If you’ve heard about the MonaLisa Touch, you’re likely curious to know more. This laser is shining a new light on vaginal health, allowing women to reclaim pleasure, comfort, and confidence with quick and easy treatment sessions. At Shenandoah Women’s Healthcare in Harrisonburg, VA, we’ve seen the results for ourselves and can attest they are truly life-changing.
What Does MonaLisa Touch Do?
This simple, carbon dioxide laser is designed to specifically treat vaginal tissue. It provides relief from vaginal laxity, dryness, itching, and burning. The MonaLisa also addresses mild urinary incontinence so women can once more enjoy the activities they love.
The symptoms we just described are the results of waning estrogen levels. Hormones routinely fluctuate, but certain cancer treatments and the body’s natural aging process can lead to a severe estrogen imbalance. In the past, the only treatment options available were messy creams and hormone-based therapies. But now, the MonaLisa provides a more integrated approach to deliver long-lasting and comprehensive results.
The Importance of Estrogen
To understand how the vagina changes, it’s first necessary to understand its connection with estrogen. This hormone influences many different parts of the body, and one of its roles is to maintain vaginal wall thickness. As estrogen levels drop, this wall typically becomes thinner. Tissue degradation paves the way for the vagina to become irritated during the simplest of activities, including sitting.
Another common symptom of falling estrogen is vaginal dryness. The vagina functions optimally when it’s lubricated. As natural moisture levels drop, however, women fall victim to friction that makes exercise and intercourse painful.
Last but not least, fluctuations in estrogen increase the risk of developing vaginal inflammation. This is the culprit behind irritation and itching that can be particularly uncomfortable when you’re in public or even at work.
Inflammation may start as nothing more than mild tingling that soon escalates to an all-encompassing itch. Some women believe their symptoms are those of a yeast infection when in fact they’re related to low estrogen.
A Multi-Faceted Treatment
Similar to laser facial treatments, the MonaLisa makes tiny scratches – also known as micro-abrasions – in the vaginal wall. These prompt the growth of new blood vessels that feed tissues with the nutrients they need.
Essentially, strong blood flow can improve lubrication to keep the vagina moist and supple. This offers freedom from burning, itching, and dryness. Lubrication additionally helps to remove dead cells and clean the vagina.
Collagen and Your Vagina
But the MonaLisa doesn’t stop there. It also ignites the body’s natural healing abilities. In this case, that means amplified collagen production. Women often associate collagen with plump, sculpted facial tissues. But this protein is equally essential for overall vaginal health. It provides tissues with their elasticity so the vagina’s walls can properly contract and tighten – meaning it improves sexual intercourse.
Increased collagen also corrects laxity and helps you feel “tighter.” As tissues thicken and tighten, those surrounding the urethra become more supportive to improve incontinence. In short, the MonaLisa can address a variety of concerns. It’s an ideal treatment for restoring a sense of femininity as well as improving intimacy between you and your sexual partner.
Is It Safe to Use Down “There?”
Absolutely. The Food and Drug Administration approved the MonaLisa for treatment of vaginal laxity in 2004. Since that time, tens of thousands of women around the globe have received therapy without a single report of adverse side effects. Many women experience a noticeable improvement in their symptoms after just one session. But we generally recommend a treatment plan of three or four sessions, with each delivered around four weeks apart.
The results of each session build upon each other so vaginal tissues become increasingly stronger. Following the treatment plan we craft can ultimately:
- Improve vaginal looseness
- Increase sensitivity
- Reduce urinary leakage and urgency
- Strengthen vaginal muscles
- Increase vaginal moisture
- Improve sexual sensations
What to Expect
Because the MonaLisa Touch is relatively straightforward, you don’t need to do much in the way of preparation. We do recommend you stop smoking at least two weeks before your session. The chemicals contained in cigarettes can impair circulation and healing, and this treatment is designed to work with the body’s natural repair processes.
