At least 32 million women in the United States suffer from vaginal dryness, according to the North American Menopause Society. Vaginal dryness is a direct result of a decrease in a woman’s level of the female hormone, estrogen. This decrease is most often a result of menopause. However, it may also result from: a hysterectomy, cancer chemotherapy treatment, or childbirth and breastfeeding. Vaginal dryness and a lack of vaginal lubrication cause the vaginal tissues to become thinner and less elastic.
Vaginal dryness can cause pain with sexual intercourse, vaginal burning as well as other symptoms which may include vaginal itching, frequent urinary tract infections, and urgency and frequency of urination. Left untreated, vaginal dryness and its symptoms can become chronic and progressively worse.
The FDA-approved MonaLisa Touch vaginal CO2 laser as well as local vaginal treatments are both highly-effective options.
The MonaLisa Touch vaginal CO2 laser is a minimally invasive therapy that provides relief via controlled light energy delivered into the vaginal walls. During a five minute procedure, a slender wand is inserted into the vaginal canal. Over the course of three treatments approximately 6 weeks apart, this therapeutic modality increases vaginal blood circulation and activates collagen and elastin production. This treatment is well tolerated, pain free and does not require anesthesia. Improvement is typically experienced shortly after the first treatment, however, maximal benefits may not be recognized until up to two months after the third treatment. These benefits may last up to one year at which time an annual touch up treatment is performed.
Other treatment modalities for vaginal dryness include local estrogen or non-estrogen treatment to the vaginal walls in the form of vaginal creams, vaginal tablets or a vaginal ring. Some patients may also benefit from the use of vaginal dilators and lubricants.