According to Merriam-Webster, the word atrophy means:
Decrease in size or wasting away of a body part or tissue.
Most women don’t think of that word when it comes their vagina, but it happens. Aging, slackening of support tissues, childbirth — just like the rest of our body tissues and structures, the vagina suffers from atrophy.
Dr. Beaty offers non-surgical vaginal rejuvenation to reverse these effects.
What causes vaginal atrophy?
With each passing year, our bodies produce less collagen and elastin. Addressing this decrease is the basis of most cosmetic procedures, both surgical and non-surgical. It’s most noticeable on the face, but in the vaginal tissues, they lose the rugae and plumpness. Declining estrogen also plays a role, changing the environment by increasing pH. This dictates a shift in bacteria and a loss of superficial cells that are protective and secrete mucous. Blood supply to the area also decreases, changing tissue color from a vibrant pink to a glassy pale pink.
Why would I opt to treat these changes in my vagina?
The changes that come with vaginal atrophy can be uncomfortable, especially during sexual intercourse. As your natural lubrication drops, intercourse can become a painful exercise rather than an enjoyable way to stay close to your partner. The thinning vaginal tissue leads to microtears. The higher pH allows inflammation that isn’t due to a yeast infection, but mimics one. Vaginal stenosis makes your vagina narrow over time.
What is laser vaginal rejuvenation?
CO2 lasers have been used for years to tighten and rejuvenate facial skin that has become saggy and loose due to declining collagen and elastin. In these procedures, the CO2 laser energy penetrates the epidermis and enters the dermis where the light energy converts to heat. When the body senses heat in the dermis layer it assumes there has been a wound, and it responds with a wound response. This involves remodeling the existing collagen in the area, and then triggering the production of new collagen and elastin to “heal” the perceived wound, even though there is no actual damage.
The same response happens with vaginal tissue. Pulses of energy are applied in a circumferential pattern to treat the full vagina, using a CO2 laser with a vaginal sheath placed over it. The wound response is the same: increasing collagen and elastin production, returning increased blood flow to the area, and lowering pH levels.
These vaginal rejuvenation treatments are not painful; they simply give the patient a warm sensation. If you choose to treat the outer labia, we apply topical numbing cream to keep you comfortable. Treatments take less than 30 minutes.