A Solution to Painful Intercourse
Laser Augmentation of the Vaginal Area is a new and revolutionary treatment for dyspareunia, due to narrowing or decreased elasticity of the vagina which causes painful intercourse. This procedure is gaining momentum as an improved option for some women due to it being less invasive, non-hormonal and highly effective.
Women of various ages may experience pain during sex. In some cases, this may be caused by the vaginal opening being too small to accommodate their partner, whether this is naturally occurring, or the result of a prior surgery or trauma. In other cases, a woman may have enjoyed pain-free sex until perimenopause or menopause, but changes in hormones may have caused narrowing or decreased elasticity of the vaginal opening. Not only is this painful, but can cause irritation and tearing to the vagina, which creates scar tissue and further narrows the area. In any case, sex should be an enjoyable experience for both people involved and vaginal loosening can provide that for many women.
Women that are candidates for vaginal loosening are those experiencing painful intercourse due to a narrowed vagina, decreased vaginal elasticity or narrowing of the vagina as a result of scar tissue formation. More specifically, these women feel pain on insertion during intercourse. For these women, conventional treatments such as vaginal dilators or hormone-based creams must have failed or cannot be used safely. The traditional use of estrogen replacement to increase the elasticity of the vagina can be too risky for some women due to the increased risk of some types of cancer. Furthermore, women that have risk factors for blood clots, heart disease or suffer with migraines are at high risk for having a fatal medical condition when using estrogen therapies. Vaginal loosening offers a minimally invasive, permanent solution unlike dilators and without the potential side effects of estrogen therapy.
Vaginal loosening can be performed in an outpatient medical setting. The procedure involves the use of a laser to modify the vaginal opening. A laser is used to specifically target certain regions of the vaginal opening. The nerves and muscles in the vagina and at the opening are not impacted, so there is no interference with sensation. A woman’s vaginal opening is sculpted based on her unique situation and to accommodate the size of her partner. The treated areas are closed with fine sutures that dissolve on their own during the recovery period.
Since using a laser is less invasive than other surgical techniques, patients have more options in their use of anesthesia. For those patients that desire complete sedation during the procedure, general anesthesia can be provided. Lastly, for those patients that want to spend less time recovering from anesthesia, they can receive a local anesthetic. There are numerous methods for patients to achieve a pain-free procedure that is adjusted for their desired level of comfort. Most women chose to be sedated with any method of anesthesia.
Vaginal loosening can be completed in less than one hour and patients are discharged shortly after. The entire recovery period lasts six to eight weeks, but normal activities can be resumed in 48 hours. During the recovery period, patients must abstain from sex and cannot insert anything into the vagina. This includes the use of tampons or other personal devices. The only object that can be inserted into the vagina is an applicator used to insert a medicated cream, once daily. Patients should also wear loose-fitting undergarments and clothing until the area as completely healed. Heavy lifting should be avoided, in addition to any strenuous activity that can cause strain on the pelvic area or rupture of sutures.
After healing is complete, the patient will need to engage in regular sexual activity or use dilators to maintain the integrity of the vaginal enlargement. Some women may experience pain or discomfort during intercourse after the healing process is complete, but this is temporary. The main objective from the procedure is to have no pain during intercourse, and this is typically accomplished within months after the procedure.
As with any other procedure there can be risks or complications. Risks attributed to the laser surgery are bleeding, infection and scarring. However, these risks are minimal. Some amount of soreness is expected after the procedure, but should resolve during the recovery period. There are also separate risks associated with the various sedatives and anesthetics that can be used. Patients electing to have the procedure should follow all aftercare instructions to reduce the likelihood of complications after surgery.
Vaginal loosening can be an effective dyspareunia treatment for many women that have not had success with other treatments or are not candidates. Although this is a new procedure, it has been highly successful in helping women regain pain-free intercourse.