Vaginal dryness, itching, incontinence, and a loss of satisfaction with intercourse don’t have to be a part of the aging process. These conditions, which sometimes set in after menopause or after a woman has given birth, can have an impact on a woman’s overall wellbeing. But did you know that there is an easy, non-surgical treatment? MonaLisa Touch, a laser system offered by Aurora OB-GYN in San Antonio, TX, is an effective treatment that works quickly to treat these issues.
Why Am I Experiencing These Symptoms?
Declining estrogen levels often leave the tissues in the vaginal area thinner, dryer, and less elastic. Menopause is one of the most common reasons women experience a drop in estrogen levels, but patients who have undergone chemotherapy or radiation also may see an estrogen decline. In some other patients, pregnancies have left the vaginal tissues loose and weak. All of these factors can have an impact on a woman’s vaginal health and can lead to itching and burning, urinary incontinence, and a lack of pleasure during sexual intercourse.
About MonaLisa Touch
This treatment uses laser energy pulses to rejuvenate the vaginal area by kick-starting new collagen production and new blood vessel development. As a result, vaginal tissues become healthier, firmer, and tauter. Natural lubrication is restored, and blood more easily flows to the area. The rejuvenating effects of this treatment help address many of the symptoms women are struggling with. Best of all, these treatments are easy, non-surgical, and non-hormonal. Addressing frustrating vaginal health issues has never been so easy.
How Long Does It Take for MonaLisa Touch to Work?
One of the great things about this treatment is that it works quickly. For most patients, we recommend three treatments, each of which is spaced about six weeks apart. Patients often notice some initial improvement after their very first appointment, and their results continue to develop after the second and third sessions. The results are also long-lasting. Most patients are able to maintain their results with followup treatments every year or two. All of your MonaLisa appointments will take place in the comfort of our medical practice.
This simple treatment is very similar to your annual gynecological exam. You’ll lay on your back in the same position, and a numbing cream will be applied. A wand will be used to direct laser energy pulses toward your vagina, gently treating its interior as well as the exterior tissues. Because a laser is involved, we’ll give you a pair of safety glasses to wear during treatment. The entire process takes only about 5 minutes and does not require the use of anesthesia. There is also no downtime associated with this treatment. You’ll be able to get right back to your regular schedule immediately.
Is the Treatment Uncomfortable?
Some patients experience a mild vibrating sensation during treatment, but there is no pain or discomfort.
How Soon Can I Resume Intercourse?
We often recommend that patients wait two to three days before resuming sexual intercourse.
Is It Safe?
This treatment was cleared by the FDA in 2014 and has been widely and safely used ever since.
Does It Help With Other Gynecologic Conditions?
This treatment is also sometimes used to treat lichen sclerosis, which is characterized by the development of thin, white patches in the genital area. Lichen sclerosis most often develops in postmenopausal women.
What Benefits Does This Treatment Offer?
Changes in a woman’s vaginal health often begin slowly and then gradually encroach more and more on her lifestyle. Once a patient has undergone this treatment, she’s often surprised at how many ways she feels better, more comfortable, and more able to enjoy life. Here are some of the benefits associated with this laser treatment:
Improved Sexual Satisfaction
One of the big benefits of this treatment is that it can restore your love life. Many women with vaginal dryness experience pain and even bleeding during intercourse. These symptoms can take a toll not only on the patient, but also on her partner. If vaginal dryness has started to impact the time you spend with your partner, MonaLisa Touch can resolve that issue.
No More Itching and Burning
The burning and itching associated with vaginal dryness can be annoying and uncomfortable. Women often turn to over-the-counter creams and suppositories to address the problem, but these can be inconvenient and messy, and they vary in effectiveness. You won’t have to worry about creams and other remedies once you’ve had this treatment. In fact, you’ll enjoy life a lot more once you no longer have the constant distraction of vaginal itching.
Many women cope with vaginal dryness in silence. They’re nervous about mentioning it to their physician, and sometimes they don’t even tell their partners about the discomfort they’re feeling. There’s no reason to suffer in silence when such an easy, convenient treatment is available. Three straightforward appointments can be easily worked into your schedule. You can even schedule these for your lunch hour. With a minimal amount of time and effort, you’ll be on your way to a more comfortable and enjoyable life.
In some patients, the vaginal tissues become looser over time. This type of vaginal laxity often occurs as part of the natural aging process when muscles and tissues weaken. But vaginal laxity can also develop after a patient has had multiple childbirths, particularly if the babies were large. Women with this condition often feel a general looseness in the vaginal area. This treatment can tighten those loose tissues and help the patient enjoy improved vaginal comfort and functionality.
