Vaginal Rejuvenation is becoming an increasingly popular way to treat vaginal dryness, urinary incontinence and vaginal laxity. There are many treatment modalities available, but are they all equal? There are two basic types of rejuvenation: CO2 Laser and RadioFrequency (RF). The cost is similar, so is there a difference? Which is better, laser or RF? To decide which treatment is better for you, you need to consider the symptoms that you’re trying to treat. As we age, two main changes affect how we function “down there.”
Changes in hormone levels lead to atrophy of the vaginal mucosa. This results in dryness and a rising of the pH in the vagina (a healthy vagina has an acidic pH to help keep bacteria under control.) This combination causes several of the symptoms that we see as women age. Dryness causes itching. Low levels of lubrication can also lead to discomfort during sex. The loss of acidity can lead to recurrent yeast or bacterial infections.
The loss of collagen and elastin in all of our tissues leads to sagging as we age. Childbirth and repeated stretching of the vaginal tissues can also lead to laxity. Vaginal laxity manifests as “looseness” or a decrease in pleasurable sensations during intercourse. It can also lead to a sagging of the external genitalia, the dreaded “camel toe.” Urinary incontinence is also a result of laxity. When the pelvic tissues are tight and lifted, there is a natural bend to the urethra, stopping the urine from leaking out. However, with aging, the natural bend is lost and any pressure on the bladder can cause urine to leak out (that’s why you pee when you sneeze or laugh).
So how do vaginal rejuvenation treatments help?
CO2 Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation and RadioFrequency (RF) Vaginal Rejuvenation will both lead to production of collagen, helping to lift and tighten the tissues. As such, either treatment could be used to treat laxity or stress urinary incontinence. CO2 Laser will also resurface the mucosa, leading to a rejuvenation in addition to tightening of the tissues. This mucosal rejuvenation will improve vaginal lubrication. Therefore, CO2 Laser seems superior for treating vaginal dryness and pain with intercourse.
How do I choose which vaginal rejuvenation treatment is right for me?
Unfortunately, there aren’t any head to head studies to tell us which is better (though there are some being conducted currently). The cost of the treatments is similar between CO2 Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation and RF Vaginal Rejuvenation and both require an initial series of treatments with a maintenance plan (you will continue to age, after all). Both treatments have minimal (or no) downtime and little discomfort during the procedure. You should choose a practitioner that you feel comfortable with. You need to be able to discuss your symptoms and how you are responding to treatments. Visit several offices, talk with the doctor, but also with their staff (they have often had the procedure themselves and have seen many other patients have the procedure). Do your research on line (RealSelf.com has over 1000 reviews (see below) of the different vaginal rejuvenation techniques along with patient stories and answers to questions). If you have more questions, I would be more than happy to answer those for you; you can reply to this post, use our Contact Form or Email Us. I would also be happy to see you in a complimentary consultation.
CO2 Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation:
Erbium Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation:
RadioFrequency Vaginal Rejuvenation: