Pregnancy, childbirth, aging – all of these take a toll on a woman’s body. For years, breast augmentations, tummy tucks, and more recently, so-called mommy makeovers have been among the most popular plastic surgery procedures to address these issues. But there is another area of a woman’s body that undergoes drastic change over time: the vagina.
As women age and undergo hormonal changes, they can suffer from a weakened vaginal wall, loss of lubrication and sexual satisfaction, and even mild incontinence. Until now, this was more or less a taboo topic. But fortunately, women and their physicians are beginning to talk more openly about these problems. As a result, more and more treatment options have become available.
Why Most Women Can’t Escape Vaginal Laxity
Vaginal laxity is the main culprit behind the problems described above. For women with children, pregnancy and childbirth create a double whammy of stresses on the vagina. Its connective tissue can loosen and cause sagging during pregnancy, and pushing out the baby causes the vaginal wall to stretch so far that most women never regain their pre-pregnancy strength.
Even women who haven’t given birth experience problems as they age. Hormonal changes can cause a loss of lubrication, leading to decreased sexual pleasure. In some women, a loss of control over the pelvic floor can even lead to mild incontinence.
What Are My Options to Improve Vaginal Laxity?
There probably aren’t many women who’ve gone through pregnancy and childbirth classes without doing the obligatory Kegel exercises. As the least invasive option anyone has access to at any time for free, they are meant to strengthen the vaginal muscle, which can help improve issues of mild incontinence, but there is little evidence it actually leads to vaginal tightening.
On the other end of the spectrum are the surgical options, vaginoplasty and labiaplasty. While you can certainly strengthen your vaginal wall with vaginoplasty surgery, you may not be finished having children, or you may simply shy away from surgery.
The “Goldilocks” middle alternative is a non-invasive treatment using laser or radio frequency (RF) energy. This is referred to as nonsurgical vaginal rejuvenation. Or, more delicately put, female genital rejuvenation, or simply feminine rejuvenation. There are different technologies on the market using either laser or RF generated heat. ThermiVa and Votiva are two similar treatments that have achieved excellent results.
How does Non-surgical Vaginal Rejuvenation work?
During nonsurgical vaginal rejuvenation, the physician applies RF and laser energy to the woman’s vaginal wall using a thin wand. This heats up the tissue, which encourages collagen production. The wand is temperature-controlled, meaning it automatically regulates the heat so that there is no risk of burning.
There are many benefits of vaginal rejuvenation over surgery. It creates no discomfort at all, and there is no downtime or healing process to go through. Since it is entirely pain-free, no anesthesia or sedation is needed. You simply visit your cosmetic surgeon, have your brief procedure, and go back home. You are free to engage in normal activities right away, including sexual intercourse.
What You Can Expect After Female Rejuvenation
For women having a ThermiVA or Votiva procedure, doctors recommend one or two repeat treatments between 6 and 12 months after the initial session. However, most patients notice an improvement after the first visit.
In addition to the desired vaginal tightening, vaginal rejuvenation has also been shown to treat light stress urinary incontinence. If you’re a mother and have ever tried to jump on a trampoline, or even just had to let out a big sneeze, you probably know what that feels like. Treatments like ThermiVa and Votiva can strengthen your pelvic floor together with the vaginal wall, allowing you to enjoy your sports activities again like a carefree teenager.
Both laser and RF treatments has also shown good results with increased vaginal lubrication, enhancing a woman’s sexual pleasure during intercourse. This is likely caused by increased blood flow with the application of heat to the surrounding vaginal tissue.
Is Non-surgical Vaginal Rejuvenation for Me?
The bottom line is this: If surgery is not an option because you’re either not done having children or simply don’t want the added risks inherent with surgery, then nonsurgical non-invasive vaginal rejuvenation is your best option to treat vaginal laxity, whether it is a result of childbirth or hormonal changes.
Unless, of course, you haven’t gotten your fill of Kegel exercises yet.
The times are past to put off your personal satisfaction and happiness because the conversation might be awkward. Be bold and reclaim your body, inside and out.