Five things every woman should learn about vaginal rejuvenation
Ask anyone who knows me, I am fascinated by this newly emerging field of regenerative/rejuvenating/age-defying medicine. I want to use my knowledge and research to help my patients of course, as well as my friends, family and myself.
In early 2017 I got a new CO2 laser and was extremely excited. I knew I would be using it frequently for facial and body skin tightening and smoothing. However, Candela had also developed a new hand piece that they integrated into this laser — a vaginal rejuvenation hand piece, trademarked the CO2RE Intima (Candela).
1. Laser vaginal rejuvenation has significant health benefits and is far from a transient cosmetic fad.
Why in the world would I want to promote the idea that vaginas need to be prettier or younger looking? I specialize in minimally invasive techniques for face and body rejuvenation, as well as age management medicine and hormone supplement therapies. I do not encourage people to fix every little “imperfection” unless it’s something that truly bothers them.
I wanted to make sure I wasn’t contributing to another vanity trend that could stress us all out about graceful aging. However, I quickly realized that this procedure had so much more to offer in the realms of quality of life and sexual function, benefits far beyond vanity.
2. What aspects of vaginal health and function can laser vaginal rejuvenation improve upon?
The answer was surprising to me. Laser vaginal rejuvenation can help with almost all of them. There are many changes that occur over time when it comes to the vagina and the surrounding area (ie. the genitourinary tract) due to vaginal delivery, hormonal changes, gravity and, simply, aging. These changes are due to progressive vaginal laxity, pelvic floor weakening and compromised health of the vaginal and urethral mucosa. Symptoms that occur due to these problems are:
- Vaginal dryness
- Vaginal wall thinning and weakness
- Reduced sexual sensation and satisfaction
- Pain with intercourse
- Stress Urinary Incontinence
- Increased urinary tract and vaginal infections (i.e. Atrophic vaginitis)
- Labial laxity
3. Are there different types of vaginal rejuvenation besides laser?
“Vaginal Rejuvenation” is an umbrella term for a range of treatments involving the female genitalia. Vaginal creams, lubricants, and Kegal exercises are helpful and enter the arena as the least invasive options for vaginal rejuvenation. Many of these problems are created by the loss of sexual hormones at menopause and can be alleviated with Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy.
However, not all of these issues are alleviated with hormones and lubricants. This is where additional treatments can be very useful. The most invasive of these would be surgical treatments such as, surgical labiaplasty, clitoral hood reduction, surgical vaginoplasty, hymenoplasty, and pelvic floor/bladder suspension. Laser vaginal rejuvenation lies somewhere in the middle, considered to be minimally invasive.
4. How does laser vaginal rejuvenation work?
Laser vaginal rejuvenation is a technique that uses CO2, ErbiumYAG or Radiofrequency to apply energy to the inner walls of the vagina and surrounding labia. These energy based treatments heat the connective tissue of the vaginal wall to induce collagen contraction, new collagen production, vascularization, and growth factor production. In this process, the vaginal tissue is revitalized to improve the elasticity of the vaginal wall and moisture of the vaginal mucosa. The clinical result is a reduction of pain with intercourse, improved sexual sensation, lubrication, and tightening. It also improves the pH of the vagina so the natural healthy microbiome can be restored. This is how laser vaginal rejuvenation restores the body’s natural protection from genitourinary infections.
Speaking of which, the laser energy applied inside the vagina not only strengthens the vaginal wall, it also strengthens the wall between the vagina and the urethra. The urethral wall can also weaken with age which puts us at risk for the progressively worsening condition of stress urinary incontinence. (We call it the “speeze”, when you pee a little when you sneeze). Laser vaginal rejuvenation can provide a significant improvement in women with stress urinary incontinence, allowing relief of the use of panty liners or pads. Mild loss of tone of the labia is a condition which can be treated with the external laser treatment. It does help with sensation which, again, has functional significance for one’s quality of life.
5. Are there any at home treatments that can help strengthen and restore the genitourinary tract besides lubricants and hormones?
Yes, there are a few treatments which you can actually use at home which utilize low-level laser therapy (LLLT) and sonic energy. We offer the Vfit Plus TM which is an excellent adjunct to all of these treatments. Warmly submitted for your education by Dr. Michelle Reyes.
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Written by :
Dr. Michelle Reyes
MD BSE Owner, Medical Director
The Med Spot located in Woodland Hills CA
Serving the San Fernando Valley since 1997