

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