Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation
Dr. Aaron Kennedy is the first and only gynecologist in northern BC to offer laser vaginal rejuvenation! We have partnered with Cutera to provide a safe, non-surgical solution for your vaginal health.
Vaginal rejuvenation treatments can help with:
pain and discomfort felt during intercourse
vaginal tone and flexibility.
The treatments are quick and painless with no downtime (intercourse is not recommended for 72 hours after the treatment). Typically, a series of 3 treatments is recommended.
In addition to the internal vaginal treatments, we offer external treatments that can provide cosmetic improvement to the area.
Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause
Dr. Aaron Kennedy, MD, FRCSC
Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause is a constellation of symptoms arising from a reduced level of estrogen either from natural or unnatural menopause. If left untreated these symptoms can contribute to diminished quality of life and impaired sexual function. Anatomic and physiologic changes in the vagina associated with menopause are directly related to reduced circulating estrogen levels and aging. This is sometimes referred to as atrophic vaginitis but atrophic vaginitis is not an accurate terminology for these symptoms and they are now referred to as the Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause (GMS).
As a woman approaches menopause, she may notice changes to the way her vagina looks, feels, and functions. In addition to the vagina, there are estrogen receptors in the vulva, vestibule, and lower part of the bladder. All these areas are affected by reduced estrogen. Low estrogen is also caused by surgical removal of the ovaries, radiation treatment for cancer, medications and even breastfeeding. About half of menopausal women report atrophy related symptoms with a significant effect on their quality of life. There is nothing abnormal about this process, but women should not have to suffer with unwanted symptoms.
Decreasing estrogen levels can cause more than just hot flashes. Physiologic changes result in reduced vaginal blood flow, diminished lubrication, decreased flexibility and elasticity of the vaginal vault, and increased vaginal pH. Reduced collagen and thinning of the epithelium can alter the appearance and function of smooth muscles surrounding the vagina. All of this can lead to vaginal dryness, burning, itching, increased UTIs, pain with urination and urinary urgency and or frequency.
As the labia minora thin and regress, and the introitus (entrance to the vagina) retracts and loses elasticity, the entrance to the vulva and vagina can become tighter and less elastic. Decreases in vaginal tissue strength and increased friability may predispose to vaginal damage with intercourse, leading to vaginal pain, burning, fissuring, irritation, and bleeding after sex. This is referred to as dyspareunia (painful sex).
All of these changes are a natural part of menopause, but many women live with these symptoms in silence. However, there is no need for women to accept these symptoms as normal if they are interfering with their vaginal or sexual wellbeing.
Up to now estrogen creams, vaginal lubricants and surgery have been the main mode of treatment, but for some women these treatments do not always work. These women include, cancer survivors who can not take hormones, women with persistent symptoms, women who wish to avoid hormones and those who do not wish for invasive surgeries.