For women who suffer from atrophic vaginitis, or vaginal atrophy, sex is incredibly painful, but hopefully, help is on the way. The FDA has just approved a new procedure to combat the condition that consists of firing tiny lasers in your vagina. Sounds pretty fucking metal.
Vaginal atrophy is caused by a lack of estrogen and consists of the thinning, drying, and inflammation of the vaginal walls, creating a rather unideal environment for sexual intercourse. While the condition is closely associated with menopause, it also affects breast cancer survivors who cannot take estrogen. Previously, treatment was basically hormone replacement (again, not applicable to breast cancer survivors), but now, a laser device, the first of its kind to be approved by the FDA is helping women get their groove back.
The Mona Lisa Touch, an Italian-built machine uses lasers to stimulate collagen, similar to how plastic surgeons stimulate collagen in the face. Cincinnati.com describes the procedure:
The procedure consists of three three-minute laserings, each six weeks apart. No anesthesia or preoperative painkiller is needed. Each treatment requires a woman to assume the position customary for a pelvic exam. A doctor then inserts the laser to resurface the vagina. Because of the tiny size of the laser, there is no risk of burn.
As in a facial treatment, the laser stimulates the collagen stores, reviving dried skin and improving condition. The procedure then is done once yearly afterward.
Patients are not allowed to have sex 48 hours after the procedure. As for the price: the Christ Hospital in Cincinnati, where the clinical trials were performed, will charge $1,500 for three treatments and insurance will not cover it for the time being—there's no processing code for the procedure yet.
Image via AP.