Vaginal atrophy is a common condition for many women who are post-menopausal, but it can occur in younger women, too. Otherwise known as atrophic vaginitis, it’s all because there’s less estrogen in your body, which results in your vaginal walls becoming dry, thin, and inflamed.
The effects of vaginal atrophy can be quite significant and have a real impact on your day-to-day life, with painful intercourse being a common symptom along with general discomfort, itching, and difficulty urinating among others. In fact, due to the symptoms affecting more than just your vagina, the condition has another name that many doctors feel is more appropriate for older ladies, “Genital Syndrome of Menopause (GSM).”
A study found that 60% of the participants struggled with vaginal atrophy and its symptoms, but hadn’t received a formal diagnosis. There are concerns that this condition is under-diagnosed and underrated in its effects on women, as further research has found that 81% of the women interviewed hadn’t heard of vaginal atrophy or discussed their symptoms with a doctor because they thought it was all part and parcel of the aging process.
Although vaginal atrophy can occur because of menopause, you aren’t stuck with the symptoms forever. Symptoms can include:
There are ways to relieve the stress and distress caused by these symptoms, with our preferred choice at Tahoe Women’s Care being laser treatment with MonaLisa Touch® gently administered by Gary Willen, MD MBA.
You may have tried over-the-counter remedies to deal with these symptoms in the past and found them to be of little help. Although these treatments can help to reduce the discomfort and irritation, it can feel like a constant struggle to fight the symptoms rather than addressing the cause of your condition.
Laser treatment is effective at reducing and removing the symptoms of vaginal atrophy. By using the MonaLisa Touch here at Tahoe Women’s Care, we’re able to treat vaginal dryness and restore the overall health of your vagina, so you can enjoy living the life you want to again.
Using a probe that’s gently inserted into your vaginal canal, the laser delivers a two-part pulse of light directly to the affected parts of your vagina, the epithelial tissue found on the surface and the lamina propria further down. This promotes the revitalization of the mucosal layers to generate new collagen, elastin, and revascularization to repair the damage caused by vaginal atrophy and resolve those irritating symptoms.
Not all women can tolerate estrogen-based therapy, or indeed want to, which makes MonaLisa Touch therapy ideal if you’ve undergone a hysterectomy or breast cancer treatment. Other than some initial discomfort as the probe is inserted, the actual treatment is not painful with just a gentle vibration being felt throughout the therapy.
No anesthesia is needed for laser treatment, and because each session lasts less than five minutes, it’s an easy therapy to schedule, regardless of your busy lifestyle. You’ll receive three treatments in total, each spaced six weeks apart, and you may notice improvement after your first session. You should expect to come back to us once a year for maintenance treatment.
If you’re interested in finding out more about laser treatment with MonaLisa Touch and how it can help relieve your symptoms of vaginal atrophy, get in touch with Gary F. Willen, MD MBA today, using our simple online form to request your appointment.