Twenty-four hours before your appointment, you should avoid all intravaginal lubricants and creams. Also, refrain from intercourse and alcohol the night before your treatment. What you can do is drink plenty of water to stay well-hydrated. This will nourish tissues and encourage faster healing. You don’t need to fast, but you should shower the morning of your appointment. And it’s perfectly fine to drive yourself to and from the procedure.
During the Treatment
Many women are pleasantly surprised by how easy treatment with the MonaLisa really is. Your session will closely resemble that of a vaginal ultrasound. You’ll be taken to a private room to change into a gown and lie back on the exam table. You’ll also need to wear special eye protection provided by our office. Everyone in the room will wear the same protection to prevent laser injuries to the eyes.
The laser will then be inserted into the vagina. You’ll feel nothing more than a slight vibrating sensation. Anesthesia is not necessary, and we’ll turn the wand in clockwise and counterclockwise motions to ensure we target all vaginal tissues. Once the inside of the vagina has been properly treated, we’ll apply a different head to the laser and treat the external tissues as well (if necessary). In all, the treatment takes less than five minutes to complete.
Once your session is finished, you’re free to once more put on your street clothes and continue with your day. Many women return to work, while others go home to enjoy a little rest and relaxation. It’s your choice, but you should know recovery is minimal.
A Few Recommendations
We do recommend you gently cleanse your vagina once or twice a day using mild soap and warm – not hot – water. After, you can use a hairdryer to safely dry tissues rather than wipe with a towel. This is much less abrasive to newly-treated skin.
Avoid intense physical exercise, saunas, and hot tubs for 72 hours after treatment. You want to keep the vagina as cool and sweat-free as possible so as not to irritate tissues. This also means no sex for two or three days, but the wait will be worth it. Last but not least, reach for loose cotton underwear and pants instead of pantyhose and tight-fitting pants.
Treatment Might Be for You If…
You Find Sex Painful
We’re going to start this conversation with what might be the most seemingly embarrassing topic: painful sex. Most women prefer to keep this symptom under wraps, but it’s important to know that not having sex makes the vagina prone to more infections. Specifically, intercourse can increase natural lubrication that, as we already know, helps eliminate harmful bacteria.
Sex also improves blood flow to the vagina and, as such, decreases UTIs and menopause symptoms. You’ve likely tried creams and gels intended to substitute for lubrication, but they tend to limit sexual spontaneity. After MonaLisa Touch, you may never again need those messy ointments. And most women can maintain their pleasing results with a simple yearly touch-up.
You Experience Urinary Incontinence and/or Vaginal Infections
Here’s the next topic ladies don’t like to discuss, but it needs to be addressed: urinary incontinence. Many women in perimenopause and menopause experience a loss of bladder control and subsequently avoid social situations. At any time, a sneeze, laugh, or cough might unleash a stream or droplet of urine. But contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to live with these symptoms.
MonaLisa strengthens pelvic floor muscles and, as mentioned earlier, the muscles surrounding the urethra. Not only do these effects improve urinary incontinence, but they also help the vagina stave off infections.
You’re a Cancer Survivor
Cancer treatments can bring many changes to the body, including vaginal atrophy that may reduce all sexual sensations. Chemotherapy can even induce menopausal symptoms in very young women. The problem is that survivors of breast, ovarian, and other cancers that may be triggered by hormones cannot take estrogen-based treatments.
The MonaLisa Touch is the perfect solution. It’s 100% hormone-free but rejuvenates the vagina in a way that mimics healthy estrogen levels. As cancer survivors regain a sense of intimacy with their partners and find improved vaginal comfort, they also feel more confident in their bodies.
Take Control of Your Body
Now is the time to reclaim vaginal health and sexual pleasure. Fortunately, the MonaLisa Touch is designed to do both. The treatment is simple and pain-free, and most patients feel results after just one treatment. Schedule your consultation today by contacting Shenandoah Women’s Healthcare in Harrisonburg, VA.