For women who experience sexual health issues (after childbirth, during or after menopause, or after cancer treatments), hormone replacement therapy or local estrogen (in the vagina) isn’t always suitable, and not all women want to use these treatments. Great news! As of January 2015, Health Canada has approved the use of the MonaLisa Touch laser for the treatment of vaginal atrophy. It is a scientifically proven, minimally invasive procedure that is painless and can help women resolve their symptoms of vaginal dryness, painful intercourse and many common bladder problems.
Who Can Benefit from this Procedure?
Any woman who is diagnosed with vaginal atrophy may benefit from the MonaLisa Touch procedure. Vaginal atrophy is commonly associated with menopause. However, it may also occur in women with hormonal changes due to breastfeeding or treatments for breast cancer. Vaginal atrophy refers to the thinning and dryness of the vagina and part of the bladder. Many women with vaginal atrophy suffer from painful intercourse, bladder infections and incontinence.
How Does It Work?
The MonaLisa Touch procedure involves the insertion of a laser tip into the vagina. It will feel similar to the annual pelvic exam and Pap test, however, it only takes about five minutes. The device delivers pulses of laser energy to the vagina to stimulate the production of collagen, increasing blood flow, which thickens the tissue.
How Many Treatments Will I Need?
Women who are good candidates for the MonaLisa Touch procedure typically undergo three sessions, which are spaced six weeks apart. Following this initial treatment, women may need another treatment every year for maintenance.
How Soon Will I Notice Results?
Many women who undergo this innovative treatment report feeling immediate relief of the symptoms of vaginal dryness. Even if relief of symptoms isn’t immediate, women almost always experience results by the second treatment session. Many women with bladder symptoms notice almost an immediate improvement.
Does it Treat Other Problems?
The MonaLisa Laser is indicated for vaginal atrophy, however, conditions such as Lichen sclerosus and vestibulitis also respond to this form of treatment.
With over 25 years’ experience in women’s health care, Toronto gynecologist and infertility doctor Dr. Fay Weisberg, M.D., FRCSC, is the clinic director of First Steps Fertility, assistant professor at the University of Toronto and an active gynecologist at Sunnybrook Hospital.