Laser Vaginal Treatment
What is a Laser?
L (light) A (amplification by) S (stimulated) E (emission of) R (radiation)
A laser device produces an intense, narrow beam of light (or other radiation). Lasers have broad applications, being used in engineering, the music industry and medicine.
Types of lasers
- Petit Lady Action 11
- MonaLisa Touch
Features of lasers used for vaginal treatment
- A solid-state laser
- Erbium YAG (Er:YAG)
- Wavelength – 2.9 micrometre
- Commonly used in skin resurfacing
- Allows controlled heating without burning vaginal epithelium
- Promotes Collagen fibre shrinkage and remodelling
- A gas laser
- Carbon dioxide (CO2)
- Wavelength – 10.6 micrometre
- Ablative with tissue denaturation
- Promotes collagen and elastin fibre remodelling
- Semiconductor laser
- Wavelength – 0.2 – 20 micrometre
- The short wavelength makes it an excellent dissection/cutting tool
What is laser vaginal treatment?
The Action II is a 2940 nm Er:YAG laser system, with excellent absorption in water: as the vaginal mucosa has a high water content, this makes it an ideal and safe target for this laser wavelength. Collagen remodeling of the vaginal mucosa tissue is encouraged by the photothermal effect of the laser, which promotes thickening of the walls of the vaginal canal through collagen regeneration.
Dual Mode enables a deeper secondary thermal effect, and it controls heating of the delicate target tissues of the vaginal wall. The design of the intravaginal scopes makes the procedure more convenient and time-efficient.
- Reduction of vaginal wall atrophy
- Vaginal tightening
- Vulval tightening and resurfacing
- Mons pubis tightening and resurfacing
- Sexual gratification improvement
- Reduction of vulval epithelial relaxation
- Reduction &/or improvement of the appearance and texture of scars
- Improves the appearance of pigmented vulva
- Mild stress urinary incontinence
This is an office, non-surgical treatment. Current research indicates that the risk of adverse events is extremely low when performed by well trained, experienced operators.
Features of the Petit Lady Action II
- The Action II Petit Lady has a 90° hand piece that directs the laser at a right angle for treatment of the suburethral tissues, thereby improving support. It can also be used to treat the forchette and the junction of the labia minora and introitus.
- A fractional hand piece is used for treatment of the labia minora, labia majora, mons pubis and scars such as those from a Caesarean section.
- A 360° hand piece directs the laser beam circumferentially through the vaginal wall epithelium
Treatment of vaginal atrophy
A set of aggravating symptoms related to vaginal atrophy generally become worse over a period of time. Symptoms are vaginal dryness, burning sensation, vaginal discharge, genital itching, burning with urination, and reduced vaginal lubrication during sexual activity. For those who suffer from vaginal atrophy, their decreased oestrogen levels cause thinning, drying and inflammation of the vaginal wall. One myth about vaginal atrophy is that the condition happens most frequently after the menopause, but it can actually occur during breast-feeding or at any time when the oestrogen levels drop.
Tighter vagina and vestibule
Sexual gratification may be significantly influenced by the degree of vaginal tightness in some women. Vaginal Rejuvenation aims to make the vestibule and vaginal canal narrower and, thus, increase the amount of friction produced during intercourse. This may improve sensation and enhance sexual satisfaction.
Overcome post-delivery vaginal alterations
Pregnancy, labor and vaginal delivery are significant events in the development of symptoms of decreased sensation and deterioration in vaginal tissues. All three events negatively impact the tightness, tone, control, and strength of the vagina. Non surgical Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation, can restore tightness and elasticity of the vagina.
Improve the appearance of the vulva
The fractionated laser setting can help restore the natural colour and texture of the vulva by improving collagen formation, tightening the skin and reducing hyperpigmentation.
Reducing stress urinary incontinence
Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) is defined as unintentional or uncontrollable leakage of urine due to the weakened tissues supporting the urethra. The tissues supporting the pelvic floor and the urethra (in particular the suburethral area and the bladder base) may be strengthened by laser treatment.
Non-surgical laser treatment is highly unlikely to cure moderate or severe stress urinary incontinence.
Frequently asked questions
The approximate treatment time per area is 15 minutes.
The recommended number of sessions is 3. The interval between sessions is 1-2 weeks. Repeat treatments may be beneficial every 4-6 months in some cases.
Normal activities of daily living can be resumed immediately. Sexual intercourse should be deferred for 1-2 days.
This is an office procedure that does not require admission to hospital. For treatment to the forchette or perineum local anaesthesia cream is used.
Current evidence is limited, but indications for use include vaginal atrophy, reduction of vaginal wall relaxation, increasing the apparent tightness of the vagina and treating very mild stress incontinence.
There is no Medicare rebate for the treatment.
The treatment is painless for the majority of patients.
The treatment can take place at any time of the menstrual cycle except during menstruation as the efficiency of the laser is diminished by the presence of blood.
A photothermal effect and gentle ablation stimulates collagen remodelling.
Risks of laser treatment
The laser delivers energy in the form of heat and this is how it stimulates the production of collagen (see previous notes).
Thermal injury which is not therapeutic is one that results in a burn on the surface of the vaginal epithelium. Such events are uncommon and usually resolve spontaneously. Rarely, a burn is more significant and requires medical or surgical intervention.
Whenever a laser is used in any field (medicine/surgery/engineering/industry etc), people in the environment of the laser must wear suitable laser glasses. Looking directly into an active laser beam can result in permanent visual injury.
- The advisory has not removed energy-based devices from the market.
- Energy device companies are counselled to cease marketing such products in a deceptive manner; in other words not to make claims that are not supported by available evidence about the potential benefits of treatment.
- Medical practitioners should be trained in the use of the device that they are using on their patients in the area of the body in which they intend to apply it.
- Patients intending to undergo treatment with an energy device in any part of their body should ask their doctor about the device intended to be used, the potential risks and benefits of treatment as well as the doctors experience using the device.