Life brings continual changes, and while many are worth celebrating, some can be difficult to deal with.
For post-menopausal women, vaginal dryness due to hormonal change (called vaginal atrophy) is quite common. Studies indicate that it affects between 50 and 60 percent of women within this group.
Yet many women don’t feel comfortable talking about their condition, typically because of embarrassment, the fear of the unknown or the belief that nothing can be done. As a result, they continue suffering in silence.
However, vaginal changes are a normal part of aging. Vaginal atrophy is generally caused by lowered estrogen levels from changes in the ovarian function. This results in vaginal dryness, irritation and often painful sexual intercourse.
The condition can also lead to urogenital changes that include frequent urinary tract infections, increased urinary frequency and incontinence and burning with urination. Clearly, it can impact a woman’s overall quality of life.
But, normal doesn’t mean untreatable.
A solution for many women is MonaLisa Touch. During this procedure, a urologist uses a laser to deliver controlled energy that stimulates the production of collagen. This leads to enhanced moisture levels in the vaginal canal, which can ease the painful symptoms. No anesthesia is necessary, and treatments consist of three in-office sessions lasting approximately five minutes each.
May is National Women’s Health Month, an effort to raise awareness about manageable steps women can take to improve their health and the importance of incorporating simple preventive and positive health behaviors into everyday life. That includes having open, honest discussions with health care professionals about symptoms –including vaginal atrophy — so women can experience relief and regain their quality of life.