As we women age, we do not always know what is coming next. We think we do, but we may not. We all know the stereotypical changes that happen with menopause, and of course, chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, etc. that can occur with age. I can tell you that many women in their late 40s to late 70s are not expecting pain with intercourse, vaginal pain and discomfort, or both. It is honestly a surprise. And not a good one at that. It can make a healthy sexual relationship go sour very quickly, which not only hurts the woman’s quality of life, but her partner’s as well. This can affect the relationship as a whole, and both parties’ overall health, which can then lead to other medical issues. In our practice, we traditionally have treated men for erectile dysfunction and other sexual issues, but we understand that female sexual health is important as well.
Our expertise includes offering a revolutionary approach to treating pain with intercourse and/or vaginal pain. This treatment is called the Mona Lisa Touch, which is a painless laser therapy. Over 15,000 women have been treated worldwide from this procedure that originated out of Italy, hence the name. It entails three treatments every six weeks, each treatment being five minutes in length.
The procedure is very convenient, and requires no anesthesia or hospital stay. And patients will be able to operate a vehicle after the procedure so they can come in and leave by themselves.
Once the patient is in the office, anesthetic cream is applied to the vulva and vagina for fifteen minutes. The patient is then taken to the treatment room and the laser gently inserted into the vagina. The entire vagina and vulva are then treated with a fractionated carbon dioxide laser which is, in essence, beams of light that penetrate small areas of tissue, which then creates small ablative wounds in the mucosa. The “injuries” then trigger chemotaxis, phagocytosis, neo-collagenesis, and collagen remodeling.
In addition, angiogenesis, epithelialization, and the production of new glycosaminoglycans are also vital and create more elastin, which then ultimately leads to more lubrication, which is of course, what is needed for painless sexual intercourse. There may be some mild irritation or itching for one to two days easily treated with Aquaphor. There are some contraindications to this procedure, such as vaginal infection, vaginal lesions and vaginal prolapse, so it is important that the patient be properly evaluated for this in the office ahead of time.
One special instance of whom the Mona Lisa Touch may be good for is the breast cancer survivor. These patients can sometimes not take estrogen based cream due to their pathology, and the Mona Lisa touch offers a nice alternative for these women who are usually still sexually active and young in age.
We have had several great success stories come from the use of the Mona Lisa Touch and are available to evaluate your patients too. Patients may call Urology Centers of Alabama at 205-930-0920 for a consultation with one of our physicians. For more information or to book an appointment online, visit www.monalisabirmingham.com.
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