Laser Treatments 

WHRIA offers two new types of laser treatments. The Mona Lisa Touch Laser for painful conditions such as vaginal skin thinning (atrophy) and localised vulval pain, and the Fotona Erbium Laser for non-invasive, non-hormonal treatment for minor vaginal relaxation, prolapse of the vaginal wall and urinary incontinence.

Mona Lisa Touch Laser For Vaginal Thinning & Localised Vulval Pain 

WHRIA was the first clinic to offer this service in Sydney. The Mona Lisa Touch Laser is a fractional CO2 laser that stimulates tissue regeneration without the need for daily creams or hormones.

What causes vaginal thinning?

Vaginal thinning is caused by an under-supply of oestrogen, and results in reduced hydration and thickness of the protective mucosa (vaginal skin). This leads to a loss of natural lubrication and changes in the natural pH balance of the area.
In younger women, vaginal thinning can be associated with eating disorders, low body weight, post-cancer treatment, early menopause or high level athletic training. As you get older, vaginal thinning is a normal ageing process after menopause but can be worse in some women who may also have had treatment for cancer. It requires an appropriate daily skin care regime.
Sometimes, prolonged use of the Pill, injected or rod-type hormonal contraceptives may also lead to an under supply of oestrogen.

What are the symptoms of vaginal thinning?

  • Vaginal itching and burning
  • Dryness and loss of lubrication
  • Incontinence and urinary urgency
  • Prolapse and laxity
  • Vaginal and vulval pain
  • Painful sexual intercourse

Symptoms can worsen in up to 50% of women after menopause. Some women may also be taking medication, for other health conditions, which cause more severe vaginal atrophy symptoms. Vaginal symptoms can have a negative effect on your general well-being, body image and self-esteem, your quality of life, and in many cases place stress on intimate relationships.

To enquire about your eligibility for laser treatment

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How does the Mona Lisa Touch laser work?

For many years fractional CO2 laser treatment has been effective in dermatology, showing significant regeneration of tissues including new collagen and elastic fibre production and neovascularization (regenerated blood flow). Using specific treatment protocols to target the mucosa and epithelium of the vagina, the fractional laser activates stem cell production in the mesenchymal layer to promote epithelial maturation. The tissue can be regenerated and restored to a pre menopausal state.

What other treatments are available for vaginal atrophy?

Until recently the best treatment for vaginal atrophy required an ongoing application of oestrogen creams directly into the vagina. Many women, such as women with breast cancer are not able to use these hormone replacement products. Other women may be uncomfortable with the use of hormone replacement therapy or are irregular with their application. 

What is the advantage of Mona Lisa Touch laser treatment?

Mona Lisa laser is an effective treatment to stimulate the natural regeneration of the vaginal tissue. It is a simple procedure with minimal discomfort, suitable for almost all women and has virtually no down time from normal activities. 

How many treatments will I need?

Many women experience an improvement after 1 treatment. However, a course of 3 treatments, six weeks apart is recommended. As time passes, top-up treatments may be useful at approximately 6-12 monthly intervals.

How can I make an appointment?

Call WHRIA on 1300 722 206.  For a short screening appointment to determine if you are eligible, please ask for a screening appointment with Sherin Jarvis, Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist. Alternatively if you would like to see our gynaecologists for laser, Dr Yasmin Tan, Prof Thierry Vancaillie or Dr Jason Chow, you will need a valid referral to be eligible for any applicable Medicare rebates. 

 

Erbium Laser Treatments for Mild Prolapse and Incontinence

The Erbium (or Er:Yag) laser is a non-invasive and non-hormonal treatment for minor vaginal relaxation, prolapse of the vaginal wall (s) and urinary incontinence. Vaginal relaxation is where the walls of the vagina have widened.

What causes vaginal relaxation?

Relaxation of the vaginal tissues with subsequent prolapse of the vaginal walls and bladder or rectum can be a natural aging phenomenon. Pregnancy and vaginal delivery are major contributing factors.
Other factors that may influence the occurrence of relaxation are obesity and lack of appropriate muscular exercises.
It seems logical that women who maintain a healthy life style minimize their risk to develop vaginal prolapse, but our genetic make-up is sometimes such that relaxation is unavoidable.

What are the symptoms of vaginal relaxation?

  • Incontinence: relaxation of the front wall of the vagina can sometimes lead to incontinence with coughing, sneezing, running, jumping and other physical activities. When the base of the bladder is no longer well supported, a feeling of urgency may develop
  • Incomplete bowel evacuation: the back wall of the vagina may start bulging during a bowel motion and make it more difficult to evacuate the stool completely
  • Painful or unsatisfying sex: sex may be perceived as less satisfying when the vaginal opening has widened as a result of vaginal birth
  • Pelvic pain: Some women also perceive the laxity of the vaginal walls as a vague sense of discomfort which increases as the day goes on, especially when they have been on their feet for a long time.

How does the Erbium laser work?

The Erbium laser beam is absorbed into the superficial layers of the vaginal skin and causes an increase in temperature. Heat can sometimes be felt during the treatment, even when using topical anaesthetic.
The energy diffuses further into the tissues and affects the collagen of the soft tissue below the skin. This results in a tightening of the vaginal skin. This effect is ‘additive’, which means that subsequent treatments will result in additional increments of tightening.

To enquire about your eligibility for laser treatment

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What other treatments are available for vaginal relaxation?

The mainstay of treatment for vaginal relaxation is physiotherapy for proper control of the muscles supporting the vaginal canal. When there is major disruption of the soft tissues below the skin, surgery may be required to repair the area. In some cases foreign material (mesh) is inserted to strengthen the weakened soft tissues.
The use of topical oestrogen, especially for urinary urgency, is common although not proven to be greatly effective.

How can I make an appointment?

Call WHRIA on 1300 722 206.  For a short screening appointment to determine if you are eligible for Erbium laser, please ask for a laser screening appointment with Sherin Jarvis, Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist. Alternatively if you would like to see one of our gynaecologists for laser, Dr Yasmin Tan, Prof Thierry Vancaillie or Dr Jason Chow, you will need a valid referral to be eligible for any applicable Medicare rebates.

Helpful resources 

If you’d like more information about our laser services you can download these health information fact sheets and more from our Health Information section of this website.

  • Painful sex
  • PCOS
  • Vulvodynia
  • Menopause after breast cancer
  • Incontinence
  • Managing hot flushes
  • Prolapse
  • Pelvic floor care
  • Vulvo-vaginal care
  • Erbium Laser for vaginal relaxation

If you have a specific enquiry about laser treatments

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