LASER SEX LIFE? Pain­less new treat­ments for your most in­ti­mate body part could re­boot life be­tween the sheets. Katie Becker in­ves­ti­gates.

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - The Beauty -

Last May, Rachel*, 33, had her first ap­point­ment at VSpot, a new medi-spa among the dis­creet der­ma­tol­ogy and plas­tic surgery clin­ics of New York’s Up­per East Side. But in­stead of a re­freshed vis­age, VSpot prom­ises a younger, health­ier, more ef­fort­lessly or­gasm-ing vagina.

“I have two kids and wanted ev­ery­thing back to what it was like pre-ba­bies,” says Rachel. “The dif­fer­ence af­ter the treat­ment was a lot eas­ier with­out hav­ing to do as much, and both my hus­band and I were very happy.”

Within the past year and a half, no fewer than four new non­in­va­sive treat­ments have launched in the US, claim­ing to re­vi­talise one’s vagina us­ing en­er­gies like ra­dio fre­quency (Ther­miVa), er­bium:YAG (In­ti­maLase), or frac­tional CO2 (FemiLift, Mon­aLisa Touch) to stim­u­late col­la­gen pro­duc­tion and bet­ter blood flow. After­ward, women re­port that they are wet­ter, tighter, and more “elas­tic”. “The in­creased col­la­gen leads to more fric­tion dur­ing in­ter­course,” says Carolyn DeLucia, a gy­nae­col­o­gist at VSpot where they use the FemiLift. “With more blood ves­sels in the area, there is in­creased sen­si­tiv­ity that height­ens the in­ten­sity of or­gasms.”

The ben­e­fits usu­ally emerge within hours and con­tinue to im­prove in the fol­low­ing weeks, and the treat­ments are re­port­edly pain-free. While side ef­fects can in­clude spot­ting and ten­der­ness, they are rare, and rec­om­mended down­time is min­i­mal; at most, five days of ab­sti­nence from sex and tam­pons, but in many cases, you can have sex that same day.

Here’s how it works: With your feet up in stir­rups, the doc­tor in­serts a probe that sweeps 360 de­grees of the vagi­nal canal with pulses of en­ergy, ex­plains Eric Sokol, an as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor of ob­stet­rics and gy­nae­col­ogy at Stan­ford Univer­sity Med­i­cal Cen­ter, cur­rently con­duct­ing stud­ies with the Mon­aLisa Touch. The skin re­sponds by kick­ing off a flood of se­cre­tion and cir­cu­la­tion, and ac­ti­vat­ing col­la­gen-cre­at­ing cells that thicken and re­de­velop the vagi­nal walls. Even­tu­ally, even the pH and nat­u­ral bac­te­ria lev­els can start to im­prove, adds Mickey Karram, di­rec­tor of urog­y­nae­col­ogy at the Christ Hos­pi­tal in Cincin­nati, who also uses the Mon­aLisa Touch. So far, re­sults ap­pear to last for at least a year be­fore a main­te­nance visit is needed.

So, who is a can­di­date? Any­one who suf­fers from lax­ity due to age­ing, child­birth, and/or “vagi­nal at­ro­phy”, a term for se­vere dryness and stiff­ness caused by a drop in oe­stro­gen. Mon­aLisa Touch is of­ten rec­om­mended for at­rophic symp­toms, while Ther­miVa is emerg­ing as a favourite for tight­en­ing. Of course, as with all laser pro­ce­dures, there are pos­si­ble com­pli­ca­tions such as in­fec­tion if down­time rules aren’t fol­lowed. “I would avoid this if you aren’t done hav­ing chil­dren,” says Ch­eryl Igle­sia, a pro­fes­sor of ob­stet­rics, gy­nae­col­ogy, and urol­ogy at Ge­orge­town Univer­sity School of Medicine. “You don’t want to risk scar­ring some­thing like your cervix.” Karram’s con­cern is about who per­forms the pro­ce­dure: “Be wary of der­ma­tol­o­gists and plas­tic sur­geons of­fer­ing th­ese treat­ments. The fe­male sex­ual re­sponse is very com­plex.”

What re­mains hard to dis­miss are the pow­er­ful anec­dotes from women who have taken the plunge. Take Me­lanie*, 57, a mother of three adult sons (all de­liv­ered vagi­nally) who strug­gled with a wors­en­ing “loose­ness” and menopause-re­lated dryness af­ter the birth of her youngest 30 years ago. Then, last spring, Me­lanie’s urog­y­nae­col­o­gist sug­gested Ther­miVa. “It felt like I was in my 20s,” she says af­ter three treat­ment ses­sions. “I re­gained sen­sa­tions down there that I for­got I ever had.” Com­pa­nies are lis­ten­ing: At least two more in­ter­vagi­nal treat­ments are in the pipe­line for the US mar­ket, and VSpot has its eye on ex­pand­ing the busi­ness. In Malaysia, vagi­nal re­ju­ve­na­tion, of­fered at clin­ics such as The M·A·C· Clinic and the Bev­erly Wil­shire Med­i­cal Cen­tre, is in de­mand. Sit tight for more in­no­va­tions ... *Names have been changed.

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