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Dr. Catherine Vanderloos is a board-certified OB/GYN physician who specializes in the effects of menopause and the use of various treatments to reverse its symptoms. Dr. Vanderloos offers techniques, such as the MonaLisa Touch® laser to her patients living in the Shreveport, Louisiana area.
What are the Benefits of MonaLisa Touch® ?
The MonaLisa Touch® laser is a technique used to reverse the effects of menopause on the vaginal tissues. During menopause, the vaginal walls lose their elasticity. As the amount of moisture in the area decreases, the tissues begin to stiffen making vaginal intercourse extremely painful. The procedure is non-invasive and requires very little recovery time. The MonaLisa Touch® laser restores the tissues allowing a woman to be more comfortable during sexual intercourse. Laser procedures are performed in Dr. Vanderloos’ office with relatively few side effects. Women will see noticeable improvement a few months after the first procedure.
What Happens During a MonaLisa Touch® Procedure?
During a MonaLisa Touch® procedure, a wand with a small laser device attached to it is inserted into the vagina. The wand pivots and is able to turn 360 degrees so that all areas of the vagina are effectively reached. The laser penetrates deeply into the tissues, stimulating the production of collagen. Collagen is what adds tone and texture to the tissues. It’s what supports the structure adding volume and allowing the vagina to regain its natural elasticity. The procedure improves the integrity of the vaginal walls allowing them to function as they did prior to menopause causing them to change. The benefits of a laser procedure are long-lasting and can dramatically improve a woman’s quality of life.
What Is Vaginal Atrophy?
Vaginal atrophy is a condition that affects millions of women with these symptoms:
- Genital itching
- Bleeding after intercourse
- Discomfort during intercourse
- Urgency with urination
- Urinary incontinence
- Vaginal burning, discharge and/or dryness
- Burning with urination
- More urinary tract infections
- Decreased vaginal lubrication
- Tightening and shortening of the vaginal canal
These symptoms arise when you experience a drop in estrogen levels, which makes vaginal tissue more fragile, drier, thinner and less elastic. Although vaginal atrophy is often associated with menopause therapy, non-menopausal people may also experience this condition, including breast cancer survivors. People who are at high risk of cancer may opt to have their ovaries removed as a preventative measure, or individuals may have them removed to address reproductive health issues. Because ovaries are responsible for producing estrogen, this can leave even young people facing vaginal atrophy.
Why Choose the MonaLisa Touch?
In the past, physicians have recommended the use of creams and ointments to treat vaginal pain and dryness. However, this only addresses the symptoms, not the underlying issues.
Hormones have also been prescribed to ease the intensity of vaginal atrophy, but this route isn’t for everyone. Estrogen taken orally can produce side effects:
- Weight changes
- Changes to libido
- Vaginal discharge
- Breast tenderness or pain
- Vaginal irritation, burning, swelling, itching and/or redness
- Darkened facial skin
- Cramping, tingling or burning in the legs and arms
- Hair loss
- Unusual hair growth
With all the trouble prescription hormones can cause, it’s no wonder that patients may seek other avenues to relieve their discomfort.
The MonaLisa Touch, on the other hand, offers only minor side effects, if any are experienced at all: slight itching, swelling, redness or burning of the vagina that lasts only a short time after the procedure. The procedure itself is essentially painless, with just a numbing cream applied to the outer vaginal areas and vulva, and requires only a few minutes to complete.
In addition, oral hormones must be taken daily and consistently to relieve symptoms. Treatment with the MonaLisa Touch requires just three sessions over a three- to six-month period, followed by a “touch-up” treatment every 12 months. More convenient and less prone to side effects, choosing the MonaLisa Touch just makes sense.
What Is the Science Behind the MonaLisa Touch?
The MonaLisa Touch is laser therapy, quite similar to those used on the face for skin rejuvenation. This laser, which some patients feel as a slight vibration while others feel nothing at all, creates micro-abrasions in the vaginal tissue. Because lasers have the ability to penetrate tissue, this effect is present on both the surface and deeper down. These tiny cuts caused by the laser initiate the body’s healing response, which encourages vaginal restoration through the increased blood supply and new cell growth.
Prompting the body to heal itself has other benefits when it comes to the vaginal canal, such as improved pH balance. This, in turn, goes even further to reduce vaginal atrophy symptoms.
How Many Treatments are Needed?
For a MonaLisa Touch® procedure to be truly effective, Dr. Vanderloos recommends 3 treatments, at 6-week intervals. Big changes are noted within the first week after treatment, but for the most effect and the longest effect, all three treatments are important. Final results can last anywhere from 10 months to a year or longer. A once yearly one-time treatment is important for maintenance. Call for a consult today.
How Can You Change Your Life Today?
Dr. Catherine Vanderloos is proud to help individuals find relief with the MonaLisa Touch. To learn more or schedule an appointment, contact us at 318-865-4333 or visit us online.