When intercourse becomes painful and urinary problems come to the fore, you could be suffering from genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM), also called vaginal atrophy. Hormone levels change after menopause, most notably estrogen, with natural production falling off dramatically. These low levels may begin to affect your body systems and, in particular, your vagina and genital region. Tissue becomes dry and sensitive, and you may feel burning in your vagina or when you urinate. Intercourse may cause pain or light bleeding.
While in some women these changes are naturally part of the menopause process, there’s no need to endure the symptoms when they start to interfere with your daily life. The MonaLisa Touch® system is an impressive, new treatment that renews the inner walls of your vagina, reducing the symptoms of GSM and restoring function, pleasure, and confidence.
The MonaLisa Touch system
A non-surgical technique that uses a CO2 laser, the MonaLisa Touch system acts gently on the vaginal walls to start a process called neocollagenesis. Essentially, the MonaLisa Touch scanner targets the collagen layer within your vaginal walls. This layer absorbs light energy from the scanner and warms slightly above your normal body temperature to reach what’s called the coagulation point.
Once it’s warmed to this degree, the collagen layer develops tiny micro-lesions, which trigger the body’s healing systems into action. New collagen production begins, and simultaneously, existing collagen starts flushing from the body through the circulatory system, to make room for the new tissue.
Revitalizing the vaginal mucosa
This new collagen starts a process that rebalances the function and components of your vagina and surrounding areas, countering the symptoms that low levels of estrogen created. Not only does moisture return to your vaginal walls, the epithelium becomes thicker and more elastic. Normal pH returns, contributing to a reduction in urinary infections. You may feel your vagina is tighter, better lubricated during intercourse, and more youthful feeling overall.
What to expect from MonaLisa Touch treatments
The treatment itself takes just a few minutes. You may feel slight warmth and vibration while the treatment is in progress. There’s no pain during the procedure itself, and typically few side effects. Some women feel temporary discomfort after treatment, including minor swelling and redness.
This may last for a few days, but most women report returning to their regular routine after a day or two. There’s a short recovery period of about three or four days through which you should abstain from sex, hot baths, and avoid weight training and heavy lifting.
You’ll likely feel immediate results after a treatment, though the neocollagenesis process lasts about one to two months. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, three to six treatments, spaced about two months apart, are recommended for maximum benefit. Once treatments are finished, the results of the MonaLisa Touch procedure potentially last for years, though you may require annual “top-up” treatments to maintain best results. You can discuss your progress with me to determine if additional treatments become necessary.
The MonaLisa Touch laser procedure for GSM is an effective way to treat vaginal atrophy in a simple, non-invasive procedure, and I highly recommend it to my patients.