The research of new therapeutic modalities, especially with energy-based devices, has been increasing nowadays for genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM) management. Microablative fractional CO2 laser has been used for pelvic floor dysfunction management.
To conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials to compare fractional CO2 laser therapy versus sham therapy for GSM management.
We searched for the available randomized clinical trials in Cochrane Library, PubMed, ISI web of science, and Scopus during March 2021. We included randomized clinical trials that compared CO2 laser to sham among postmenopausal women with GSM diagnosis. We extracted the available data from included studies and pooled them in a meta-analysis model using RevMan software. Our main outcomes were total vaginal score assessment using the Vaginal Assessment Scale, sexual function using the Female Sexual Function Index, urinary symptoms using the Urogenital Distress Inventory-6, and satisfaction.
Three studies met our inclusion criteria with a total number of 164 women. The CO2 laser was linked to a significant reduction in Vaginal Assessment Scale score when compared with the sham group (mean difference [MD] = −0.49, 95% CI [−0.75 to −0.22], P = 0.004). The CO2 laser was associated with a significant improvement in Female Sexual Function Index score in comparison with sham group (MD = 9.37, 95% CI [6.59-12.14], P < 0.001). In addition, a significant reduction in Urogenital Distress Inventory-6 score was reported among the CO2 laser group (MD = −6.95, 95% CI [−13.24 to −0.67], P = 0.03). More women were significantly satisfied among the CO2 laser group (risk ratio = 1.98, 95% CI [1.36-2.89], P = 0.004).
Conclusions and Relevance:
CO2 laser therapy is a promising alternative for GSM management. Further randomized trials with larger sample sizes are required to confirm our findings.