Fractional CO₂ vaginal laser for the genitourinary syndrome of menopause in breast cancer survivors.

Abstract

Adjuvant chemotherapy and endocrine therapy can induce early iatrogenic menopause or worsen pre-existing menopausal symptoms in breast cancer survivors (BCS). The second most frequent menopausal symptom after hot flushes is the genitourinary syndrome (GSM). Since hormone replacement therapy is contraindicated in BCS, vaginal laser might represent a new nonhormonal option for GSM. This study aims at evaluating the effectiveness of the fractional CO₂ vaginal laser for GSM in BCS compared with healthy women. This is a retrospective study on 135 postmenopausal women (45 BCS and 90 healthy women) who underwent fractional CO2 laser for GSM. Objective (VHI and VVHI) and subjective outcomes (VAS for dyspareunia and vaginal dryness and a pain questionnaire) were evaluated at baseline visit and at every follow-up visit. Subjective and objective parameters improved significantly in both groups after laser therapy. The improvement was progressive and long-lasting up to 12 months after the end of the treatment. No severe adverse events were observed during the treatment. Fractional CO₂ vaginal laser induces a significant and long-lasting improvement on GSM symptoms in BCS. However, this improvement is slower than in healthy women undergoing the same treatment. Laser therapy turns out to be safe and well-tolerated

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