Non-invasive Treatment for Vulvovaginal Laxity
Childbirth and the natural aging process cause changes which may affect feminine health. Vaginal delivery causes stretching of the vagina and vulva. The effects of menopause can also cause physical and functional changes, such as excessive dryness and sensitivity.
In an international survey of 563 obstetrician gynecologists, 84% of responders believe vaginal laxity is
underreported by their patients, and 95% felt that vaginal laxity impacts their patients’ sexual functioning.
Temperature Controlled Radiofrequency
ThermiRF® is a temperature controlled RF energy emission device, used for non-surgical dermatological applications (ThermiVa®) in aesthetics and other medical specialties.
ThermiVa treatments use radiofrequency energy to gently heat tissue for the treatment of vulvovaginal laxity with little to no discomfort and no downtime.
The RF disposable electrode is designed to treat internal and external tissues.
- ThermiRF is the only approved radiofrequency device for treating vulvovaginal laxity with temperature control capability making it possible to customize the treatment.
- No need for added cooling device to address patient comfort or intermittent delivery of energy.
How it works
Clinical studies show that the collagen in tissue will shrink when heated to sustained temperatures in excess of 40°C. It has been shown that when the tissue is heated to this level, an inflammatory process is engaged which can stimulate fibroblasts to produce new collagen over a period of time increasing vascularity and blood flow.
Is there evidence to support the use of this technology?
There is a growing body of evidence to strongly support the use of Thermiva for these groups of patients.
A prospective study by Alinsod 2015 using Thermiva showed a marked improvement in vaginal laxity scores, improved sexual satisfaction and a decrease in urinary incontinence. Treatment was easily tolerated and no adverse effects were reported. Clinical Audit (Millheiser 2010) and Feedback testimonials from patients suggest that those women in their 40s and 50s who have mild prolapse of the vaginal walls and those with urinary symptoms such as nocturia, frequency and mild to moderate stress incontinence will see a benefit (Dillon and Dmochowski 2009). Women who are starting to notice vaginal dryness and a change in the architecture of the external vulval area will also see a benefit (Stephen et al 2014). Following childbirth women often notice significant laxity particularly around the vaginal introitus which commonly adversely affects their sexual function. A significant Improved sexual function is reported by the vast majority of those treated.
Is it safe?
Thermiva is certified, licensed and approved internationally by BSI EC for Europe, Health Canada and the FDA in the USA. Thermiva and other similar procedures have been used for this purpose since 2009 and the safety record is excellent, there have been no adverse incidents reported. There are a number of safety mechanisms built in including a temperature monitor, the method of treatment does not allow tissues to overheat and the probe is constantly moved around the zone being treated. Each zone requires about 5 mins of treatment and the whole procedure lasts 30-40 mins. No sedation or analgesia is required.
Where will the procedure be done?
The treatments will be carried out in the Rotunda private clinic on Monday afternoons and evenings.
Who will provide the service?
Prof. Sam Coulter-Smith and Dr Geraldine Connolly are the two clinicians who have set up the service both are experienced clinicians with significant gynaecological experience. All patients referred for the procedure will be seen by one of the two clinicians to make sure they are suitable candidates for the procedure.
There are a number of checks which need to be done and a certain amount of preparation prior to the procedure the pre treatment assessment is to inform the patient and consent them making sure all preparations are fully understood.
All patients must have had an up to date negative cervical smear, be free of vaginal infection and negative for STI’s. There should be no significant pelvic organ prolapse.
Are there special instructions before treatment?
- Shaving or waxing the area before treatment is advised- if waxing then this should be done 2-3 days before hand
- Drink plenty of water (about 1 litre) before you have the treatment
- Ideally you should not be having a heavy period at the time of the treatment.
Are there any special instructions or side effects afterwards?
No, patients are encouraged to get back to normal regular activity straight away. Some women report having to go to the bathroom a little more frequently in the first day or two after the procedure but this settles quickly.
In the first 24-48 hours after the procedure there may be some mild spotting and or abdominal cramping.