It’s not by chance that an overwhelming number of women experience persistent vaginal dryness for the first time during middle age. Along with hot flashes, mood swings, and low libido, vaginal dryness is one of the most common — and irritating — symptoms of menopause.
But while hot flashes and other short-lived symptoms may fade away once the transition into menopause is over, irritating vaginal symptoms tend to progress unless they’re treated.
For as many as three in five postmenopausal women, long-term vaginal dryness is actually a sign of vaginal atrophy, a chronic inflammatory condition that leaves your vaginal tissues drier, thinner, less elastic, and more fragile.
If you’re living with some degree of vaginal atrophy, chances are sexual intimacy has become more painful than pleasurable. Fortunately for you (and your sex life), advanced laser therapy makes it possible to reverse vaginal atrophy and put an end to painful intercourse — safely, effectively, and without hormones or surgery. Here’s what you need to know.
Dyspareunia, or frequent pain during intercourse, can include feeling pain at any point just before, during, or following sex. Intercourse-related pain may mostly affect your vagina, or it may expand to your pelvic region or lower back.
Some women only feel pain during sexual penetration, while others can’t even insert a tampon without discomfort. Some women experience deep pain with each thrust, while others feel their pain slowly emerging after intimacy. In some cases, throbbing or burning pain sensations continue long after intercourse has ended.
Although women of all ages experience painful sex, the problem is most common during menopause,when declining estrogen levels are more likely to disrupt your body’s sexual response, weaken your vaginal tissues, and interfere with normal lubrication.
But menopause isn’t the only time shifting estrogen levels may impact your vaginal and sexual health. Some women experience persistent vaginal dryness and painful sex following childbirth, as their reproductive hormone levels are slowly restored.For others, the problem is a lasting side effect of cancer treatment.
For years, gynecologists have recommended temporary treatment solutions like water-based lubricants or hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for menopausal women living with the effects of vaginal atrophy.
Although lubricants can certainly help you and your partner maintain intimacy, having to apply them every time you want to have sex can also be something of a mood-killer.
HRT, especially when taken in the form of low-dose topical vaginal estrogen, can also be quite effective for some women. Unfortunately, HRT isn’t medically appropriate for all women, and for those who can benefit, it’s generally a short-term solution.
If you’re looking for a safe, noninvasive way to address painful intercourse brought on by vaginal atrophy or low estrogen levels, look no further than MonaLisa Touch® laser therapy.
MonaLisa Touch uses fractional CO2 laser technology to revitalize the tissues that line your vaginal canal. By stimulating collagen growth and elastin renewal, restoring proper trophic balance, and revitalizing the vaginal mucosa, MonaLisa Touch directly addresses — and reverses — the underlying conditions that lead to painful intercourse.
During the treatment, we use a slim probe to help ease the laser into your vagina, where it emits gentle pulses of energy to create painless micro-perforations in the surrounding tissues. These tiny perforations are what trigger your body’s natural healing response, prompting the ongoing cell and tissue renewal that leads to total vaginal rejuvenation.
For most women, it takes just three quick in-office MonaLisa Touch laser treatments to reestablish normal vaginal functional and pain-free sexual intimacy.
MonaLisa Touch is successful for nearly 90% of women affected by estrogen-related vaginal dryness and sexual pain, and it’s also a safe and ideal solution for younger women, cancer patients, and other women for whom HRT isn’t a viable option.
So what are you waiting for?
You don’t have to let unavoidable hormonal changes diminish your vaginal health or your sex life. Call our office in Beverly Hills, California, to find out how Dr. Peter Weiss, the resident vaginal rejuvenation expert here at Rodeo Drive Women’s Health Center, can use MonaLisa Touch laser therapy to restore your vitality.