Most women are taught that Kegel exercises are the key to keeping the vagina tight through the years after giving birth. Unfortunately, few people discuss the impact on quality of life that that many women experience from vaginal laxity. In fact, there is no definitive evidence that Kegel are effect give in improving strength and tone to vaginal muscles that have been stretched after delivery. Because vaginal laxity is rarely discussed, it is often unrecognized and underreported.
What is vaginal laxity?
Vaginal laxity often results from trauma to the vaginal muscles, including stretching during pregnancy and vaginal childbirth. However, normal aging, menopause, genetics, and illness can affect the condition of the vaginal muscles as well. Once the vaginal muscles begin to lose their tautness, women may start to experience a loss of sensation during intercourse resulting in a significant decrease in sexual satisfaction.
Vaginal Laxity Treatment Options
Pelvic floor training and Kegel exercises are often recommended for tightening the vaginal muscles, but they are generally ineffective in tightening the vaginal walls. So what are a woman’s options for successfully improving vaginal laxity?
- Vaginoplasty: A vaginoplasty is a surgical procedure designed to tighten the vaginal muscles. With a high patient satisfaction rate, the vaginoplasty is an excellent option, especially for those women who are finished having children.
- Radiofrequency Treatment: Radiofrequency (RF) treatment can improve the body’s production of collagen, increasing tightness in the vaginal muscles, without surgery. Using a unique applicator, gentle RF heat warms the vaginal walls. Geneveve, by Viveve, incorporates surface cooling to protect the superficial layer so that the heat can penetrate into the vaginal muscle layer. Examples of RF treatments includeGeneveve, a single treatment modality that can be repeated at a year and ThermiVa, a three-treatment modality that can be repeated at six months. Results from RF treatments are temporary, but patients can be retreated as needed. Non-surgical treatments are not a replacement for surgery..
- Laser Treatments: Tools such as the FemTouch, MonaLisa Touch, diVa, and FemiLift are unique lasers designed specifically for female genital rejuvenation. Similar to RF, laser treatments heat the vaginal wall, encouraging collagen production, strengthening and tightening. While the results from laser treatments are ineffective at tightening widely separated muscles and are not as dramatic nor as long-lasting as a vaginoplasty, many women can find ideal improvement, repeating the procedure in the future, as needed.
Vaginal Laxity and the Decrease in Vaginal Lubrication
As women get older, hormonal changes, cancer treatment, and the normal aging process can leave the vagina dry, making intercourse painful. Both RF and laser vaginal treatments can result in an greater vaginal lubrication. Better lubrication, along with tighter vaginal muscles, can mean a significant increase in both comfort and sensation during sexual activity, resulting in a more pleasurable experience. If you are struggling with vaginal laxity, feel free to find out more from Plastic Surgery Associates. Our patient coordinator will be happy to answer your questions, walk you through the treatment options, and assist in setting up a consultation appointment with Dr. Furnas.