Two years ago Adelaide gynaecologist Dr Fariba Behnia-Willison was consulted by a breast cancer survivor presenting with acute vaginal atrophy and dryness, the result of menopause induced by chemotherapy.
‘She told me her husband had `traded her in for a younger, healthier model’,’ says Dr Willison. ‘That was a devastating blow after having had cancer but she had met a nice new man. However, her vaginal symptoms meant that it was almost impossible to have sex.
‘It absolutely broke my heart when she said that unless I could help her she would kill herself.’
This impassioned cry for help put Dr Willison on a mission to find a solution for what she describes as ‘the silent epidemic’: Vaginal Atrophy (VA).
The result of her research was the discovery of MonaLisa Touch, a five minute, walk in/walk out CO2 fractional laser treatment that causes minimal discomfort and, after a recommended three sessions a month apart, has shown to render profound changes in the strength and thickness of vaginal canal tissue and lubrication, making for a healthier vagina and also facilitating more comfortable and satisfying sexual relationships.
Until very recently, hormone supplementation with synthetic or bio-identical oestrogen were the most viable options to relieve vaginal dryness by strengthening atrophied vaginal walls and stimulating natural lubrication.
But they aren’t always as effective as desired and many women didn’t welcome the systematic side effects common with HRT therapies.
Moreover, they are contra-indicated for certain health conditions, including women who have, or have had breast or other oestrogen-sensitive cancers.
At this stage they are targeted for use primarily by gynaecologists but also plastic/cosmetic surgeons and GPs.
Clients often form confidante-type relationships with trusted aesthetic therapists and so to be armed with knowledge of breakthroughs that have the potential to change lives further enforces your credibility.
The V2LR (Vulvo-Vaginal Laser Reshaping) laser that delivers the MonaLisaTouch treatment uses a sophisticated laser emission technology to deliver microscopic beams of laser light to the vaginal walls.
This stimulates collagen formation underneath the vaginal skin, promotes proliferation of the cells and restoration of vaginal wall strength and blood supply.
In as little as 30 days after treatment the regeneration of new tissue in the vaginal walls builds a naturally stronger structure and the protective mucosa recovers volume, hydration and elasticity.
By restoring the natural pH balance of the vaginal mucosa, and targeting the causes of vaginal atrophy, many of the symptoms such as vaginal dryness, laxity, irritation and fissuring are greatly reduced or disappear – all with virtually no side effects or discomfort.
In addition, improvements in the structure and positioning of the vagina mean that some external surgical procedures such as labiaplasty and vaginaplasty may be avoided in mild to moderate cases.
The inspiration came from the Smartxide ‘DOT therapy’ laser has been used for many years for effective anti-ageing treatments on delicate areas such as the face, eyes and neck.