Mature lady

Post-menopause is something we tend to consider lightly. Whether we talk about mood swings, hot flashes and weight gain, we think of menopause symptoms as humorous and normal to ageing. But when it comes to vaginal dryness and pain, we tend to turn a blind eye – the sort of attitude that keeps up from getting the care we need.

Described as a silent epidemic, vaginal atrophy manifests itself as the thinning, drying and inflammation of vaginal walls, as our bodies lose oestrogen. While it is a normal symptom of old age, it is far from untreatable. Apart from exercising becoming uncomfortable, painful urination and difficulty in wearing tight clothes, vaginal atrophy severely impedes on a woman’s sex life.

As women start to feel more uncomfortable during sexual activities, it begins to take a toll on their self-esteem and may affect their relationship.

Expert gynaecologist at Specialist Clinics of Australia, Dr Abirami Thevakumar, treats a number of postmenopausal conditions in patients. Her experience has introduced her to a number of treatments, as she followed science breakthroughs through time: “A classic remedy for vaginal atrophy is Hormone Replacement Therapy.” (HRT)

Today, topical HRT is not as widely recommended because of the inconsistent success rate. “It is not suitable for some patients, for example those with a personal history of breast cancer or uterine cancer”, Dr Thevakumar states.

Vaginal atrophy – a condition we talk about in hushed tones

Dr Thevakumar believes vaginal dryness and pain is one of the most difficult conditions to discuss. “It is very difficult for practitioners to initiate the conversation about vaginal atrophy with patients, since there is so much taboo and embarrassment surrounding female sexuality.”

As the vagina loses its natural lubricant and the walls begin to lose elasticity, sexual activities become non-stimulating, uncomfortable and in worst cases, painful.

This is why Dr Thevakumar feels patients need to be more aware of the condition and its symptoms, in order for them to voluntarily bring these up while visiting their gynaecologist. “With education, comes peace of mind – I advise all my patients to confide in me, which might be easier since I can give understanding and empathy to their emotions and frustrations.”

Another main factor influencing the silence surrounding the condition is the lack of trust in treatments. “As medical professionals, it is our duty to perform thorough examinations and provide treatments we know are going to treat and add value to our patients. Vaginal atrophy has been one of the most difficult medical conditions to treat due to lack of consistent and effective treatment”, Dr Thevakumar said.

Affecting more than just postmenopausal women

Vaginal atrophy affects all women who undergo treatments or body changes that result in the lowering of the oestrogen levels. As such, women who are currently undergoing a cancer treatment or breastfeeding mothers can also be prone to suffering from vaginal atrophy.

GynaeLase – a safe and effective treatment for vaginal atrophy

Available exclusively at Specialist Clinics of Australia, GynaeLase (also known as MonaLisa Touch) is a highly effective a Fractional CO2 laser treatment that has proven to treat completely vaginal atrophy, not just the symptoms.

The treatment is suitable for women of all ages experiencing symptoms related to vaginal atrophy, including vaginal dryness or itching, urinary urgency and incontinence, burning sensations and irritations of the vagina, fissuring of the vaginal opening, vaginal laxity, pain during intercourse.

How is GynaeLase treatment different from Hormone Replacement Therapy?

Dr Thevakumar has observed over the years that HRT is not suitable for every woman. “Three out of five women who have suffered from breast cancer develop vaginal atrophy in their lifetime. Had any of these women wished to treat their symptoms with HRT, they wouldn’t have been able to. This is why we are so grateful for having the GynaeLase treatment, as it involves little risk and almost anyone can use it,” she explains.

How does it work?

GynaeLase is a minimally invasive laser therapy, with each treatment only taking a few minutes. As it requires no anaesthesia, patients can do the treatment and immediately walk out.

Dr Thevakumar explains the procedure: “A probe is inserted into the vagina and then slowly withdrawn. As it is withdrawn, the medical specialist stops every few millimeters and the fractional laser energy is delivered to the vaginal tissue”.

The procedure is pain-free and most patients only experience a small vibration. Although there is no need for recovery time, it is advised that sexual activity should be put on hold for three days post-treatment.

“Our patients speak very highly of the GynaeLase treatment, as the risks are very low and the results can be appreciated after the first treatment”, Dr Thevakumar advises. “Typically, all it takes is three treatments a few weeks apart, each year, to maintain the effects.”

If you are experiencing a discomfort in the vaginal area which is affecting your sex life, do not hesitate to call for help. Whether your condition is suitable for the GynaeLase procedure or not, it is advisable to undertake a gynaecological examination to determine the right course of action. Once the cause of your discomfort is established, all that’s left is to determine the most suitable treatment for you.

2 thoughts on “Bringing Sexy Back After Menopause”

  1. JB says:

    Is this Gynaelase treatment available on the Gold Coast Qld .

    1. MJG says:

      Hi is there a Drs surgery that uses these techniques on the Gold Coast
      Regards jacky

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