Intimate Wellness Institute

What is Vaginal Laxity?

Vaginal laxity or vaginal “looseness” is a common yet overlooked concern in women. Childbirth, menopause, and certain health conditions affect collagen and elasticity creating a feeling of vaginal looseness through trauma or tissue changes. As this process progresses the tone in the muscles, nerves and connective tissue is lost causing the lower portion of the vagina to become open and have minimal to no tone.

Vaginal laxity can be an embarrassing issue for many women and it can lower your self-esteem. The loss of confidence and function often has a negative impact on relationships, affecting sex and other aspects of intimacy. Even though it’s a very common health issue, many women and physicians are reluctant to discuss it. At the Intimate Wellness Institute we care about these issues and offer a comfortable, judgement-free environment for you to openly discuss your concerns and get the results you want. We are here to help you feel better!

Women who experience this condition will often experience the following symptoms:

  • Reduced sensation during penetrative sex
  • Loss of sexual arousal
  • Reduced sexual satisfaction
  • Reduced sensation and sexual satisfaction from their partner
  • Loss of confidence, depression and anxiety surrounding sexual encounters
  • Vaginal dryness and irritation
  • Bladder issues
  • Bowel issues
  • Pelvic pressure and discomfort

What are the causes of Vaginal Laxity?

Childbirth: The most significant risk factor for vaginal laxity is childbirth. All women who have given birth vaginally undergo stretching of the tissues at the vaginal opening to accommodate the fetal head. Often the effects are permanent and the tissue never fully recovers. This happens with the first delivery and is usually made worse with subsequent births. Research indicates that about 76 percent of women will experience this problem after delivery.

Sexual trauma or abuse: Sadly this occurs far too often and physical damage to the vaginal tissue is a common consequence. At the Intimate Wellness Institute we are dedicated to helping women that have suffered from abuse recover from both the psychological and physical trauma and restore their confidence and function.

Genetic disorders: Certain connective tissue diseases such as Marfan’s Syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Pott’s Disease and many others can increase the risk of vaginal laxity due to poor collagen present in the tissues. The good news is patients with these issue respond just as well to treatment!

Menopause: After menopause women lose collagen, which is the most abundant protein in the body that’s responsible for providing support in your tissues. With less collagen, your vaginal tissues can loosen over time. Aging, especially the years after menopause, can lead to significant changes in your vaginal health. In fact, nearly half of women who pass through menopause experience vaginal symptoms, such as dryness, thinning vaginal walls, loss of tone and a shortened vaginal canal, all of which can make intercourse uncomfortable. Many other symptoms overlap with vaginal laxity and are largely hormone-related. (IWI offers excellent treatment options for postmenopausal vaginal health and hormone optimization)

Traumatic and Multiple vaginal births: Forceps delivery, twins and other difficult deliveries significantly increase risk of tissue trauma and vaginal laxity.

What are the Treatment Options for Vaginal Laxity?

This condition can be treated successfully with surgery or less invasive methods. The best treatment for you depends of your expectations and the extent of the issue. The Intimate Wellness Institute offers every treatment available. Dr. Guerette and the IWI team will take the time to discuss your individual plan. Over 95 percent of patients experience dramatic improvements treatment.

Laser Vaginal Tightening: Dr. Guerette is one of the pioneers in developing the use of gentle rejuvenating lasers for improving vaginal issue including tightening.

How does laser vaginal tightening work?

The laser treatment is a simple 5-minute office treatment with no preparation or recovery and minimal to no discomfort. Topical anesthetic cream is applied to the tissue to ensure your total comfort. The procedure works with the laser going in slow circles around the vaginal canal to deliver the energy to the tissue. This stimulates the body to form new collagen, nerves and blood vessels to improve sexual response, sensitivity and lubrication. The effect of the laser lasts 12-18 months and then needs a simple touch-up treatment.

