“Like Sandpaper”.   Not usually a comment I hear at the hospital, I turned my head to see what the nurses were discussing.   I could not believe it, they were discussing their vaginas.

The conversation was between a few peri- and post-menopausal nurses complaining about the state of their vaginas, using words like “sandpaper”, “the desert” and “worse than last year’s drought”.  Of course, I started offering some updates on what’s new on the market for treatment of the genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM).  And even though I was speaking with women who worked in healthcare, a lot of this information was new.

There are over 50 million women in the US in menopause.  Over 60% of them have vaginal or vulvar symptoms related to the declines in estrogen that occurs with menopause, a condition now labeled GSM.   Unlike hot flashes, night sweats and mood swings—which stabilize after a woman fully transitions into menopause, GSM only gets worse each year.

Fortunately, there are many treatments available for these symptoms ranging from very conservative to more aggressive:  

  • Regular vaginal dilation: intercourse, vaginal dilator
  • Vaginal moisturizers, lubricants
  • Hormones at lower doses for the vagina: estrogen, DHEA
  • Ospemifene
  • CO2 laser

The truth is, vaginal health is a big part of a woman’s life.  With life expectancy for women in the US over 80, we will spend almost as many of our adult years post-menopause as pre-menopause.  If you’re one of the millions of women with uncomfortable vaginal symptoms after menopause, don’t be shy to ask your gynecologist about options.

El Camino Women’s Medical Group offers the latest Minimally Invasive Solutions for gynecologic problems.   Drs. Amy TengErika Balassiano, and Pooja Gupta, all members of AAGL (American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopy) are highly trained and experienced in the field of Minimally Invasive Gynecgologic Surgery.   Dr. Erika Balassiano is also a graduate of the Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery Fellowship at Stanford University, under the supervision of world-renowned Dr. Camran Nezhat.

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Includes explanation of the genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM) as well as our comprehensive chart of available treatment options, from doing nothing, to over the counter options and prescription medications.

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