Painful Sex After Menopause: Learn Why So Many Women are Turning to MonaLisa Touch

The last child has left the house. You and your spouse finally have the time and the privacy to rekindle your sex life. With menopause in your rearview mirror, pregnancy is no longer a concern, so you can go for it with wild abandon. At least, that’s what you hope.

Unfortunately for many women, sex after menopause becomes problematic. It may start as a little uncomfortable, then move on to painful. Before long, you may find yourself dreading the sex that you used to love. It isn’t just age or a lack of desire that’s the problem. It’s a medical condition called vaginal atrophy.

An innovative new laser therapy called MonaLisa Touch® can reverse the effects of vaginal atrophy by tapping into the body’s natural healing process.

Vaginal atrophy explained

Vaginal atrophy affects 40% of women after menopause. It’s a condition that results in thinning tissue and an irritated or inflamed vagina. The area may start by feeling dry during sex, but it soon moves beyond the help of a little extra lubricant.

As the condition progresses, the walls of the vagina lose their strength, and the passage may begin to collapse in on itself. This makes sex painful as penetration goes through a much smaller opening.

In its final stages, the inflammation extends beyond the vagina into the vulva and urethra. Not only does sex become painful, but urinating becomes difficult. You may find blood in your urine and have frequent urinary tract infections.

Cause of vaginal atrophy

Vaginal atrophy has a very simple cause: the loss of estrogen. The rapid loss of estrogen during menopause can start the process in many women. Without estrogen, the vagina no longer stays strong and flexible, as it would need to in order to accommodate the birth of a baby. So the collagen layer beneath the surface of the vagina begins to break down.

Traditional treatments for vaginal atrophy

There are several ways to treat vaginal atrophy. At Singh Family Medical Clinic, we want you to understand your options so you can make the right decision for your situation. Ravinderjit Singh, MD, can answer any questions and help you with this decision.

Vaginal creams

You can use a variety of vaginal creams that contain estrogen. You apply them directly on the affected area to slow the loss of collagen and keep atrophy from progressing any further. But creams work slowly and may not completely reverse the condition.

Hormone replacement therapy

Dr. Singh may also discuss hormone replacement therapy, or HRT. She can give you oral estrogen to replace the hormone your body has stopped making or she can inject a hormone pellet just underneath your skin that slowly releases the hormones.

But these treatments come with their own hazards. Women who have a personal or family history of breast, cervical, uterine, or ovarian cancers should avoid replacement hormones. Many of these types of cancers are estrogen-fed. This means the cancers advance in the presence of estrogen.

In addition, women who have had problems with birth control pills or have a history of blood clots should also avoid HRT. The hormones in HRT are similar to that used in birth control and, like birth control pills, HRT also carries an increased chance of blood clots.

The innovative treatment — MonaLisa Touch

Thankfully, there is a non-chemical, non-hormonal way to treat vaginal atrophy. MonaLisa Touch is a laser treatment that stimulates collagen-producing cells in your vagina. A single five-minute treatment can jumpstart your body’s own healing.

While you relax on the examining table, Dr. Singh inserts a small laser probe into your vagina. The probe bathes the area in short pulses of healing light. You may feel nothing, or you may feel warmth or a slight tingling sensation. After the procedure, Dr. Singh asks you to rest and refrain from sexual intercourse for about 48 hours.

Over the course of the next several weeks, the condition of your vagina should steadily improve. And so should your sex life. Most women need three treatments about six weeks apart to resolve vaginal atrophy completely.

If you aren’t sure whether MonaLisa Touch is right for you, make an appointment to talk to Dr. Singh. She can check your overall health and help you determine which treatments are best for you.

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