How this treatment can boost women’s health, psychologically and sexually. By Deborah Lin
Most women are unaware that they experience vaginal laxity, which can reduce sexual well-being. (Photo: PublicDomainPictures / www.pixabay.com)
Answer this honestly: Do you feel incomplete or dissatisfied after sex? Do you sense that there has been a change in how ‘snug’ you feel during intercourse? Do you think it could be your partner’s or your own fault? Well, don’t. It could well be due to a natural condition, called vaginal laxity.
What is vaginal laxity?
As vaginal tissue is made of collagen fibres, these tissues can become overstretched as you grow older or during vaginal childbirth. According to a Viveve-sponsored study, vaginal laxity is the number one physical change US obstetrician-gynaecologists see in their patients following vaginal delivery (more common than weight gain, incontinence and stretch marks!) The damaging of collagen can create a feeling of looseness or laxity particularly around the vaginal opening, which may lead to loss of friction.
This could reduce pleasurable sensation, sexual satisfaction and the desire for sexual intercourse; and in turn, have a negative impact on relationships and an overall quality of life, said Dr Bruce Allan, obstetrician-gynaecologist and founder of Canada-based Allan Centre for Women. He was in Singapore to speak at the launch of Viveve, a non-surgical treatment to improve vaginal laxity and boost sexual health.
He also highlighted that 83 per cent of physicians say that vaginal laxity is underreported. The main causes are because:
– Women are uncomfortable discussing such an intimate concern;
– They might not know that anything can be done about it; and
– They are unaware that they are experiencing vaginal laxity.
The most commonly known and prescribed treatment for vaginal laxity is kegel exercises, but it does little to help the lax tissue between the muscle and the vaginal surface.
How the Viveve treatment works
Put simply, the Viveve procedure stimulates the natural renewal of collagen cushion. A small, thumb-sized treatment tip is inserted into the vaginal opening and rotated around the area to deliver radiofrequency energy to the collagen fibres. The alternate cooling and heating capability stimulates the formation of new collagen fibres.
Doctors say most patients agree that the Viveve procedure (console used, pictured above) is painless. (Photo: Viveve)
Modified from the non-invasive thermage technology (which is used in facial skin tightening), the 30-minute non-surgical Viveve treatment is conducted by a medical practitioner. It is mostly painless and requires no anaesthesia, with little or no downtime post-procedure, although you are advised to refrain from sexual intercourse for a few days.
The collagen restoration process usually takes place between 30 and 90 days post-treatment and effects are shown to be long-lasting. Only one Viveve treatment is required, although some patients might opt for more treatments to maintain the results. Side effects (such as slight vaginal discharge, redness or swelling) seldom occur and are typically mild, temporary and resolve shortly after treatment.
Patricia Scheller, chief executive officer of Viveve, Inc. also shared that clinical studies showed significant improvement in vaginal tightness (to pre-childbirth levels) after the treatment. 88 per cent of women showed improved and sustained tightness at 12 months, and also indicated improvement in sexual satisfaction. That’s a big step forward towards empowering women to taking charge of their intimate concerns, and improving their sexual health and quality of life.
The Viveve treatment is suitable for women from ages 18 to 55 years old, with or without at least one vaginal delivery, and pre-menopausal. This technology is available at The Sloane Clinic and Cutis Medical Laser Clinic, with prices starting from $4,200 for a one-time treatment (and three follow-ups at one-, two- and six-months post-procedure).