Genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM) comprises genital symptoms (dryness, burning, itching, irritation, bleeding), sexual symptoms (dyspareunia and other sexual dysfunctions) and urinary symptoms (dysuria, frequency, urgency, recurrent urinary infections) associated with menopause. To avoid invasive testing and painful physical examinations, validated questionaries, which can assess the prevalence and risk factors associated with symptoms of GSM. We aimed to investigate the prevalence and risk factors associated with GSM in middle-aged and older women in the communities of Beijing, China.
A cross-sectional, questionnaire study was performed among 35-70 years old Chinese woman. Vaginal health index score and urinary distress inventory (UDI-6) was used to evaluate vulvovaginal atrophy (VVA) and urinary incontinence (UI). Stages of pelvic organ prolapse (POP) was measured during gynecological examination with POP-Q system. Mean ± standard deviation (SD) and proportion/percentages were used to summarize continuous and categorial variables respectively. The Bonferroni method was used to adjust for multiple comparisons.
A total of 2702/3000 participants completed the questionnaire survey. The mean ± SD age of participants was 53.7 ± 7.0 years and prevalence of VVA among participants was 34.8% (941/2702). In UDI-6 questionnaires total 47.5% (1284/2702) participants reported experiencing urinary incontinence (UI). Further, POP was highly prevalent in anterior vaginal wall 38.9% (1050/2702) followed by posterior vaginal wall 25.3% (683/2702) and uterine 22.2% (599/2702). Besides, multiple logistic regression analysis inferred older age (45-54 years [OR (95% CI): 3.38 (2.03, 5.64)]; 55-64 years [OR (95% CI): 8.63 (5.09, 14.64)]), menopause [OR (95% CI): 2.20 (1.71, 2.85)] and Faecal Inconsistence (FI) [OR (95% CI): 1.31(1.00, 1.72)] as independent risk factors for VVA.
Our study evidenced that GSM is prevalent in old age Chinese women. GSM is related with UI, POP and VVA. Further older age, menopause and FI were risk factors associated with VVA. Our findings could help health care personnel to get a comprehensive overview of factors associated with VVA and urinal distress, which may facilitate early detection and prevention of GSM.

© 2022. The Author(s).