• Dr Peter Chew

Vaginal rejuvenation

I attended a workshop on “vaginal rejuvenation” procedure in Seoul recently. It is simple and is done by passing the laser beam via a narrow rod-shaped device inserted in the vagina. It takes 15 to 20 minutes to complete and the patient is discharged on the same day.

Vagina or “birth canal” is the passage through which the baby is born .It is a hollow stretchy organ with a firm thick wall. With repeated childbirths, growing age and declining levels of hormones, it loses its elasticity and becomes lax. This leads to a “loose vagina” or vaginal relaxation syndrome (VRS) VRS may have physical and psychological problems such as a decline in sexual satisfaction and desire for both the female and her partner. She has less contact with the penis and may not have orgasm. Occasionally, she passes gas during sex. This dampens her mood and causes further embarrassment. As the laxity worsens, her womb and the urinary bladder move downwards and bulge to the outside. She may have a heavy sensation or feel a “lump” at the private area.

Urinary incontinence and incomplete emptying of bowel may appear. The treatment of VRS includes Kegel exercise, hormone cream or spray to tighten the pelvic muscles and vagina. These are simple methods but may not be effective. Surgery is usually done in severe cases. It is permanent but recovery is longer. It may also have complications such as vaginal scarring and pain during sexual intercourse. Vaginal rejuvenation is the latest mode of treatment for early VRS. The passage of laser would stimulate and toughen vaginal tissue and renews the cells of its wall. The procedure is simple, easy to learn and is done as an outpatient without anaesthesia. It is painless except for an occasional warm feeling. It does not damage the vagina and has no complications such as bleeding or infection. Results from centres in Europe, USA and Korea are good. With an aging population in Singapore, this procedure offers an option for the prevention of severe VRS.

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