You've likely heard "laser procedure" floating around in conversations about skincare or even eye surgeries. But do you know that lasers could be a game-changer for your vaginal health as well?
If you’ve been dealing with V issues like vaginal dryness, incontinence, or even laxity (looseness), then read on. Today’s article is about this incredibly effective treatment option that many ladies don't know about.
It works. It’s safe. And it’s painless. Want to learn more? Let’s get started.
What is Vaginal Laser Procedure anyway?
It’s exactly what it sounds like: a doctor using a special wand to shoot lasers into the vaginal canal. And what does this do exactly? The medical-grade lasers stimulate collagen production in the vaginal wall — and that is a game-changer for vaginal health.
Most people already know that collagen is important for your skin. And as you may know, the #1 cause of skin care problems is a lack of collagen.
The same thing applies for your vaginal health as well. If you have enough collagen, your vaginal cells will have no problem doing what they need to do. And that includes producing more moisture and fighting bad bacteria. Why is collagen this important? Because collagen is actually the magical agent that breathes life into your vaginal tissues. It makes your vaginal tissue healthy.
When you have healthy vaginal tissue, you will almost never struggle with vaginal infections… especially vaginal dryness. Then you’ll begin to enjoy sex again. You will feel more comfortable with your body. And you’ll also eliminate the worry of an embarrassing urinary accident. But when your vaginal cells lack collagen, then problems might arise.
That’s why any technique that helps to boost collagen to your vaginal tissues can be a gamechanger. And that’s exactly where laser treatments come in for vaginal health.
“But isn’t vaginal laser treatment just cosmetic?”
You might be tempted to think so… but it’s not!
True, some celebrities might use laser treatments for aesthetic reasons. But many women use laser treatment to treat feminine health issues. Health issues like:
- Urinary incontinence
- Vaginal dryness, and
- Pain during sex
What Science Says—Research Behind the Procedure
Many women have noticed improvements in their vaginal health after laser treatment. And there are multiple studies confirming that.
For example, there is a study published in "Menopause," the journal of The North American Menopause Society. In this study, most of the participants noticed improvements in vaginal health symptoms after laser therapy1. The vaginal issues that were studied include dryness and incontinence.
Who Should Consider Vaginal Laser Treatment
Before you decide to try this treatment, it's important to know if this procedure will work for you. As you probably know, our bodies are different. With that in mind, there is some good news: vaginal laser treatment has a very high chance of getting results for most women.
In fact, it is often recommended for women experiencing:
- Vaginal Dryness: While menopausal women struggled the most with dryness, it can happen to anyone at any age. Laser treatment might be able to provide permanent relief.
- Vaginal Laxity (or looseness): That’s when you feel that your vagina is ‘loose’... not as tight as it used to be. This loss of tightness is usually caused by childbirth and also due to aging. This is linked to a loss of collagen in the vaginal walls. And laser treatment can help.
- Urinary Incontinence: This too can be embarrassing. Women who struggle with those “oops” moments” usually deal with a very low self esteem. The good news is that laser treatment might help strengthen your pelvic floor and banish urinary incontinence for good.
- Pain During Sex: Pain during sex usually follows vaginal dryness or other vaginal health issues. And laser treatment is proven to help too.
Who should positively avoid this treatment?
You might not want to try laser treatment if you’ve been diagnosed with vaginal cancer. Other women who are not advised to try this treatment include:
- Pregnant women, and
- Women struggling with severe vaginal infections
Possible Side Effects and Risks
While generally considered safe, every procedure comes with its share of risks and potential side effects. And for laser treatment, Dr. Susan Thompson warns, "Be sure to consult a medical professional to fully understand any risks, especially if you have existing health conditions that could complicate the procedure."
Some of the side effects of laser treatment include:
- Mild Discomfort: You may feel warmth or experience a tingling sensation during the procedure.
- Temporary Swelling or Redness: This feels like a skin reaction to a new skincare product.
- Infection: an infection is a rare but serious side effect. It is usually caused by unsterile equipment or post-procedure care negligence. So if you decide to try laser treatment, make sure you seriously vet your provider.
Why Choose Laser Over Other Treatments?
