What is MonaLisa Touch?
MonaLisa Touch (MLT) is a treatment for vaginal atrophy after menopause, cancer treatment, or oophorectomy (removal of ovaries), which involves the use of a fractional CO2 laser that is specifically designed to treat vaginal tissue. In the past, women who experienced vaginal atrophy were limited to hormonal treatment, lubricants, moisturizers, and creams. Commonly treated symptoms include vaginal itching, vaginal dryness, pain during intercourse, and vaginal laxity.
MLT is also being used to treat lichen sclerosus, which is a skin condition most common in postmenopausal women that creates patchy white skin that is thin. “Although the FDA has not approved MLT for this disorder, it is being widely used and is proving to be very effective. A study is being finished and will be submitted to the FDA in hopes that it will approve MLT for lichen sclerosis.“ (Retrieved from www.realself.com)
Who Can Benefit from MonaLisa Touch Treatment?
So, who needs MonaLisa Touch? Sometimes, with age, it’s easy to assume the changes women experience are normal; however, vaginal pain or discomfort of any kind is certainly something to be concerned about. Women that are experiencing symptoms of vaginal atrophy or lichen sclerosus should contact their doctor right away and discuss setting up an appointment for further examination.
Symptoms and conditions to be aware of:
- Thinning, drying, and inflammation of the vaginal walls due to lack of estrogen
- Most commonly occurs in women experiencing menopause or premenopausal women undergoing cancer therapy
- Lichen sclerosus is a skin condition that creates patchy white skin that is thin. It primarily affects the vulva in females.
- It is more common in postmenopausal women.
- Symptoms of lichen sclerosus include itching, discomfort, ulceration, bleeding, and painful intercourse.
- Dryness, burning, itching, and decreased vaginal lubrication during sexual activity leading to painful intercourse
How Does It Work?
Now that you know what symptoms and conditions to be aware of, you’re probably wondering, how exactly does MLT work? During a treatment session, a vaginal probe is inserted into the vagina. A laser energy is delivered to the vaginal wall which stimulates a healing process through collagen growth and increased vascularization, improving the overall condition of the vagina. So, what can a patient expect from the procedure?
- It is done in-office and is a short non-surgical procedure.
- For the diagnosis of vaginal atrophy, there are 3 5-minute treatments that happen at 6-week intervals.
- For the diagnosis of lichen sclerosus, there may be up to 7 external treatments performed in a 12-month period.
- Treatment requires no anesthesia or downtime, and it is a relatively painless procedure that allows patients to resume intercourse within 2 to 3 days.
- The procedure is fast, simple, and safe, and causes minimal side effects. Possible side effects include spotting, watery vaginal discharge, redness, swelling, inflammation, tenderness, itching, irritation, changes in pigmentations and scarring.
Why Choose West Des Moines OB/GYN?
West Des Moines OB/GYN is the only OB/GYN group in the Des Moines area to offer MonaLisa Touch, and an all-female provider at that. Because we understand on a fundamental level the health challenges women sometimes face, we have an especially important duty to offer the best possible treatment options for our patients’ conditions. Each doctor at West Des Moines OB/GYN takes seriously the responsibility of ensuring our patients receive the highest quality of individualized care available.
If you have been experiencing any of the symptoms we addressed above and would like more information about MonaLisa Touch treatment, give us a call or schedule an appointment.