Aging is inevitable. For women, it can be unforgiving: wrinkles, gray hair, weight gain, sagging breasts, bone loss, and vaginal dryness. Regular exercise, dietary modification with calcium and vitamin D supplementation can help some of these conditions. Some of us will dye our hair and/or have cosmetic surgery. Until recently, our only option to really “treat” vaginal dryness was topical estrogen – either as a cream, tablet or ring.
But not all of us can or want to use estrogen. Fortunately, there is now something available that will treat vaginal dryness (known as vaginal atrophy in medical terms) and the other symptoms often associated with it such as vaginal burning, vaginal discharge, painful sex, urinary incontinence, and painful urination. It’s called the MonaLisa Touch.
MonaLisa Touch is a fractional carbon dioxide laser that was developed in Italy (hence the name) and FDA approved for use in the United States in December of 2014. The laser is housed in a probe that is 3 centimeters (roughly 1 ¼ inch) in diameter. The probe is placed into the vagina and rotated in the vagina. The laser creates minuscule holes in the vagina. The heat created by the laser stimulates regrowth of blood vessels and cells into the surface layer of the vagina. The overall effect after the recommended course of treatment (3 laser applications 6 weeks apart) is reestablishment of premenopausal vagina tissue, in essence, rejuvenation.
Each application takes less than 5 minutes and patients experience minimal to no pain. Most patients will notice an improvement in symptoms after just one treatment. After the initial three applications, once yearly application for maintenance is recommended.
MonaLisa Touch is a revolutionary development for vaginal health. Women’s Specialist of New Mexico is pleased to be the first practice in New Mexico to offer this life changing technology.
Rebecca Okun, MD