Pregnancy and childbirth are both physically and emotionally challenging times for a mum. She faces several challenges, including the balancing act of baby care and tending to her own needs. As such, she always needs support and guidance on daily well-being. This article discusses in detail the feminine health and intimate relationship of new mums.
After childbirth, mums face many intimate physical issues ranging from vaginal dryness and laxity to perineal scarring and dyspareunia. Many women improve with time. But for some, the problems last longer. This negatively impacts their self-esteem and body image.
Vaginal rejuvenation is a broad term that refers to different medical and aesthetic procedures to restore the look and feel of the vagina and its surrounding tissues. These are performed by board-certified aesthetic gynaecological surgeons. Highlighted below are some key areas that would interest new mums.
Vaginal rejuvenation is commonly done to address the issues of
- Vaginal dryness
- Vaginal laxity
- Labial sagging
- Overprotruded labia minora
- Perineal scarring
- Leaking of urine when coughing, sneezing or exercising
- Painful sex
- Lack of sexual sensations and satisfaction
Suitable candidate for vaginal rejuvenation
Any lady seeking vaginal rejuvenation treatments for her troublesome symptoms must
- Be a non-smoker
- Has realistic expectations about procedure outcomes
- Has completed her family
- Be in a good state of health, mentally and physically
- Laser vaginal tightening (femilift). It is a quick outpatient, painless procedure in which a laser probe is gently inserted into the vagina to deliver fractionated light and energy. This promotes collagen production leading to vaginal tightening.
- Radiofrequency vaginal tightening (thermiVa). An outpatient procedure that uses a radiofrequency probe to deliver thermal energy to the vagina, labia majora and minora.This results in boosting collagen production leading to labial and vaginal tightening.
- Vaginal fillers. This technique uses dermal fillers injected in labia to help enhance their volume and aesthetic appearance. The fillers can also be used in the G-spot on the anterior vaginal wall to improve sexual arousal.
- O-Shot. This technique is designed for the sexual arousal and gratification of women. It uses growth factors extracted from a woman’s own blood sample. They are then injected into the G-spot on the vaginal wall. It is quick, with no downtime required, and the results are apparent within a couple of weeks.
- Vaginal fat transfer. It aims at providing volume to saggy and wrinkled labia majora thereby concealing the protruded labia minora and clitoral hood. This gives an aesthetically pleasing result. The technique harvests a woman’s fat tissue as a filling agent.
- Labiaplasty. It is a corrective procedure for asymmetric or hypertrophied inner labia protruding beyond the outer labia. Labia minora reduction is performed under local anaesthesia by incising the asymmetric protruding labial edges with a radiofrequency or laser knife, followed by edges resuturing. This reduces the discomfort caused by enlarged labia and gives good cosmetic results.
- Vaginoplasty. It is a surgical correction for vaginal laxity and involves the removal of excessive, unnecessary tissue lining the vagina. This improves vaginal tone, helps with sexual dysfunction and alleviates symptoms of urinary incontinence. The procedure is done under anaesthesia and is usually combined with perineoplasty.
- Perineoplasty. This approach addresses the loose external vaginal opening and childbirth-related perineal scarring. The surgery removes unsightly scars and tightens the vaginal opening.
- Clitoral hood reduction. This technique removes the excess skin surrounding the clitoris to reduce its protuberant appearance and enhance sexual sensations. The advanced technology using high precision laser knife allows it to be carried out in an office setting under local anaesthesia.
- Hymenoplasty. This is hymen restorative surgery. The hymen is the thin membrane located at the vaginal opening. The procedure is commonly done for cultural and religious beliefs and tightens the vaginal opening.
- Restores symmetry of vulva
- Tightens vaginal canal
- Helps with involuntary urine leakage
- Enhances vaginal lubrication
- Magnifies vaginal sensations
- Increases sexual pleasure
- Improves dyspareunia (painful sex)
- Positively impacts body image and self-esteem
Vaginal rejuvenation procedures should be avoided under the following conditions:
- Active vulvovaginal infections
- During pregnancy and when less than 6 months postpartum
- Unevaluated lesions in the vulva, vagina or cervix
- History of keloid formation and impaired wound healing
- History of radiation to vaginal, perineal and rectal tissue
- Patients on blood thinning agents therapy
There are certain risks associated with these procedures. These are
- Pain, swelling and bleeding at the procedure site
- Injury to surrounding structures like the bladder and rectum
- Scar formation during the healing process
- Altered sensations at the procedure site
- Sexual dysfunction may arise from scars and altered sensations
- Asymmetry from an overdone or underdone procedure
- When can I resume sexual activity after getting treatment? Generally speaking, it is advisable to wait for 3 to 5 days after non-surgical treatment. For surgical treatments, you should abstain from sex for a couple of weeks until the stitches are resolved and the area is healed. Your physician will give you specific instructions.
- How long does the effect of treatment last? It depends on the type of procedure. Laser, radio frequency treatments and vaginal fillers often require repeated sessions to achieve satisfactory results and then yearly follow-ups. Surgical procedures are relatively long-lasting.
- How much do the procedures cost? It depends on the address of the aesthetic clinic and the extent and type of procedures. The cost usually ranges between 3,000 USD to 10,000 USD.
- Are these procedures covered by insurance? Consult your insurance company for better details. But in general vaginal rejuvenation is not covered by insurance as most procedures are thought to be cosmetic. There can be exceptions to this rule if a lady has sustained perineal and vaginal injuries during childbirth leading to vaginal stenosis or marked perineal scarring.
Aging and childbirth can alter the look and feel of the vagina. Vaginal rejuvenation treatments aim to enhance the look and function of the vagina and vulva. In addition to alleviating the discomforts and improving your sexual life, it helps you break free from insecurities. If you have any concerns about your intimate health, vaginal rejuvenation might help. As always, consult a qualified professional first.
Dr Jehan Ara is a highly qualified consultant obstetrician and gynecologist with a passion for writing and health education. She has more than 10 years of practical patient care experience and is currently working as an Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in a medical school. In addition to her clinical work, Dr Jehan is also a passionate writer and educator. She regularly writes articles and blog posts on women’s health. She is committed to helping women understand their bodies and make informed decisions about their health.