You’ll need to know the pros and cons of laser treatment so that you can make an informed decision. But there’s something that comes before everything else. And that is deciding whether you need to get laser treatment in the first place.
That’s where your primary healthcare physician comes in. You may need expert guidance to know whether laser treatment will be good or bad for you.
So with that in mind, here are the pros and cons of laser treatment for vaginal health:
- Minimal Invasiveness: You don’t need to get surgery. You don’t even get a single cut. And on top of that, this procedure won’t waste your time. You can be in and out of there in less than an hour.
- Quick Recovery: Most women can go back to their normal activities within a day. That’s right. A day.
- Effectiveness: Many report significant improvement in symptoms like dryness and incontinence.
- Cost: Laser treatment can be a bit pricey because of how well it works. And the cost can quickly mount if you need multiple sessions. So make sure to discuss your funding options with your treatment provider.
- Not a One-Size-Fits-All: While laser treatment works for many vaginal issues, it’s not a magic wand that fixes everything. So make sure you discuss with your physician to be sure you’ll get desired benefits from the treatment.
The Next Steps — What to Do If You’re Interested
So, you’ve read through, ticked your mental boxes, and have decided that you might want to try this. Here are the next steps to consider:
- Research Providers: Look for clinics or healthcare providers that specialize in vaginal laser treatments. Make sure you reach out to online forums and get reviews from women who have used the clinic. Remember that you want to work with a provider that knows what they’re doing.
- Consultation: First, schedule that all-important initial meeting to get personalized advice. You do not want to rush things. First do your research and then decide the clinic you’ll like to work with.
- Get a Second Opinion: If you're unsure or have lingering concerns, don't hesitate to seek a second opinion. It’s always a good idea.
- Budget: Laser treatment can cost up to $3,000, which is not a drop in the bucket for most people. And this may not be covered by insurance. So keep that in mind and plan accordingly.
Laser Treatment Cost and Insurance Coverage
The cost of vaginal laser treatment can range from $600 to $1,000 per session, depending on the clinic and location. But it can cost you up to 2 or 3 times more. Why? Because most women need about 1-3 sessions for optimal results. That means that it can cost you up to $3,000.
Unfortunately, many insurance providers consider laser treatment a "cosmetic procedure," so they don't cover the cost. So check with your insurance to see if yours is one of them. Or if any part of the treatment can be covered.
Consultation Checklist — Questions to Ask Your Healthcare Provider
You may be overwhelmed if you walk into a consultation unprepared. To avoid that, you’ll need to have your important questions prepared before the meeting.
Here’s very simple question checklist that’ll get the answers you need:
- What specific symptoms will this treatment address?
- How many sessions will I likely need?
- Are there any pre-procedure preparations?
- What can I expect during recovery?
- Are there any risks specific to my health profile?
- What will it cost??
Everything looks good. What happens next? Tests.
Yes, your clinic will need to run some lab tests before they begin your treatment. Here’s a roadmap of what to expect:
Before the Procedure
- Consultation: You'll meet with a healthcare provider to determine if this is the right option for you.
- Preliminary Tests: Expect some lab tests to ensure there are no underlying issues.
During the Procedure
That wand gives out a special kind of heat. And it’s that special heat that prompts your vaginal cells to produce collagen.
While it might sound a bit scary, this procedure is not painful. The heat is actually quite manageable.
After the Procedure
Well, it’s not everyday that you stick a laser treatment device down there. During the procedure, most women feel a tingling sensation that feels like a mild sunburn down there. Something like warmth or minor discomfort. But it’s nothing a little R&R can’t handle.
It sounds easy. Can’t I DIY it?
We’re all for home remedies like kegel exercises or even over-the-counter products for V issues. But we have to be clear on this one: lasers are not a DIY project.
This is not something to skimp on. Always consult a healthcare provider for personalized advice and treatment options. Why? Because something can go wrong. So seek out professionals for this one.
If you're struggling with vaginal health issues, laser therapy could be the way to go. The technology has come a long way, and the results are promising. However, always consult a qualified healthcare provider to determine the best treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.
Resources for Further Reading
- "Vaginal Health: The Basics" by Dr. Laura Corio
- "The V Book" by Elizabeth Stewart, M.D.
- American Urogynecologic Society
- The North American Menopause Society