By: Heather Orr, MSN, FNP-C, Halcyon Med Spa
Vaginal Relaxation Syndrome (VRS) is one of the most common conditions affecting post-childbirth, middle-aged and older women. Every woman who has carried a child will experience some degree of laxity, which comes with an array of unexpected and unwanted symptoms. Additionally, it’s commonly understood that older men and women retain an interest in sexual activity, but after menopause, many people may not realize that it’s common for intercourse to become uncomfortable for women, which affects the sexual wellbeing of both partners. Awareness is shifting as the public begins to speak more about the effects of age and childbirth on women’s intimate health.
VRS is a condition which occurs after childbirth, or as a part of aging when vaginal atrophy occurs as a result of hormonal changes with menopause. Perhaps the most commonly reported symptom is uncontrolled loss of urine, known as stress incontinence. Pressure (stress) from coughing, sneezing, running and laughing is enough to cause loss of urinary control and potential stress or embarrassment in social situations. This loss of personal control can be debilitating as women become afraid to participate in social activities for fear of incontinence or their ability to quickly find a bathroom soon enough after experiencing the urge to urinate.
Another syndrome that results in changes in vaginal health is the Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause (GSM). During menopause, decreased estrogen levels result in vaginal tissue atrophy, vaginal dryness, and can make intercourse not only unpleasurable but downright painful. These unwanted changes don’t simply affect the woman, it can lead to a decrease in sexual satisfaction in both women and their partners, and the emotional loss of one of the joys of partnership. There are many treatments for both VRS and GSM, however, they can be time-consuming and difficult to comply with.
We all know we’re supposed to be doing our Kegel exercises, and when performed correctly and consistently, they are effective at strengthening the pelvic floor and reducing both incontinence and vaginal laxity. But most women find it difficult to engage the appropriate muscles to make the exercise effective. Plus, consistency is key. Vaginal estrogen creams and suppositories can help with both hormonal deficiency and lubrication but they are often difficult to administer and require continuous dosing to be effective.
This has led to researchers trying to pursue a non-surgical alternative that addresses these many issues, one which can provide a greater increase in sexual satisfaction for both partners, a decrease in urinary incontinence, and a reversal of symptoms of the Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause that cause painful intercourse. One laser method that has been studied extensively is the Erbium: YAG laser like the Juliet by Cutera. This new, in-office non-surgical laser treatment restores vaginal tissue and improves vaginal tone and flexibility to alleviate symptoms often associated with childbirth, aging, breast cancer therapies which range from vaginal looseness/laxity to burning, itching, dryness, and painful intercourse. Juliet works by creating micro- ablative columns, or small areas of damage, which are then repaired by the body resulting in laser-assisted vaginoplasty. Vaginal tightening and urinary continence are improved by the tightening of both the vaginal and supportive muscles that are restructured by the treatment. This has been shown with histologic findings of thicker epithelium with a more robust cellular matrix and a denser connective tissue.
For the patient, this means an increase in vaginal tightness, elasticity, and moisture. For men and women, this translates into increased sexual satisfaction and a great improvement in the overall quality of life. In all aspects of our practice, we are committed to offering the most technologically advanced procedures. We’re proud to introduce the Juliet treatment to Halcyon Med Spa, which addresses an unmet gynecological need in women’s health.
The Juliet laser provides a new treatment option for a condition experienced by a broad array of women including those who desire enhancement in sexual functioning, as well as women seeking vaginal cosmetic improvement and want to feel more confident about their feminine health. As with all of our medical services, we invite you to schedule a free consultation to discuss how this procedure could improve your own quality of life.
Halcyon Med Spa is solely owned and operated by Dr. Lonnie Schwirtlich. All medical services are performed by Heather Orr, a Family Nurse Practitioner and Angelica Jackson, a Board Certified PA trained in Dermatology and an Allergen Master Injector.