Research we're watching
A small trial published online in July 2021 by the journal Menopause found that fractional CO2 laser therapy and topical estrogen were both effective treatments for postmenopausal symptoms related to vulvovaginal atrophy, which causes the vulvar and vaginal skin to become thinner and more fragile.
Researchers set out to compare the two therapies as treatment for a host of symptoms that affect the vagina and vulva after menopause. They looked at 25 postmenopausal women ages 50 to 61. The women were divided into two groups. One group received topical estrogen therapy; the other, laser therapy. The laser is used to create tiny injuries to the tissue in order to stimulate the growth of new collagen.
The researchers then measured improvements in tissue atrophy and sexual function in each group and found significant improvements in both areas for both groups. They concluded that although vaginal estrogen performed better on certain measures, laser therapy is an effective treatment for vaginal atrophy as well.
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