Energy-Based Treatments and Vaginal Rejuvenation

Overview

What are energy-based treatments?

Energy-based treatments are nonsurgical procedures that use heat. The treatments are done with a device that focuses the energy and heats the tissue. Energy-based devices are used for skin treatments, and more recently, for vaginal rejuvenation. When used in the vagina, the goal is to enhance collagen, blood vessels, tightness and lubrication.

What is vaginal rejuvenation?

Vaginal rejuvenation is a broad term that covers several vaginal corrective procedures. These procedures are meant to correct problems that can occur after giving birth or during the aging process. Conditions can include:

Who gets this treatment?

The two main groups of women who get this treatment are:

  • Postmenopausal women
  • Postpartum women

What are the different types of energy-based treatments for vaginal rejuvenation?

There are two types of energy-based treatments for vaginal rejuvenation. Both treatments use heat.

  • Radiofrequency (RF) treatments: Electromagnetic waves are used in RF devices. Similar to the waves used in a microwave – but to a lesser extent – the energy is focused to heat the tissue. Brand names of RF devices include Geneveve by Viveve and ThermiVa.
  • CO2 laser treatment: The laser heats up the upper layers of the tissue, causing the tissue in the lower layers to make more collagen. This makes the skin firmer and tighter. Brand names of laser devices include MonaLisa Touch®, FemTouch™ and FemiLift.

What are other treatments for vaginal rejuvenation?

Other treatment options for vaginal rejuvenation can include:

  • Kegel and pelvic floor exercises: These exercises are meant to strengthen the muscles in and around the vagina.
  • Vaginoplasty: This surgical procedure tightens the vagina.

Procedure Details

What does an energy-based treatment for vaginal rejuvenation involve?

Both types of treatment use heat. The device uses the energy to heat up the top layers of the tissue. When the tissue is heated, the underlying layers of tissue create extra collagen to help heal the area. By damaging the top layers of tissue, the lower layers make new and firmer tissue.

Where is an energy-based treatment done?

Energy-based treatments can be done in your doctor’s office. Little, if any, anesthetic is used during the procedure. Patients can typically continue with their day without needing recovery time.

What does the energy-based treatment feel like?

There is typically little irritation during the treatment. The area being treated may feel warm during the procedure. A topical anesthetic may be used if there is discomfort.

Risks / Benefits

Are there any complications associated with energy-based treatments for vaginal rejuvenation?

There is risk of bleeding or infection, but the risk is low. In rare circumstances vaginal or vulvar scarring may result from energy-based treatments.

Recovery and Outlook

How long should I wait to have sex after an energy-based treatment for vaginal rejuvenation?

A patient should wait two to three days to have sex after an energy-based treatment. Obviously, if there are signs of vaginal or bladder infection or significant bright red bleeding, the patient should undergo evaluation.

Is this treatment permanent?

No. Energy-based treatments for vaginal rejuvenation are not permanent. For the best results, the treatments will need to be done over several sessions at a time.

Additional Details

Does my insurance cover vaginal rejuvenation?

Most insurance plans do not cover vaginal rejuvenation. However, some insurances will pay for this therapy. Contact your insurance provider for questions regarding coverage.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/13/2018.

References

  • Karcher C MD, Sadick N MD. . International Journal of Women’s Dermatology. 2016 Sept;2(3):85-88. Accessed 4/17/2018. Vaginal rejuvenation using energy-based devices (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5418869/)
  • American Society of Plastic Surgeons. . Accessed 4/17/2018.Nonsurgical Vaginal Rejuvenation: Minimally Invasive Options (https://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/nonsurgical-vaginal-rejuvenation/vaginal-laxity)

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