Like A Virgin: An Expert Gives The Lowdown On Non-Invasive Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation
When it comes down to, well, down there, you’ve got to admit that the intimate area tends to become an afterthought in the bustle of our busy lives. You head out, and for most of the day, you don’t see your vagina—right? You get home, you might just shoot a shy glimpse when you change, or slip into the bath, or do an area check when someone is happy to see you (wink, wink).
Vagina artwork by Julie Lluch Dalena’s “Georgia” series of 2016,
photographed by At Maculangan
Most of the time though, it’s just hidden away until you perhaps streak, skinny dip or get lucky.
These days, we need to be more aware of the fact that, as we age, the production of our collagen and elastin begins to tip over that gentle slope. Our genitalia (or secret parts) specifically approach a spectrum of change marked by new symptoms; you name it—sagging, dryness, possible itching, usually brought about by hormonal change.
Dr. Jennifer B. Jose, awarded last November as one of the 100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the world, is an accomplished multi-hyphenate--she’s an obstetrician, aesthetic gynecologist, robotic and laparoscopic gynecologic surgeon, among many other things. She’s also the only recognized surgeon in the league of ASEAN countries who performs robotic sacrocolpopexy (robotic surgery to repair your aging plumbing).
We caught up with Dr. Jenny and she was delighted to get us up to speed on the benefits of CO2 Laser rejuvenation, a technologically- advanced option that is able to provide aesthetic benefits for the vagina in addition to medical treatment and rejuvenation for certain conditions.
“Women, especially Filipinos, reach peri-menopause to menopause at around 48 years of age to about 52.” Dr. Jenny explains, “So, even before that time you already have those symptoms of dryness. That is the normal course. Just imagine—what if you had a surgical menopause—let’s say you had menopause because of a hysterectomy, this can cause dryness in the vagina.”
Vagina artwork by Julia Lluch Dalena’s “Georgia” series of 2016,
photographed by At Maculangan
According to Dr. Jenny, a new way of treating the onslaught symptoms of vaginal aging or jumpstarting rejuvenation is with the use of a CO2 laser. Her machine at present, a model called the Femilift, provides multiple probes for different treatments. “In my machine, I have different probes. I have the one that I put inside the vagina, I have the one to tighten the labia to make it firmer so it doesn’t sag, I have the probe to whiten, I also have a probe that is very good for warts because it doesn’t scar and it’s not painful. I have a different machine for the groin/ “singit”, but that’s in my other clinic; that one is called the collagenizer. There is a non-surgical and also, a surgical approach, right? When you say non-surgical we normally use a CO2 laser to improve vulvovaginal health.”
Dr. Jennifer B. Jose
“If you deliver big babies, or [are one of those] people [who] are just born with tissue that is really stretchy, or maybe even instrumentation like using a forcep, or vacuum, or a big episiotomy will change the condition of the vulva or the vagina. It will definitely be maluwag—it loses its tone. This CO2 laser technology because it makes your tissues new again, what is being formed is called Collagen Type 3–remember that collagen is the structural framework for your tissues. Because of that, it tightens, you feel tight inside.”
The laser treatment itself with no recovery downtime as opposed to anything surgically offered, costs slightly above Php30,000. “This CO2 laser treatment has a lot of good effects, it improves the quality of life of women. We’re not only looking at the inside of the vagina we’re also looking at the outside, too. The machine that I have is actually extensive in a way that it’s like you’re able to do a face-lift down there. This CO2 laser gives a little heat—it’s a controlled heat we monitor by using a thermometer, a different kind of thermometer. As you age it dries up and it sags—especially for patients who always do Brazilian waxing.” To be clear, Dr. Jenny is not against Brazilian waxing, she only discourages its utter frequency or back to back sessions due to the stress on the external tissue.
“This CO2 laser is very good because as it regenerates the collagen and elastin fibers in the vagina, it is also a very good treatment for urogenital atrophy or the dryness. It helps my patients who have recurrent urinary tract infections, recurrent vaginitis…because it causes them to lubricate again.”
While non-invasive CO2 laser treatment is the fastest and most highly recommended way to jumpstart rejuvenation and improve the tone of vaginal tissue, there are some cases where the condition is beyond this treatment. This is where the surgical option comes in for major reconstruction, “If you see that the tissue is too lax and that even if you improve the tissues, the desired caliber of the vagina cannot be reached what we do [surgically] is we do tighten the vagina. We do an anterior and posterior repair and we strengthen the tissues.” However for a surgical procedure, Dr. Jenny confesses it is much more expensive versus the CO2 laser treatment. “This is simply because you have to factor in the hospitalization and anesthesia, those two on top of the actual surgery means the invasive option automatically costs more.”
Maintaining a healthy-looking intimate area isn’t just for bragging rights. Past a certain age, a CO2 laser treatment with next to no downtime can help make you less prone to more serious infections and discomfort. Needing a bit of a pick-me-up in that most intimate area isn’t something to be ashamed of—it’s something women of all ages should feel free to consider.