Vaginal Rejuvenation Therapy
When your vagina has lost its get-up-and-go and Kegel exercises just aren’t getting the job done, you might consider vaginal rejuvenation therapy. Many women do when confronted with a loose and aging vagina, whether it’s because they’ve been through childbirth (the more kids you deliver, the worse the problem can become), undergone hysterectomy, or transitioned through menopause. The issue isn’t just a cosmetic one, but also a sexual one: The lack of muscle tone and lessened friction of a stretched-out vagina can reduce sexual pleasure for both you and your partner during intercourse.
There are several solutions for this problem.
Estrogen creams, tablets, and rings: At menopause, whether natural or induced by the removal of the ovaries, estrogen production declines. Since the cells in the lining of the vagina and around the outer opening to the vagina (the vulva) thrive on estrogen, the skin begins to dry out and become thinner and frailer. It loses elasticity and moisture, and it can easily become inflamed and get damaged during intercourse. The pH balance in the vagina also becomes less acidic, leading to the overgrowth of bad bacteria and the undergrowth of good bacteria. This phenomenon is known as vulvovaginal atrophy.
Restoring the lost estrogen via estrogen products is a common remedy for this problem. But while estrogen therapy works well, it has some concerning side effects, especially if it is taken in pill form. Estrogen creams, tablets, and vaginal rings are believed to be safer, but the fact is many women just aren’t comfortable taking any hormones at all. The creams also tend to be messy to use.
Surgery: Two surgeries are typically performed to rejuvenate the vagina and labia (the lips around the vagina): Vaginoplasty tightens the walls of a loose vagina, while labiaplasty reduces the size and freshens the shape of the vaginal lips. Both are considered cosmetic surgeries, and there’s little research data to prove the operations actually improve sexual satisfaction. Be aware that vaginoplasty and labiaplasty have hefty price tags and typically aren’t covered by health insurance policies. The recovery from these procedures also tends to be painful and lengthy, lasting many days. For these reasons, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists does not recommend the procedures.
Laser treatment: An office-based laser treatment is available to tighten the vagina by stimulating the synthesis of new collagen. The treatment doesn’t cause discomfort, and no anesthesia is required. Most women have one to two treatments spaced a month apart. Another type of laser is available to treat vulvovaginal atrophy. The treatment is performed in a doctor’s office without the need for anesthesia and takes about 5 to 10 minutes to perform. Three treatments spaced six weeks apart are needed, followed by annual boosters as required. The downsides to these laser treatments are that they are costly—$600 to $1000 per session—and not typically covered by health insurance. It’s also not known what the long-term effects of the procedures may be since they’ve only been used for a short time.
vSculpt: The newest and most convenient option is a device called vSculpt, the first of its kind, which you use at home every other day for a few minutes. This device addresses both vaginal loosening and vaginal atrophy/dryness—plus it’s pleasurable to use. It combines therapeutic light, gentle heat, and sonic technology for a stronger, rejuvenated pelvic floor and greater sexual self-confidence. Used with a proprietary Photonic Gel that enhances the effects of the light, vSculpt safely and effectively excites vaginal tissue to produce more collagen and elastin (another protein, like collagen, that keeps skin elastic, resilient, and youthful), while inducing a healthy response that boosts natural hydration and improves muscle tone. The result: stronger bladder control, enhanced vaginal sensation, and improved sexual health and wellness.