One of the side effects associated with loose vaginal tissue is a tendency to leak a little when you cough, sneeze, squat, or laugh suddenly. This type of leakage happens to just about everyone at some point, but if your vaginal tissues are loose, it can be an everyday occurrence and a major annoyance. By tightening up the vaginal tissues, this treatment can help minimize those leaks. Once you’ve had this treatment, you’ll feel more comfortable exercising and being active again.
You’ll feel better in many ways once you no longer have to deal with the hassle and inconvenience associated with vaginal health issues. Your quality of life will improve, and so will your self-esteem. You’ll feel comfortable getting out to socialize, exercise, travel, and run day-to-day errands, and you’ll be able to do all of those things without worrying about vaginal issues getting in the way.
Improved Vaginal Health
Have you started to experience regular urinary tract infections or vaginal infections? By restoring the strength of your vaginal tissues, the overall health of this area will improve and those types of infections will be minimized.
Vaginal dryness can affect patients in different ways. For some, difficult intercourse is the primary concern. For others, it’s the everyday itching and burning. This treatment method can be customized to meet each patient’s individual needs and concerns.
What Other Treatment Options Are Available?
For years, women coping with vaginal health issues had very few treatment choices. Topical ointments and tablets are an option, but those can be messy and may not work. Hormone replacement therapy is also an option, and some women try pelvic floor exercises. Also called Kegel exercises, pelvic floor exercises strengthen the muscles supporting the uterus, bladder, rectum, and small intestine. For patients with severe vaginal laxity, surgery was and still is an effective solution. But not every woman is able to commit to a surgical vaginoplasty, which involves anesthesia and a week or two of downtime.
But in recent years, a number of new, non-invasive vaginal rejuvenation treatments–including the MonaLisa Touch–have become available. The treatments rely on different technologies, but they all spur collagen development, new blood vessel development, and a general revitalization of the vaginal tissues.
How Does MonaLisa Touch Compare to Radiofrequency Treatments?
While MonaLisa relies on light-based laser energy, vaginal rejuvenation treatments like ThermiVa and Votiva use radiofrequency energy to achieve a similar rejuvenating effect. Radiofrequency-based treatments often have a subtle heating that the patient can usually feel during treatment. Although the technology behind radiofrequency treatments is different from the MonaLisa, they yield similar results and offer a similar treatment experience for the patient. ThermiVa and Votiva, for example, also require most patients to schedule a series of two or three sessions for optimal results.
One difference is that Votiva treatments tend to focus a little more specifically on tightening up loose vaginal tissue, while the MonaLisa system is more of an all-purpose approach to resolving vaginal dryness and related issues. But all of these treatments have been shown to offer patients relief.
Am I a Good Candidate?
If you’re interested in MonaLisa Touch, the first step is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Karen Allsup, who founded our practice. Dr. Allsup is Board Certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and has been practicing in San Antonio since 2006. She earned her medical degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio and also holds a Master of Science from Texas A&M University.
During your consultation, Dr. Allsup will talk with you about your medical history and your vaginal health concerns. She can help determine if this treatment is the best one for you. Because of its non-surgical nature, this treatment is suitable for just about any adult woman dealing with vaginal dryness, itching, and excessive looseness. But there are several signs that you may be an especially good candidate:
You’re Not Pregnant
If you’re pregnant, we recommend that you postpone your treatment until at least three months after you give birth.
You’re in Good Health
It helps if you’re in good overall health. If you have a history of significant keloid formation, reconstructive pelvic surgery, or have an anticoagulant condition, we’ll talk carefully with you about whether or not this treatment is the best option for you. Be sure to mention any underlying medical conditions you have to us during your consultation.
You’re Perimenopausal or Post-Menopausal
Many of the patients who undergo this treatment are either perimenopausal or post-menopausal and are experiencing vaginal dryness as a result of age-related declines in estrogen levels. Some of our patients have also undergone pelvic radiation, chemotherapy or other cancer treatments, which also impact estrogen levels. If you think your vaginal dryness and itching may be due to one of these factors, you may be a particularly good candidate for this treatment.
Don’t Wait Any Longer
If you’ve heard about the amazing benefits vaginal rejuvenation treatments can offer and have wondered if you might be a good candidate, maybe it’s time to take the first step. This simple, non-invasive laser treatment is effective. And it works quickly, giving you results after just a few appointments. There’s no reason to wait any longer. Call Aurora OB-GYN in San Antonio, TX, today and schedule a MonaLisa Touch consultation.