Many women experience urinary incontinence (UI). Some start leaking urine with cough, exercise, sneezing, sex or any physical exertion (stress incontinence}. Others will have an extreme involuntary urge to urinate followed by leakage of urine (urge incontinence}.
Vaginal relaxation syndrome VRS or vaginal prolapse is another common condition where there is a weakness of vaginal wall support. Patients complain of being lax resulting in lack of sexual satisfaction. Both conditions, prolapse and incontinence, are believed to start after childbirth ( overstretching ) and worsen with age and menopause (lack of estrogen) .
Both conditions can have an extreme social and emotional impact on women from avoiding enjoyable activities, continuous fear of public embarrassment to more intimate implications like lack of sexual satisfaction and the consequences on relationships.
Our team have treated women in their late 30’s right through to women in their 70’s and have witnessed the impact and burden of both SI and VRS on their physical, emotional and psychological well being and their general quality of life. However, the most common age group is mid 40s to mid 50s.
Unfortunately, women suffer in silence and either accept these symptoms as part of having natural birth or ageing but it is surprising how common these symptoms are.
Both conditions are also commonly found in breast- feeding women, which could potentially have a very negative impact psychologically as well as on their relationships during this very critical post natal time.
In the past treatments were limited to conservative options like physiotherapy, topical estrogen replacement therapy and more invasive surgical options like bladder lift and vaginal wall repair. Now we have effective non-invasive laser therapy which is based on laser thermal effect on the vaginal mucosa stimulating collagen remodelling and synthesis of new collagen fibres . The final result is a tighter vagina and perivaginal tissue.
Our Fotona laser is a unique non invasive Erbium YAG laser. Clinical studies show very promising results in treating vaginal relaxation with noticeable improvement in sexual gratification and vaginal tightness (IntimaLase). It also shows excellent results in both mild to moderate stress urinary incontinence (IncontiLase). Either procedure is also helpful with some of the symptoms of menopause (vaginal dryness, itching, painful intercourse). Both procedures are easy to perform, virtually painless, with no bleeding, no sutures, no ablation, no need for pain killers and a very quick recovery.
This procedure is suitable for patients who prefer a non invasive, non hormonal based option. Women going through peri-menopause and post-menopause have enough physical and emotional challenges from mood swings to hot flushes. Improving their sexual function and alleviating urinary incontinence and other menopausal symptoms will have a significant positive impact on their self-esteem, emotional well -being, relationship and social interactions.
2-3 treatments are usually recommended approximately 4 weeks apart.