Vaginal laser treatment is a new, innovative and exciting innovation in women’s health. At Clinic 66, we offer the CO2 fractionated laser treatment (Mona Lisa Touch treatment) for the treatment of genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM).
What is GSM (aka vulvovaginal atrophy)?
Genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM) is a term used to describe the signs and symptoms associated reduced estrogen and other hormones which occur in all women’s lives around the time of menopause. This syndrome, also known as vulvovaginal atrophy affects most menopausal women and can cause vaginal dryness, itching, irritation, discharge, painful sex, and frequent urinary tract infections. It can be very disabling and severely impact on a woman’s quality of life. This underlying condition will worsen over time, despite other symptoms of menopause such as hot flushes, gradually improving as a woman passes through menopause.
Historically there has been very little that could be done for this problem, and women often suffer in silence and are too embarrassed to seek treatment for it.
What Treatments are Available for GSM?
GSM, historically, has been treated with hormonal treatment, either administered through a patch, a tablet, or locally within the vagina. Unfortunately, some women are unable to use hormones, do not wish to use hormones, or have found hormones unhelpful. Apart from a moisturiser, this has been the only treatment up until now.
It was therefore very exciting when evidence for the effectiveness and safety of the CO2 fractionated laser for genitourinary syndrome of menopause became available in Australia.
Is Vaginal Laser Treatment Safe?
There is overwhelming evidence for the safety and efficacy of laser in skin treatments which has accrued over many years. The evidence for a CO2 fractionated laser treatment in the vagina and vulva area is very promising, and so far, it appears there are no adverse outcomes associated with the CO2 fractionated laser.
At Clinic 66, we have been very pleased with the outcomes that our patients have gained as a result of the Mona Lisa Touch CO2 fractionated laser treatment. However, there are other laser therapies currently on the market which are not CO2 fractionated lasers. An example is the Erbium YAG laser. These other ablative / heat-based laser treatments are commonly marketed for tightening of the vaginal tissues. Unfortunately, there is little evidence to support the efficacy of the ablative lasers in vaginal treatments, and its safety profile has not yet been confirmed.
Is it Covered by Medicare or by Private Health Insurance?
Unfortunately not. It is likely in years to come that there will be an item number for CO2 fractionated laser treatment for the treatment of genitourinary syndrome of menopause, but at the moment, it is an out-of-pocket expense borne by the client.
Most women are delighted that this treatment is available, and find it difficult to put a price on getting their quality of life back, having had the treatment, but are more than happy to pay when they see the excellent results that they get.
Do I need a referral?
No. Please ring up and make an appointment for a Mona Lisa Touch treatment consultation today to see whether you are suitable for this treatment modality.
How does it work?
The treatment has minimal discomfort and requires a probe to be inserted in the vagina as an awake procedure. By the delivery of precise amounts of energy into the layers of the vaginal mucosa, the Mona Lisa Touch treatment can stimulate the production of fibroblasts and collagen production which helps restart the production of vaginal secretions, thus assisting the problems relating to a dry vagina.
The resulting decrease in the ph level of the vagina back to pre-menopausal acidity levels restores the glycogen levels in the epithelial cells which favour the colonisation of vaginal lactobacilli (the good bacteria). This helps reduce the risk of bacterial vaginosis and other unhelpful imbalances of vaginal bacteria.
The vaginal probe is highly regulated, and very specific doses of energy are delivered according to the patient’s symptoms and health.
When can I come in?
You will be offered the next available appointment for the Mona Lisa Touch treatment which will be within 4 days of you making a phone enquiry. We encourage you to come in and talk to any of our consulting doctors about menopause, as we are specialised GPs in women’s health, and will definitely be able to assist you with troublesome symptoms of menopause.
Make an appointment today with any of our consulting doctors to discuss menopause and the best way of managing it, tailored to you.