As soon as I heard of the Mona Lisa Touch, I was certain that I was the perfect candidate – pre-menopausal and feeling a bit anxious knowing I’m about to enter the next ‘phase’ of my life. Yes, I’ll take any help I can get! And, a bonus if it’s quick, doesn’t hurt, and has some real benefits!
Being an avid researcher I scoured through the promotional material, heard reviews, watched videos and learnt that most patients felt an improvement after only one treatment. This sounded good to me.
You’ll be amazed to hear… it was everything it said it was, and more! After my treatment, which was quick (less than 10 minutes) and painless… I walked out of the practitioner rooms with no discomfort whatsoever. Every other time I’ve had laser, I’ve related it to pain. Definitely not in this case; it was absolutely painless.
It’s a topic that up until the last few years wasn’t really discussed; and it still remains quite a sensitive subject amongst most women, unless they’re discussing the latest column in the magazines about which celebrity is getting what. It is, however, a problem that affects most women at some stage throughout their lifetime… vaginal atrophy. For those of us affected, including myself, we can now breathe a sigh of relief. There is a solution.
So what is vaginal atrophy, and how do you know if you have it?!
Vaginal atrophy is generally caused by a reduction of oestrogen in your body. Oestrogen is described as “any of a group of steroid hormones which promote the development and maintenance of female characteristics of the body”. Oestrogen can decline for various reasons including:
- after pregnancy and birth
- during breastfeeding
- after removal of ovaries
- immune disease
- some medications can contribute to symptoms
- can be a side effect from treatments for cancer (radiation and/or chemotherapy)
What are the signs of vaginal atrophy?
There can be various signs including but not limited to:
- dryness (lack of vaginal moisture)
- painful or uncomfortable sexual intercourse (can also aggravate light bleeding)
- itching (external and internal irritation)
- burning (related to inflammation)
- frequent urinary tract infections
- vaginal discharge
These symptoms can result in decreased sex drive and energy, discomfort, not to mention embarrassment. Whilst it is estimated that between 50 and 60% of women have this condition in their lifetime, this number is probably a lot higher… it’s just that many of us don’t do anything about it.
Mona Lisa Touch is a non-surgical fractional laser system, not unlike the laser treatments available for facial rejuvenation. It works by a laser beam splitting into a series of really small dots focused onto the inside walls of your vagina. The laser pulses for a split second during which the point of contact heats and removes a pinhole of tissue ultimately stimulating cells to create more hydrated and healthy cells. It encourages the body to repair itself by creating collagen and elastin, improving blood flow and normalising the health and function of the vagina. The difference between Mona Lisa Touch and other lasers is that it has a higher energy at the start of the treatment in order to firstly ablate the surface tissue, and then the pulse tails off at a lower energy to deliver the correct amount of heat that stimulates the rejuvenation. It is the only fractional laser on the market that can do this and makes it safer with less risk of side effects and minimising the disruption to the vaginal wall.
One of the pioneers of the Mona Lisa Touch is a practitioner called Dr Fariba Behnia-Willison, based at the FBW GynaecologyPlus in Ashford, South Australia. Fariba was the first to have the Mona Lisa Touch machine and offer the treatment to ladies in Australia. She has performed over 3000 treatments and is well-known for her expertise with this machine. Fariba still has ladies travelling interstate to have her perform their treatments even though the treatment is now available all over Australia. She also holds training sessions to assist other gynecologists and practitioners master the more intricate details on performing the treatments.
I really think more women need to hear about the Mona Lisa Touch and I am lucky enough to have a forum with which to tell people about it.
For any of you who think, “That’s what I have…” make sure you check out our non-surgical treatment page where we now have MonaLisa Touch.