From hormonal creams to laser treatments to over-the-counter lubricants, menopausal women today have many options for improving their vaginal health. Most of these options only offer temporary help, however.
If you’ve entered menopause and are experiencing urinary incontinence, lack of lubrication, looseness in the vagina, sexual dysfunction, or other common symptoms associated with menopause, vaginoplasty offers a way to permanently improve your vaginal health.
As you age, especially if you’ve given birth vaginally, the vaginal canal becomes lax (loose). Vaginoplasty surgically tightens your vaginal canal, removing excess tissue and drawing the vaginal muscles closer together.
At Medweight, Lasers & Wellness Centers in Irvine, California, board-certified cosmetic and reconstructive surgeon Allan Wu, MD, FACOG, FACS, specializes in many types of surgical and nonsurgical women’s rejuvenation therapies, including vaginoplasty. In this blog, he explains what’s involved in vaginoplasty and why the procedure is needed.
Vaginoplasty is typically performed on an outpatient basis under regional or local anesthesia, though some patients receive general anesthesia. Depending on your needs, Dr. Wu may perform a full- or half-length tightening of your vaginal canal.
During your procedure, Dr. Wu:
The surgery takes 1-2 hours, and you’re free to return home after spending some time in recovery. As with all surgeries, vaginoplasty comes with a few risks, the most common being scarring, infection, and bleeding.
Most women recover relatively quickly after vaginoplasty. Chances are good that you’ll be able to walk comfortably within a few days and resume most activities after a week or so of downtime.
Keep in mind that after vaginoplasty, you won’t be able to use tampons or have sexual intercourse until cleared by your surgeon, which is usually about eight weeks after your procedure. Full recovery usually takes less than three months.
During your reproductive years, your ovaries produce estrogen. This hormone helps keep your vaginal tissues moist, thick, and elastic. Once you enter menopause, estrogen production declines significantly.
Low estrogen has a big impact on your vagina and can cause dryness, vaginal frailty, thinning of tissues, and a loss of elasticity and tone. These changes can make sexual intercourse become painful. You may also notice:
These symptoms are so common during menopause that doctors call them the genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM). Some 40-60% of postmenopausal women experience GSM, and researcher believe even more women have the condition but don’t report their symptoms, thinking they just have to “live with it.”
Fortunately, vaginoplasty can help relieve the symptoms of GSM. If you’re a menopausal woman who is experiencing any of the above symptoms, Dr. Wu and his team can discuss vaginoplasty or other treatments.
The best way to learn if vaginoplasty is right for you is by scheduling a consultation with a board-certified surgeon, such as Dr. Wu at MedWeight, Lasers & Wellness Centers. Keep in mind that, as with other surgeries, it’s important to be in good overall health and without heart conditions.
You may be a good candidate for a successful vaginoplasty if you’re experiencing loss of sensation during sex and are in good overall health and willing to follow all post-procedure instructions, including abstaining from sexual intercourse and tampon use for eight weeks.
To learn if you’re a candidate for vaginoplasty, or for more information about this procedure, call 949-339-1624 or book an appointment online with MedWeight, Lasers & Wellness Centers today.