Non-surgical vaginal rejuvenation is now the fastest growing requested therapy behind botox.
But what does it actually involve? Does it hurt? How long does it take to recover? What results can you expect? Does it improve your sex life? How long will it last? How much does it cost?
It’s all these questions and more that many women would like to know but are perhaps too embarrassed to ask.
Dr. Elena C. Arias, director of the Graal Clinic in Marbella is an international expert on non-surgical vaginal rejuvenating therapies.
Here she answers all those questions we’d love to ask but haven’t!
- Q: Why do most women seek vaginal rejuvenation?
A: The most common reasons women seek vaginal rejuvenation is physical discomfort during sex and loss of sensation during sex. Due to age, there’s a decrease in the production of oestrogen. This causes the elasticity of tissues in the intimate zone to decrease and often results in dryness and discomfort during sex as well as a decrease in the pleasurable physical sensation of sex. In addition, slackening and stretching of the vaginal entrance, as a result of childbirth and/or age, can also reduce sensation during sex.
2. Q: What exactly is non-surgical vaginal rejuvenation?
A: The main aim of non-surgical vaginal rejuvenation is to restore the volume of the labia, improve clitoral sensation and increase the tightness of the vaginal entrance.
- Q: What products are used?
A: Hyaluronic acid, which is a substance that’s produced by the human body. Hyaluronic acid has a stimulating effect on all metabolic processes and restores moisture and volume to vaginal tissues. The only approved hyaluronic acid for use in the genital area is Isdin-ceutics Desirial and Desirial Plus from ISDIN. The first is for rehydrating and recovering the comfort of the intimate zones. The second, Desirial Plus, is a slightly thicker hyaluronic acid that fills the labia majora in cases where there is moderate to severe hypotrophy (loss of volume and flexibility, or even vaginal wall prolapse).
- Q: How long does it last?
A: Approximately 6-9 months depending on how quickly your body breaks down the hyaluronic acid. With repeated top ups over time the period between top ups is usually extended and can end up lasting up to a year.
- Q: Is there anything you can do to prolong the results of the procedure?
A: Yes, daily use of vaginal moisturisers and the use of lubricants during sex can significantly extend the results of the therapy.
It’s crucial to use the right type of products. Using normal washes and moisturisers for the body on the vaginal area can actually increase dryness and irritation and make matters worse. It’s important to use product specifically designed for the vaginal region.
However even many of these intimate products are focused only on sanitizing the vaginal region and not rejuvenating it.
That’s why I only recommend intimate products (moisturisers and lubricants) with rejuvenating ingredients in them. We wouldn’t dream of only disinfecting our faces to prevent ageing and moisture loss, so why do we only do this for our vaginal regions?
Even if having a rejuvenating therapy is not yet in view, I advocate that every woman should at least be practicing daily rejuvenating skincare regimes for their vaginal regions.
A product range I recommend is In2mate (www.in2mate.co.uk) as these products contain antioxidants suitable for the vaginal region as well as prebiotics. Antioxidants are key for restoring skin hydration, flexibility and firmness. Prebiotics help repair the skin barrier. In2mate products contain both as well as being almost100% natural and pH appropriate.
- Q: Does vaginal rejuvenation therapy improve sex?
A: It definitely should. The procedure should help improve sensitivity of the vagina by injecting hyaluronic acid into clitoris region. By doing this the female G spot becomes more easily stimulated, which contributes to increased stimulation during sex. What many people do not realise is that increased stimulation of the clitoris actually physically helps rejuvenate the whole vaginal region. Clitoral arousal increases vaginal tone and elasticity and restoration of the function of the gland of the vagina, which are responsible for moistening the mucosa and releasing lubricant during sexual arousal. In addition, hyaluronic acid injections makes the entrance to the vagina slightly narrower, which can also improve sensation and pleasure during sex.
- Q: What exactly happens during the procedure?
A: The procedure is carried out in the clinic and under a local anesthesia administered via a cream. Between one and three syringes of the product are injected into various locations in the vaginal region.
- Q: How long does it take?
A: Approximately an hour
- Does it hurt?
A: No due to the application of the local anesthetic via a topical cream. This numbs the area that is to be injected and so no (or very little) pain is felt during the procedure. Most patients are surprised at this as they are usually expecting pain.
- Q: What is the recovery time?
A: The recovery time is approximately ten days and does not require rest. You can also have sex sooner. However, during the 10 -day recovery period you should avoid activities that put direct pressure in the treated area (cycling, horse riding, gym). Also avoid humid public places, such as swimming pools, gspas, hot tubs, etc.
- Q: How soon can you have sex after the procedure?
A: I advise waiting five days after having the procedure before having sex.
- Q: What realistic results can I expect from this procedure?
A: The results of the procedure are immediate. Patients can expect to see and feel more volume, smoothness and firmness on their labia and a reduction in the width of the entrance of the vagina. Increased sensation and more comfort can be expected during sexual intercourse. Improved hydration during sex can also be expected.
- Q: How much does the procedure cost?
A: The price of the procedure varies from £500 to £1500 depending on how much product is needed and what size of area needs treating.
- Q: Are there any negative side effects of this procedure?
- Q: Are there any circumstances where by you do NOT recommend this treatment (such as for younger women etc)?
A: Vaginal dryness, also known as vulvo-vaginal atrophy, can affect women in virtually any period of their life, after childbirth for example. There are some drugs that can also cause it, such as tamoxifen, which is used in the treatment of breast cancer, low-dose oral contraceptives, isotretinoin applied in cases of severe acne and some types of antidepressants among others.
However, if I feel that a patient clearly does not need the procedure or has completely unrealistic expectations of the procedure, I will usually refuse treat them.