As if women didn’t have enough to worry about, childbirth and aging can cause issues like incontinence, vaginal laxity and dryness. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, about 40 percent of women also suffer from various forms of sexual dysfunction like arousal issues, decreased orgasms and excessive pressure during intercourse. And that’s no fun.
Enter vaginal rejuvenation — a sort of restoring of our “particular” parts to a more youthful state via laser or pulsed light. While they may sound funny together, those two words are slowly seeping their way into enlightened conversation. Proponents say a few treatments are like vaginal rehab.
Although surgical methods of treating vaginal issues have been around for years, a few non-invasive treatments are making headway. Devices marketed under various names use radio frequency or laser energy to treat common female complaints. The targeted treatments aim to stimulate collagen production, tighten tissue and produce new tissue growth — improving vaginal issues while heightening sexual sensations.
Meredith Keller, nurse at AesthetiCare Medical Spa and trainer for diVa therapy, says it’s about time that vaginal health became a trending topic. “Women finally have something they can do to improve their satisfaction, health and frustration,” she says.
So what can one expect from a laser treatment in the nether regions? In most instances, patients lie on their backs with their feet in stirrups as the area to be treated is numbed. A laser probe is inserted into the vagina, slowly moving and zapping every centimeter or so. Most patients experience little pain or say it feels similar to other laser treatments done on the skin.
The widely available diVa treatment uses two types of lasers simultaneously, so the actual treatment lasts only about 6 minutes. Recovery is generally minimal with little or no downtime. Reviving the she-shed will cost you, though: Treatments run upwards of $1,200 each, and Keller suggests a package of three to start with a yearly appointment to maintain results.
To date, the FDA has not approved any energy-based medical device for vaginal rejuvenation, but Keller says the proof is in the patients. If you’re on the fence or want to find out if getting some care down there is right for you, Keller says to make sure you do your research. “Everyone is different,” she says. “Schedule a consultation with a laser-trained and educated medical professional that you are comfortable with.”