Menopause: What urinary symptoms do Greek women suffer from - What does a study show?


Researchers record the predominant painful and disturbing symptoms from the genitourinary experienced by Greek women during the menopause transition

The results of the LADY study on the epidemiological characteristics of existing and new cases of menopausal urogenital syndrome in our country were published by the Greek research team in the International Urogynecology Journal, the official journal of the International Urogynecology Association (IUGA).

The term "genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM)" was first introduced in 2014 by consensus of the International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health and the North American Menopause Society.

The syndrome, once called vulvovaginal atrophy, atrophic vaginitis or urogenital atrophy, describes the entire spectrum of changes caused by the lack of estrogen during menopause, which include, in addition to vulvar and vaginal atrophy, symptoms of the lower urinary tract (Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms (LUTS)

Given the common embryological origin of the genitourinary system, the presence of estrogen receptors, and the high prevalence of vulvar atrophy and LUTS in the menopausal female population, the two conditions can coexist, the researchers note.

Thus, the present study aimed to investigate LUTS's prevalence and risk factors in a sample of Greek women in the perimenopause and menopause stages.

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The study involved 450 women aged 40-70 years who attended three outpatient gynecological clinics for a routine examination, participated in a structured interview and answered the approved questionnaire "International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire Female Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms (ICIQ-FLUTS) ” to assess female lower urinary tract symptoms and impact on quality of life.

According to the results:

51.6% of women reported frequent or urge incontinence, mild for 25.6%, moderate for 14.4% and severe for 11.6% of women.

43.6% reported dysuria (painful urination), mild for 26.26%, moderate for 5.8% and severe for 11.6% of women.

The research showed that age, weight, Body Mass Index (BMI) and number of pregnancies and abortions were associated with a higher score on the ICIQ-FLUTS questionnaire.

Women with moderate to severe symptoms of vulvar atrophy, such as irritation, burning sensation and itching in the vulva or vagina, also had a higher score on the ICIQ-FLUTS questionnaire.

In conclusion, lower urinary tract symptoms are very common in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women and are associated with symptoms of vulvar atrophy.

The research team consisted of Irini Lambrinoudaki, Nicoletta Mili, Areti Avgoulea, Eleni Armeni, Panagiotis Vakas, Konstantinos Panoulis, Nikolaos Vlachos, Themistocles Mikos, Grigorios Gribizis, Alexandros Rodolakis and Stavros Athanasiou from the Second Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of the School of Medicine of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (EKPA) at the Aretaiio Hospital, the 1st Obstetrics & Gynecology Clinic of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Medical School and the 1st Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of the EKPA Medical School at the "Alexandra" Hospital.

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