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Vulvovaginal atrophy – menopause

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At Intimate You we are aware that vulvovaginal atrophy (VVA) is a common and underreported condition which is suffered by close to 50% of postmenopausal women.  It is associated with decreased supply of oestrogen to the vulvovaginal tissue.

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.

 

Even while taking HRT prescribed by the GP or gynaecologist in the form of tablets or patches, 10% to 20% of women may still have some VVA symptoms.

Breast cancer treatment increases the prevalence of VVA because the surgery, endocrine effects, and chemotherapy drugs used in its treatment can cause or exacerbate VVA. Local oestrogen treatment for survivors of breast cancer remains controversial so symptoms may be very difficult to control.

 

So what can women do about VVA?

First-line VVA treatments available are:-

 

Non-Hormonal

  • 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.

 

Hormonal

  • Low dose vaginal oestrogen – cream or pessaries to be inserted into the vagina, usually nightly initially then twice weekly ongoing. This is prescribed usually by a GP or gynaecologist
  • Systemic oestrogen therapy – HRT tablets or patches.  10-20% of sufferers of VVA may still have some symptoms on HRT.  Additional vaginal oestrogen may be used.  These preparations are prescribed usually by a GP or gynaecologist.

For a significant proportion of women suffering from VVA 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, 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. Many women report symptom relief after the very first treatment and even greater improvement after treatments 2 and 3.

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

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 in menopause. If you would like to take the ‘Pause’ out of your menopause, contact us and start your journey to a happier, healthier menopause.

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Ms Anna Bojakowska

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

Mr George Botros

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

Dr Tracey Sims

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

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