Vaginal laxity (loosening of vaginal tissue) and urinary incontinence is a common problem for many women. Unfortunately it is not often discussed by healthcare providers or brought up during medical visits. Women can struggle with a decrease in sexual satisfaction due to lack of friction during intercourse, decreased sensitivity and decreased lubrication and urinary symptoms due to loosening of vaginal tissue.
Women sometimes feel embarrassed to bring up concerns associated with vaginal laxity for fear that they will be brushed off or that it will be attributed to “normal” aging. Additionally, conventional medicine does not have many tools to address the underlying causes of decreased sensitivity or urinary symptoms.
At Age Management Center of New England, we know that balancing hormones and revitalizing vaginal tissue can minimize the negative aspects of the aging process. For women, balancing hormones often means revitalizing their sex life, improving vaginal tightness, decreasing incontinence and much more. Below are some of the specific reasons why women experience vaginal laxity as they age, and how we can help:
- Childbirth: Pregnancy and childbirth can bring about huge changes on a woman’s body and hormones regardless of the type of delivery a woman had. Hormones such as estrogen and testosterone decrease during pregnancy and postpartum which can lead to loosening of the vaginal muscles as well as decrease in sexual desire, lubrication and sensitivity. For some women,,vaginal, sexual and urinary function never seem to return to pre pregnancy levels after childbirth.
- Menopause: In menopause, hormone production begins to decline, causing changes in urinary and sexual function for many women. The decline of estrogen and testosterone in particular decrease the muscle plumpness in the vaginal and urinary areas as well as the receptors which are responsible for sexual responsiveness. Lack of these hormones can cause vaginal dryness, which in turn further contributes to vaginal laxity.
- Medical Conditions and Stress: Like with any muscle, overuse can lead to strain. Intense physical activity and high levels of stress can effect the vaginal walls both physically and hormonally. The vaginal walls and pelvic floor muscles are vital for urinary function and sexual satisfaction. Additionally, women who have had pelvic surgeries, such as hysterectomies, can also increase vaginal laxity. Many women who have never boon pregnant or given birth still have urinary symptoms and decreased sexual satisfaction and pelvic pain due to hormonal and muscular conditions.
Where can you go from here? Well, the first step is to understand that concerns around sexual satisfaction and urinary symptoms are valid and deserve to be addressed. At AMC, we take a deep dive into each and every patient’s medical history, current symptoms and bloodwork. We create an individualized plan to addresses the root cause of the problem, not just the symptoms. For vaginal laxity and incontinence, we will typically look at a combination of three treatment options:
- Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy: Natural hormone therapy is more commonly known as HRT (hormone restorative therapy) or BHRT (bio-identical hormone replacement therapy). This includes re balancing the body’s optimal hormone production levels, which may include testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, DHEA, and thyroid hormones to name a few By getting hormones back in balance, we can help your body function as it should, restoring natural vaginal lubrication, increasing sex drive and improving urinary function. Hormones are shown to improve many areas of health in addition to sexual and urinary symptoms.
- Viveve: The Viveve treatment is a non-surgical procedure. Unlike other vaginal rejuvenation treatments, Viveve is the only treatment that uses algorithmically-controlled cooling to distribute energy evenly across vaginal tissue replenishing plumpness, lubrication, sensitivity and better urinary control after just one treatment.
- O-Shot®: We encourage patients consider the addition of an O-Shot in conjunction with Viveve treatment. The O-Shot uses you own PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) to rejuvenate vaginal tissue and enhance sexual response as well as improving mild stress incontinence.
If you are struggling with any of the symptoms mentioned above, we’d love to speak with you! We offer a free screening visit to discuss your individual concerns and determine what the best treatment options would be. Call today to start living your best life possible!