Aim: In this study we evaluated the short term effects of vaginal erbium laser (VEL) in the treatment of postmenopausal women (PMW) suffering from genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM).
Methods: Sixty-five PMW were evaluated before and after VEL treatment (1 treatment every 30 days, for 3 months). GSM symptoms were evaluated either with subjective (Visual Analog Scale, VAS) and objective (Vaginal Health Index Score, VHIS) measures. In addition, in 21 of these PMW suffering from mild-moderate stress urinary incontinence (SUI), the degree of incontinence was evaluated with the International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire - Urinary Incontinence Short Form (ICIQ-UI SF) before and after VEL treatments.
Results: VEL treatment induced a significant decrease of VAS of both vaginal dryness, dyspareunia (P<0.01) and a significant (P<0.01) increase of VHIS). In addition, VEL treatment induced a significant (P<0.01) improvement of ICIQ-SF scores in PMW suffering from SUI. VEL was well tolerated with less than 2 % of patients discontinuing treatment due to adverse events.
Conclusion: VEL treatment significantly improves vaginal dryness, dyspareunia and mild-moderate SUI. Larger and long-term studies are needed to investigate the role of laser treatments in the management of GSM.