12 Rodney Street, Liverpool L1 2TE 0151 559 0777 Mon - Sat: 9am to 6.30pm

Vulvovaginal atrophy – breast cancer survivors

General Information
Our doctors
Working Schedule

Vulvovaginal atrophy (VVA) is a common and underreported condition which is suffered by close to 50% of postmenopausal women and 23%-61% of breast cancer survivors.  It is associated with decreased supply of oestrogen to the vulvovaginal tissue.

Vulvovaginal atrophy sufferers may experience:-

  • Initially, lack of lubrication during sex.
  • Eventually, persistent vaginal dryness.
  • Itchiness, soreness, and a stinging pain in the vaginal and vulvar area, which, in turn, may further contribute to pain during sex.
  • Vaginal spotting of blood, due to small tears in the vaginal skin surface.
  • Thin yellow or grey watery discharge.
  • Urgency, frequency, getting up during the night to pass urine, and urge incontinence.
  • Recurrent urine infections.

 

Breast cancer treatment increases the prevalence of Vulvovaginal atrophy because:-

  • Tamoxifen is an oestrogen antagonist or agonist, depending on the target organ and menopausal status.

 

In premenopausal women, tamoxifen may cause Vulvovaginal atrophy by acting as an oestrogen antagonist and blocking the naturally high levels of endogenous oestrogen.

In postmenopausal women, it acts as an oestrogen agonist on the urogenital tract.

  • Aromatase inhibitors (AIs) In the ATAC (Arimidex, Tamoxifen, Alone or in Combination) study, designed to compare outcomes in postmenopausal breast cancer survivors taking tamoxifen, anastrozole (an AI), or a combination of both, Cella et al10 demonstrated that vaginal dryness was more common in the group taking anastrozole than in the group taking tamoxifen (18.5% vs 9.1%). Pain during sex was also more common in the anastrozole group (17.3% vs 8.1%)
  • Chemotherapy can result in vaginal dryness and pain during sex.
  • Chemotherapy-induced ovarian failure
  • Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists or bilateral oophorectomy

 

Local oestrogen treatment for survivors of breast cancer remains controversial so symptoms may be very difficult to control.

So what can women who have had breast cancer do about Vulvovaginal atrophy?

Oestrogen containing treatments are not appropriate so first-line Vulvovaginal atrophy treatments available are:

  • Vaginal moisturisers – water based. These need to be applied regularly and are available to buy over the counter at a pharmacy.
  • Vaginal lubricants – water or silicone based. Lubricants can also be easily purchased over the counter at a pharmacy and are used during intercourse.  They may need to be re-applied several times during sexual activity and silicone based products may lead to loss of erection in a male partner.

 

For a significant proportion of women suffering from Vulvovaginal atrophy, the above treatments alone or in combination do not give relief from their symptoms and/or the treatments are not felt to be acceptable.

Fortunately, help is at hand at Intimate You. We are delighted to offer MonaLisa Touch, the leading Intravaginal laser therapy for the safe, effective treatment of VVA.  MonaLisa Touch® is the ideal treatment for those who are looking for a hormone-free, less invasive procedure, compared to traditional surgical or pharmaceutical treatments.

MonaLisa Touch® allows for a functional restoration of the vagina, which helps to combat the troublesome burning, itching, dryness and pain during intercourse which are so distressingly familiar for VVA sufferers.

Symptoms improvement (%) after 3 treatments 'Mona Lisa Touch'

Burning
84%
Itching
85%
Dryness
76%
Dyspareunia
76%
Laxity
90%

Courtesy of Prof. S. Salvadore

The interaction with laser is an ideal method to stimulate the collagen contained in the vaginal walls for the rehydration and functional tissue restoration. The additional effect of vaginal tightening following the procedure further enhances sexual experience.

One treatment lasts only a few minutes, with no pain, side effects or recovery time. A minimum of 3 treatments is required (sometimes up to 5 treatments in breast cancer survivors with severe VVA), 6 weeks apart, followed by a single maintenance treatment, if required, at 12-18 month intervals. It will be up to your Intimate You clinician, after careful examination, to evaluate and recommend the best treatment plan for you. Some women report symptom relief after the very first treatment and even greater improvement after treatments 2 and 3 and beyond.

No anaesthesia is required for intravaginal treatment. The sensation is similar to a light vibration. MonaLisa Touch® is: • Hormone free• Pain free• Non-surgical

Please insert video:- https://youtu.be/yP5wpoiieuU

After MonaLisa Treatment detailed care guidelines are provided by your Intimate You clinician.  It is advised that you wait for 1 week to have intercourse or go in a hot tub and avoid heavy lifting or baths for 3 days (showering is fine).

After MonaLisa Treatment detailed care guidelines are provided by your Intimate You clinician.  It is advised that you wait for 1 week to have intercourse or go in a hot tub and avoid heavy lifting or baths for 3 days (showering is fine).

At Intimate You we know that it is important for women to maintain their quality of life after breast cancer.  If VVA is troubling you then please don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll do whatever we can to help you.

[background_row background_position=”left center” background_size=”contain” image=”6296″]

Are you interested in treatment for Vulvovaginal atrophy – breast cancer survivors?

Send us a message and we'll get back to you shortly.

Mr George Botros

Mr George Botros’ higher training focused on minimally invasive surgery including all types of laparoscopic hysterectomy, advanced laparoscopic treatment of…

Ms Anna Bojakowska

Anna Bojakowska is Aesthetic Director of Intimate You, highly experienced to advanced level aesthetician trained in Europe and United Kingdom…

Dr Tracey Sims

Dr Tracey Sims is Medical Director of Intimate You. She is a practicing NHS and Private GP with over 15…

18 Dec

Treatment

  • 10 AM - 3 PM
  • Dr Tracey Sims
4 Slots Available
Booking a ticket
20 Dec

Treatments

  • 10 AM - 3 PM
  • Dr Tracey Sims
4 Slots Available
Booking a ticket
24 Dec

Treatment

  • 10 AM - 3 PM
  • Dr Tracey Sims
4 Slots Available
Booking a ticket
25 Dec

Treatment

  • 10 AM - 3 PM
  • Dr Tracey Sims
4 Slots Available
Booking a ticket
27 Dec

Treatments

  • 10 AM - 3 PM
  • Dr Tracey Sims
4 Slots Available
Booking a ticket
31 Dec

Treatment

  • 10 AM - 3 PM
  • Dr Tracey Sims
4 Slots Available
Booking a ticket
01 Jan

Treatment

  • 10 AM - 3 PM
  • Dr Tracey Sims
4 Slots Available
Booking a ticket
03 Jan

Treatments

  • 10 AM - 3 PM
  • Dr Tracey Sims
4 Slots Available
Booking a ticket

Send this to a friend