In 2012, the Board of Directors of the International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health (ISSWSH) and the Board of Trustees of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) acknowledged the need to review current terminology associated with genitourinary tract symptoms related to menopause.
The 2 societies cosponsored a terminology consensus conference, which was held in May 2013.
Results and Conclusions
Members of the consensus conference agreed that the term genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM) is a medically more accurate, all-encompassing, and publicly acceptable term than vulvovaginal atrophy. GSM is defined as a collection of symptoms and signs associated with a decrease in estrogen and other sex steroids involving changes to the labia majora/minora, clitoris, vestibule/introitus, vagina, urethra and bladder. The syndrome may include but is not limited to genital symptoms of dryness, burning, and irritation; sexual symptoms of lack of lubrication, discomfort or pain, and impaired function; and urinary symptoms of urgency, dysuria and recurrent urinary tract infections. Women may present with some or all of the signs and symptoms, which must be bothersome and should not be better accounted for by another diagnosis. The term was presented and discussed at the annual meeting of each society. The respective Boards of NAMS and ISSWSH formally endorsed the new terminology—genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM)—in 2014.