How Mona Lisa Touch Can Help With Painful Sex

Women are often warned to expect vaginal dryness, burning, and other discomfort after menopause that can lead to pain during sexual intercourse. You may not realize, however, that childbirth, premenopausal changes, cancer therapies, and other conditions can also trigger changes in your vaginal tissue that may make sexual encounters painful and difficult to endure.

If you’re experiencing painful sex because of vaginal changes, the healthcare professionals at Southeast Urogyn have excellent news – MonaLisa Touch® can help relieve your discomfort and restore your sexual pleasure. Our talented physicians are dedicated to helping you live the best life possible, and that includes experiencing all the benefits of a healthy sex life.

Vaginal changes that cause painful sex

Doctors often describe the vaginal changes associated with painful sexual intercourse as atrophic vaginitis or vaginal atrophy.

Typically, these changes are due to a decline in the cellular health of your vaginal mucosa that’s caused by decreased estrogen levels. Atrophic vaginitis is most frequently linked to menopause and/or the premenopausal phase which generally starts in your 40s.    

Symptoms may include itching, dryness, inflammation, and irritation of the tissue lining the vaginal walls. You might also notice laxity and irritation in the vulvar areas (outer female genitalia).

Decreased vaginal lubrication during sex can worsen already inflamed and irritated tissues. This often exacerbates the discomfort and sometimes causes moderate to severe pain during sexual intercourse. Vaginal tissue also thins significantly as estrogen levels drop and may bleed easily, especially during sex.

Along with painful intercourse, atrophic vaginitis can cause urinary symptoms such as stress incontinence and increased frequency of urinary tract infections. Because of this, doctors sometimes refer to this condition as “genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM)."

Again, however, it’s important to note that these vaginal changes can occur long before you enter menopause.

How MonaLisa Touch works

MonaLisa Touch is a medical laser system that delivers gentle, controlled energy to vaginal tissue via a specially designed vaginal probe. The system uses a fractional CO2 laser that treats vaginal atrophy by revitalizing or rejuvenating cells within the vaginal mucosa.

This is accomplished when the laser creates tiny, painless, microlesions or holes in the tissue lining the vagina. When your body senses these microlesions, what it perceives as repairable damage to the vaginal mucosa, it triggers the process of regeneration by stimulating the production of collagen and other natural substances your body uses to repair and rebuild tissue.

This natural healing process your body undergoes can restore tone, elasticity, and overall health to your vaginal tissue, essentially repairing the underlying vaginal atrophy and the resulting pain with sex.

What the MonaLisa Touch procedure is like

This essentially painless procedure is done in our office and takes about 20 minutes to complete.

We do ask that you refrain from sexual intercourse for three days after the procedure, but you can otherwise expect to return to normal activities immediately.

Some patients report mild soreness for a couple of days afterward, but that’s easily relieved with over-the-counter pain medication such as acetaminophen (Tylenol).

Most women note improvement after one treatment, but we generally recommend three treatments spaced six weeks apart for optimal results.

We know it can be a sensitive or even embarrassing topic to discuss, but if you’re having pain with sex, we encourage you to come in for an evaluation. At Southeast Urogyn, we always take your concerns seriously and listen with respect and compassion.

Call now for an appointment or click the button here on the website to contact us.

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