Genitourinary syndrome of menopause. Prevalence and quality of life in Spanish postmenopausal women. The GENISSE study

Climacteric. 2018 Apr;21(2):167-173. doi: 10.1080/13697137.2017.1421921. Epub 2018 Feb 7.


Objective: To determine the prevalence of genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM) and urogynecological conditions associated with menopause, and to evaluate the impact of GSM on quality of life in a cohort of Spanish postmenopausal women.

Methods: Multicenter, cross-sectional, and observational study involving 430 women.

Results: The prevalence of GSM was 70%. GSM was diagnosed in 60.2% of women with no known diagnosis of vulvovaginal atrophy or GSM. Most prevalent symptoms were vaginal dryness (93.3%) and reduced lubrication with sexual activity (90.0%). Most prevalent signs were decreased moisture (93.7%) and loss of vaginal rugae (78.4%). GSM was significantly associated with stress or mixed urinary incontinence, overactive bladder, and vaginal prolapse. Symptoms showed a low-moderate impact on quality of life, mainly in sexual functioning and self-concept and body image.

Conclusions: The GSM is very prevalent in Spanish postmenopausal women, affecting up to 70% of those consulting the gynecologist. Despite the high prevalence of symptoms and signs and its impact on the women's well-being, GSM remains underdiagnosed and undertreated. Given its relationship with urogynecological conditions, it seems necessary to provide an adequate evaluation of postmenopausal women for identifying potential co-morbidities and providing most adequate treatments. An adequate management of GSM will contribute to an improvement in the quality of life of these women.

Keywords: GSM; Genitourinary syndrome of menopause; Spain; postmenopausal; prevalence; quality of life; vaginal aging; vaginal atrophy.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Atrophy
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Female Urogenital Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Postmenopause*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / epidemiology*
  • Spain / epidemiology
  • Syndrome
  • Urinary Incontinence, Stress / epidemiology*
  • Vagina / pathology
  • Vulva / pathology