Can laser therapy help with vaginal and urinary issues after menopause?
The procedure can improve symptoms such as vaginal dryness, mild urinary incontinence, and discomfort during sex.
Many postmenopausal women suffer from a number of nagging symptoms, ranging from vaginal dryness and atrophy to mild urinary incontinence and pain with intercourse. Specialists refer to this collection of symptoms as genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM), which can result in general discomfort and a loss of sexual intimacy, says Dr. Roger Lefevre, an instructor in obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive biology at Harvard Medical School. You don't have to resign yourself to live the rest of your life in a state of perpetual discomfort, he says. Today there are multiple options — including laser treatments like those long used to rejuvenate skin on the face and body — that can help.
A laser, where?
Let's be honest: the thought of getting a laser treatment on the most sensitive and intimate part of your body might make you reflexively cross your legs. But the results of the three-minute treatment, which most women report causes only mild pain and discomfort (some say it feels like the snap of a rubber band), makes the procedure worthwhile for many women. The laser treatment activates the body's own healing mechanism by making a series of tiny holes in the tissue, which then stimulate the body to grow new tissue to heal these tiny wounds. The therapy is intended to boost collagen levels and elasticity. It can also increase the blood supply to the area, which can help restore lost sensation.