Q. I am 54 years old and have been menopausal for the past 2 years. My husband is 2 years younger. We had painful sex for the past one year. I don’t like using the lubricant as it is messy and sticky. I also don’t take hormone pills or apply hormone cream as I am afraid of the side effects. Is there any alternative treatment for my condition? Recently, my friend told me that she had the vaginal laser treatment with good results. Can you please tell me more about this treatment?
A. The vagina becomes dry and thin after menopause due to the low levels of female hormone, oestrogen. Sexual intimacy often causes discomfort and pain. Laser is a new way to treat painful sex for these women. It is delivered by a slender probe inserted in the vagina and will stimulate both the cells on the surface and the deeper layers of the vagina to grow. The vaginal skin will get thicker and the underlying connective tissues will produce more collagen which helps make the vagina firm and supple. The end result is the repair of the vagina back to its normal state of lubrication and elasticity.
The procedure is done as an outpatient. It is completely painless and no anesthesia is needed. The patient may feel some warmth during treatment but there are no unpleasant side effects .There are no complications such as bleeding and infection. Complete treatment entails four sessions at an interval of four to six weeks. Each session takes about 15 minutes. Women in a recent clinical trial reported good results after treatment. They had less vaginal dryness, pain, and irritation with much improvement in sexual pleasure.