Though every woman responds differently to the changes caused by menopause, painful intercourse is an issue that many experience. Medically referred to as dyspareunia, recurring pain before, during, or after sex can put a damper on what is often an enjoyable and fulfilling part of life.
Not exclusively a symptom of menopause, dyspareunia has many causes. In the case of menopause, it’s usually due to side effects that occur when natural estrogen production ceases in the ovaries.
If this sounds like you, the MonaLisa Touch® may be able to help. The MonaLisa Touch is a nonhormonal procedure that can treat vaginal atrophy and painful intercourse. At Southern Crescent Women’s HealthCare, the friendly health specialists can give you a thorough examination and see if the MonaLisa Touch® can help you.
Changes to your vagina
Estrogen is the primary sex hormone in women, driving the systems necessary for reproduction. Estrogen production can decline after menopause, as well as for other reasons, such as:
- Removal of the ovaries for medical reasons, such as with a complete hysterectomy
- Use of medications, such as hormonal birth control
- Cancer treatments
Estrogen is manufactured in smaller amounts elsewhere in your body. Some women may bypass the symptoms of dyspareunia if this lower amount of the hormone sufficiently supplies their needs. Otherwise, vaginal atrophy may cause painful sex and other symptoms, often described as the genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM).
The MonaLisa Touch
Hormone replacement therapy is often a successful way to treat vaginal atrophy and other menopause side effects, but not everyone can take supplemental estrogen safely. The MonaLisa Touch system is a drug-free way to treat the symptoms of GSM.
What happens during the procedure
The MonaLisa Touch system uses a specially designed laser to treat the walls of your vagina, stimulating the production of collagen beneath the surface. The procedure itself takes about five minutes and requires no sedation or anesthesia. Most patients feel a gentle warming in the treatment area, and they can return to their normal activities immediately after treatment.
How the procedure rejuvenates your vagina
The stimulation of laser light penetrates the walls of your vagina and warms collagen tissue. This warming action brings the tissue to the coagulation point, a temperature that signals to your body that new collagen is needed, and old tissue begins to be flushed from your body.
Within a few days to a few weeks, you should notice your symptoms beginning to ease. Your vaginal lining should become fuller, moister, and produce lubrication during sexual arousal.
After your treatment
It’s likely you’ll need to rest from sexual activity for several days after your treatment, but that’s usually the only restriction. Initial treatment for most women is a series of three treatments, six weeks apart. Optimal improvements usually occur after the third treatment, but the results can vary by patient. A single annual treatment is usually enough to maintain the positive benefits.
To see if the MonaLisa Touch can help you, book an appointment online or over the phone with Southern Crescent Women’s HealthCare today.