Would you like some GSM with your GSM?

 

Acronyms. 

 

We use them socially: FOMO, YOLO, LOL, LMAO.

We use them in business: SIM Card, KISS, MBA, POS.

We use them for famous people: MLK, JFK, RBG.

We use them for organizations: NASA, NFL, FIFA.

 

And we use them for specialized terminology. In medicine for instance, there are acronyms like DNR and STAT and DOB.

 

Menopause is no exception. We have a brand new acronym: GSM, Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause. 

 

Wait! Don’t even try to pronounce it yet. This is where the fun starts.

 

Get a big glass of GSM: a wine originating in the Cotes Du Rhone region of France, a blend of grenache, syrah and mourvedre grapes. Yum.

 

Here’s my new GSM drinking game: First, say it out loud together – “Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause” – now take a big sip; repeat, until you get it right. 

 

I’d run out of wine.

 

So let’s just understand the terminology. The new menopause acronym, GSM, is replacing a  menopause symptom descriptor previously called vaginal atrophy (you can instantly see how the wine game is important). 

 

According to Dr Jen Gunter, the trouble with the words vaginal atrophy is that they were too specific and they did not capture a broader range of symptoms because “there are estrogen receptors in the clitoris, labia, urethra, and bladder, and so the symptoms and physical changes are not confined to the vagina.”  (The Vagina Bible, p.160)

 

And let’s be honest, what human adult doesn’t cringe when they think vaginal atrophy. Let’s forever eliminate those words, and raise our glasses of GSM, to GSM.

Check out our other blogs or get in touch with Deb with any questions you may have

 

Deborah Kerr
Author

Meet Deborah Kerr. She's a huge advocate for patient-focused healthcare. After twenty years of store management in community pharmacy, and ten years of corporate management for independent pharmacy, she developed an itch. The more she scratched, the more it spread. Why does menopause take so many women by surprise? Why does it have the ability to impact relationships, and families, and workplaces. It's insidious. She found herself shouting, "there has to be a better way".

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