Vaginal laxity, vaginal dryness, and urine incontinence. These are symptoms that can affect both the young and the older patient.
After childbirth the vagina has gone through some physical stress of some stretching and some loss of support often times there’s also some urine incontinence as well. Generally, the patient can try pelvic floor exercises. We call this Kegel exercises. This involves contracting the pelvic floor muscles. These muscles form a web with openings for the urethra, vagina and anus, and these muscles contract providing control of those openings. However, contracting the pelvic floor does not address the laxity of the cylinder of the vagina, specifically the skin that composes it.
Generally, Dr. Charles Lively encourage the patient to allow time for healing and recuperation in that area. Even then most women note that they feel a laxity there and that the anatomy is not the same as before childbirth. Sexual intercourse may feel different they may feel more loose, they may notice a little lack of friction and sensation. Their sexual partner may notice as well. Up until now there was little to offer a woman who was still going through her period of child bearing years. Surgical correction should be a one-time event in this area as repeat surgeries do not do very well.
Laser Vaginal Therapy or LVT along with the O-Shot can provide improvement in this area and can be done in between births, multiple times, to rehabilitate this area from birth trauma and time. In fact, it’s a non-surgical alternative, and in many cases, will treat mild cystocele and rectocele. Just improving the quality of the vaginal skin and its function is enough to delay the time of surgery and possible future surgery. No one is immune to the effects of father time and mother nature. We lose collagen and elastin in our tissues yearly and our body breaks down, the skin begins to sag, the blood vessels diminish, this results in a reduction of much needed oxygen and nutrients to the tissues. The benefits of this laser vaginal therapy are that it can help a person keep up with the production of collagen and elastin and blood supply to the skin. This helps rehabilitate and preserve all of that intricate function that this anatomy needs to provide support for quality of skin health, sensation and urine control.
In some cases, particularly, after childbirth is completed, surgery can repair moderate to severe relaxation and that would be when the roof of the vagina is sagging and the floor of the vagina is being pushed up, this is called a cystocele and rectocele, respectively. The correction here involves a surgical repair where we take a person to surgery under anesthesia and make an incision to reduce the herniation of the bladder that is falling into the vagina and making a surgical incision on the floor of the vagina and reduce the herniation of the rectum from pushing into the vagina. These operations are helpful in those cases and up until now we didn’t have anything that really addressed the quality and integrity of the skin except for topical hormone.
The topical estrogen hormone helps to a certain degree but there is something that can be done in addition to the topical hormone and that is vaginal laser therapy also PRP therapy. Unlike surgery that lifts the tissue to correct very large abnormalities the laser and Platelet Rich Plasma or PRP technology work on the quality of the tissue itself. This issue is not addressed with surgery. Both the vaginal laser treatment and the PRP improve the thickness in the health of the tissue by activating fibroblast to create repair of the tissue and in so doing, there is an increase of collagen and elastin and an increase of blood flow and to the blood vessels going to the skin of the vagina.
It is important to note the importance that blood supply plays a role in vaginal health. There are no glands in the vagina. For the vagina to remain lubricated and for the vagina to increase its lubrication during sexual relations involves the dilation of blood vessels in the vagina. The corresponding exudation from those blood vessels through the skin gives the lubrication. So, when there’s a lack of blood vessels or diminished blood vessels in this area there is a lack of lubrication. The importance of blood vessels continues further, healthy blood supply also allows healthy skin maturation, and healthy skin maturation means increased amount of glycogen within the cells of the vagina. When there is plenty of glycogen in the vaginal cells, there’s going to be less swings of the pH from one high extreme to the other. It is this change of environment that brings on recurrent vaginitis typically a low pH brings on the yeast, and the higher pH brings on bacterial vaginosis, or that fishy odor from bacterial overgrowth.
The Laser Vaginal Therapy creates a series of micro thermal zones and causes the vaginal tissue to begin repairing itself. The Platelet Rich Plasma technology utilizes your own body’s stem cells and epidermal growth factors to accelerate tissue repair. Particularly tissue that has undergone recent injury, hence the combined benefits of the LVT and PRP. The optimal scenario for vaginal repair of the skin is to undergo a combination of both the laser treatment of the vagina and immediately followed by administering the O-Shot. Two additionally LVT treatments are repeated at 4 to 6 weeks intervals. We’ve had several patients report that three weeks after the first laser treatment and the O-Shot, sex was no longer painful, the vagina was no longer dry and the urine incontinence had resolved. About 2/3 of patients will achieve this after the second laser treatment. There’s a 90% rate of patient satisfaction and success regarding improvement of laxity, vaginal dryness, and urine incontinence.
Vaginal Rejuvenation Benefits
- These procedures are performed in the office with minimal if any pain.
- Patient do not need to take off work and can drive themselves home.
- Can be done in between births.
- This therapy is it could be repeated periodically to maintain and create collagen, elastin, blood supply, good health and good function.
- This therapy turns back time and stimulates the body to heal itself.
- No need to use pads, urine incontinence underwear and adult diapers or refraining from activities.
I am a board-certified obstetrician gynecologist and have seen my patients suffer through these challenges. I’ve been performing pelvic reconstructive surgery for 27 years and it is nice to have this new technology that addresses the quality, integrity and function of the vaginal skin itself.
If this is affecting you, there is relief.