An estimated 30 million women in the United States currently experience symptoms of the Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause (GSM). GSM is defined as: a syndrome of various menopausal symptoms and signs including vaginal and vulvar dryness, burning and irritation as well as lack of lubrication, discomfort or pain associated with sex, and urinary urgency or pain as well as frequent urinary or vaginal infections.
There are many treatments available for GSM, ranging from basic over the counter vaginal moisturizers to hormones to compounds that act like hormones and even laser. You can read more about the variety of options available for the treatment for GSM here and here.
For women with minimal symptoms of GSM, Vagifem (generic: Yuvafem) has been an extremely popular option. At 10 micrograms of estradiol, the tablet is used vaginally twice a week and helps many women manage the symptoms of GSM without any other treatment. This low of a dose has been shown to be safe without concern for increased risk of breast or uterine cancer or for blood clots and strokes. It’s a common treatment for survivors of breast cancer as well.
This summer has seen the FDA approval of Imvexxy, a 10mcg estradiol capsule, is similar to Vagifem pharmaceutically but is designed as capsule to allow for insertion without an applicator. In October, Imvexxy 4 mcg will also be available, which will be the lowest effective dose of estrogen on the market to treat symptoms of GSM.
Depending on the complete picture of what a woman may be going through, there are many different treatment options available for symptoms related to menopause and more specifically GSM. It’s exciting that in the last 10 years there have been many innovative treatments that have come out, including Osphena, Intrarosa, the MonaLisa Touch laser, and now we can add a lower effective estrogen capsule to the growing list of options. With how diverse women are and how differently we each go through menopause, options are always good.
El Camino Women’s Medical Group offers the latest Minimally Invasive Solutions for gynecologic problems. Drs. Amy Teng, Erika 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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