Menopause is an inevitable physiological consequence of aging affecting all women in their fifth decade of life. However, despite being a normal aging process, it is associated with several adverse symptoms which can make the woman’s life miserable.
Researchers have conducted a clinical trial that investigated whether laser treatment could help with a common problem women face during menopause – genitourinary syndrome.
Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause
Genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM)is a name for a group of unpleasant symptoms that some women experience as they go through menopause. Menopause is a natural phase in a woman's life when her body goes through changes and she stops having periods. During this time, hormones like estrogen decrease, which can lead to issues in the urinary and genital areas.
Scientists have been searching for effective management options for genitourinary syndrome of menopause and one such treatment is laser therapy.
Laser treatment involves using focused beams of light to target specific areas. In this case, the laser was aimed at the genital and urinary areas. The light energy from the laser can stimulate cells in those areas, promoting healing and reducing discomfort.
The researchers wanted to find out if laser therapy could help improve these uncomfortable symptoms. They carried out a clinical trial where they compared real laser treatment to a "sham" treatment. A "sham" treatment is a fake treatment used for comparison. It helps researchers see if the real treatment is actually working.
Sixty women with moderate to severe GSM symptoms were included in the clinical trial. The primary outcome was a change in the severity of the GSM symptoms at 12 weeks. Secondary outcomes included subjective (patient satisfaction, sexual function, urinary function) and objective (pH, Vaginal Health Index Score, in vivo microscopy) measurements.
Women who received the real laser treatment did not report a significant reduction in their symptoms compared to those who had the "sham" treatment. This means that laser treatment might not be a helpful option for women struggling with genitourinary symptoms during menopause.
The GSM severity score decreased from 2.86 to 2.17 (-23.60%) in women treated with laser compared with 2.90 ± 0.31 to 2.52 (-13.20%) in those receiving sham applications. These differences between the two groups were not statistically significant.
In this groundbreaking clinical trial
, laser treatment has not shown any potential in reducing the uncomfortable symptoms of genitourinary syndrome in menopausal women. These results emphasize that laser treatment may not be as beneficial as previously thought for women looking for ways to ease their discomfort during this transitional phase of life.