Other Benefits of Laser Vaginal Tightening:

  • Decreased urinary incontinence
  • Improved vaginal lubrication
  • Reduction in pain during intercourse
  • Enhancement of skin on the vulva
  • Tightening of vaginal laxity
  • Improvement in pain with vaginal constriction

How Long Before the Results Manifest?

  • Sexual function improvements from the laser treatment from studies conducted by Dr. Guerette are over 90%! Significant improvement occurs within 2 weeks of the treatment. The full effects of the treatment will most likely manifest after 3 months.
  • The effects of the treatment lasts a year and a simple re-treatment restores the improvement

What Are the Side Effects of Laser Vaginal Tightening?

Guerette and others have done extensive studies analyzing the safety and efficacy of Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation. When done properly, with an expert, it is a remarkably safe procedure. Women typically have mild vaginal irritation for 1-2 days after (similar to a mild sunburn) with minimal discharge and possibly mild spotting. When done properly there are no long-term risks.

What is the After-care for Laser Vaginal Tightening?

  • Nothing in the vagina for 2 days
  • Expect slight watery discharge and possibly spotting for 2 days
  • If you have the outside area (vulva) treated AquaphorTM or another good moisturizer can help any irritation.

Radio-frequency (RF) Vaginal Tightening: RF is another energy type that works similarly to a laser to remodel the tissue and improve nerve function, blood vessels and lubrication. The treatments are very similar. Dr. Guerette has also pioneered many RF technologies for vaginal treatments.   RF requires no topical aesthesia and has a shorter recovery time compared to laser treatment.

Emsella Therapy: EmsellaTM Advanced Pelvic Floor Therapy: Emsella is a FDA-approved revolutionary treatment for pelvic muscle and nerve issues. The BTL EMSELLA treatment uses High Intensity Focused Electromagnetic Energy (HIFEM) to treat ALL the pelvic floor muscles, nerves and blood vessels. The improved pelvic floor muscles restore function and eliminate pain and enjoy normal daily activities. During each 28-minute session you sit comfortably on the Emsella chair while it generates thousands of supramaximal pelvic floor muscle contractions.  Each session is equivalent to doing 11000 pelvic floor exercises. The procedure is non-invasive, and you remain fully clothed throughout. No drugs are required and the most you will feel is a slight tingling during the treatment. With no recovery time needed you can leave immediately after each session and resume normal daily activity. The majority of people need a course of six sessions over a period of three weeks to see optimum results, with most people seeing and feeling results after just two or three treatment sessions.

Vaginoplasty/Vaginal Tightening Surgery:

What is a vaginoplasty?

With this procedure Dr. Guerette uses a minimally invasive vaginal approach to isolate and tighten the pelvic floor (kegel) muscles and perineum and opening of the vagina (episotomy area) as well as tighten the connective tissue in the vagina. The vaginal and vulvar (outside) skin is then also tightened and smoothed. This can usually be done in the office procedure center with sedation and regional anesthesia.

What to expect after vaginoplasty?

After a vaginoplasty you can walk and due gentle daily activities immediately. The area will feel sore and a bit bruised but this is well controlled with topical medication, ice and minimal pain medications. The soreness will go away after a week or 2. You will have some restrictions while you heal including no sexual activity and only showers but, otherwise, return to daily activity very quickly.

Why Choose IWI for your Vaginoplasty?

Guerette has developed many of the techniques for vaginoplasty and is by far the most experienced surgeon in the region. Dr. Guerette has developed advanced techniques using lasers and plasma blade technology to increase the precision of the surgery and knot-free suture techniques to improve healing without the pain and risk of removing sutures soon after the procedure. The IWI team is also the most advanced in the area helping you with your experience and is always available to answer questions and address your concerns before and after the procedure.

IWI Combination Therapy: The advanced IWI treatments work in different ways to improve vaginal and sexual function. They are the most effective when used in combination to treat all aspects of the physical issue. Talk to an IWI team member about treatment packages to get the best results.

The Intimate Wellness Institute of Virginia is Happy to Answer Your Questions. Call a team member to help!