Who knew the effects of aging would result in having to get vaginal rejuvenation? As we age, there are more body parts that lose elasticity and become drier than just the face and neck. This whole time I just thought we had to worry about our upper parts and not the lower. The world of aging just gets better and better (said with a sigh).
What’s Really Going On Down There?
As it turns out, our vagina ages, too. It loses elasticity, thickness and moisture just like our facial cheeks and lips. During menopause, our estrogen hormonesdrop significantly and cause the labia to thin along with the vaginal wall making sexual activity difficult and painful for some. Even having plenty of lubrication doesn’t seem to solve the issue because the skin itself has completely changed. Thankfully, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Today, we have various methods which will increase the skin’s thickness around the labia, encourage elasticity and moisture.
Vaginal Rejuvenation Solutions
Options for vaginal rejuvenation include topical treatment, surgical procedures, and non-surgical procedures. Topical treatments are typically hormone-based. Local estradiol therapy is a popular option for women who lack other post-menopausal symptoms. The inner vagina is rich in receptors that respond positively to estrogen. A low-dose of estradiol can show positive results in dryness, pH, and other symptoms in as little as 3 weeks.
It is well known that testosterone plays a role in female libido and arousal. However, you may be surprised to learn that testosterone can also help with vaginal rejuvenation. This option is especially important for women who suffer from breast cancer and those who are sensitive to estrogen.
In addition to estradiol and testosterone, oxytocin is another hormone that can help with vaginal atrophy. Oxytocin is a peptide hormone that is best known for its role in reproduction, childbirth, and social bonding. This hormone has also been found to increase rates of wound healing, improve mucosal blood flow, and secrete several growth factors. A 2018 randomized, controlled study provides evidence for oxytocin’s ability to restore vaginal epithelium.
Energy-based and RF Treatments
In addition to hormonal therapies, there are several non-invasive procedures available to help improve vaginal collagen and elasticity. Femilift and Thermiva are two popular options. Femilift is a CO2 laser treatment that uses a controlled beam to heat the inner layers of vaginal tissue. The application of intense heat is said to stimulate the regeneration of elastin and collagen, thereby improving the function of the entire vagina by normalizing blood flow, increasing lubrication, and strengthening vaginal walls. Thermiva works in a similar way to stimulate collagen. However, Thermiva uses radio frequency (RF) technology instead of laser. The procedure takes about 15 to 20 minutes and has a purported 95% success rate.
Topical and Inter-vaginal Treatments
I found quite a bit of information on topical CBD creams and oils for use on the vaginal area. Some are sold with a blend of CBD and THC while others are CBD-only. The recommendation is to use them around the vaginal entrance and surrounding area. These topicals are mostly based in coconut oil, providing lubrication which relaxes the area.
As for intra-vaginal treatments, there is a medication called estradiol (aka, Vagifem and Yuvafem) which replaces the estrogen that is lost during menopause. Your doctor can prescribe a hormone-releasing ring or the most popular is a tube-shaped dispenser applicator. These applicators are similar to a tampon and eject a tablet into the upper part of the vagina. The tablet dissolves, bathing the region in estrogen. The common recommendation is to use the tablet dispenser every day for 2 weeks and then reduce the application to twice a week for as long as you want to be sexually active.
Estradiol also comes in the form of a transdermal patch which you can apply and leave on the skin inside your bikini line. The medication is absorbed through the skin providing you with the same type of results that you’d find with the intervaginal dispenser. The treatments I’m referring to are considered “local” and not “systemic” estrogen. Systemic estrogen therapy is an option, however, it isn’t used as often.
Even though I love the idea of a natural approach like CBD, my personal opinion would be that results may be short-lived. The estradiol medication assists with many issues, such as urinary urgency, assisting with blood flow, lubrication, dryness, elasticity, thickening, pH and several other important functions. It doesn’t seem possible that CBD could provide all of those essentials. However, this shouldn’t stop you from trying it; CBD may provide positive, synergistic benefits when using estradiol and other potent hormones.
Having a healthy active sex life is an important part of life. Some women are shamed by the unexpected changes that arise while aging. Clients share their personal stories with me in the treatment room. It seems like we’re just starting to talk openly about these issues, and it’s essential to understand that what we are experiencing is normal and that we’re not alone.
Stay tuned for my next post on vaginal rejuvenation treatments like the one in this video.
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