New Year Wellness: Vaginal Health

Vaginal health is an area that is not given too much attention to. It can be confusing to some healthcare providers just knowing if a woman should have her annual exam or not. So that you’re not left in the dark, the answer is “yes.” Although the Pap smear many not be indicated yearly, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) recommends an annual pelvic exam. How else would you know if you have vaginal cancer or a pelvic mass? Signs such as bloating, pain and changes in bowel habits are symptoms of a pelvic mass. Vaginal cancer may also present certain symptoms such as persistent itching, postmenopausal bleeding, difficulty urinating, pelvic discomfort and pain with sexual intercourse. Bottom line, it’s best to schedule your annual pelvic exam.

Optimum vaginal health starts with providing moisture, improved integrity of the vaginal tissue and better sensation to the area of pleasure. For some women, the vagina may become a very painful organ if left untreated. Things such as vaginal atrophy, vaginal prolapse, urinary incontinence, vaginal lesions i.e. lichen sclerosis, vaginal pain, vulvardynia can prove problematic. Painful intercourse and a lack of sexual appetite can make a woman miserable. This is an area few healthcare providers discuss with their patients as they may feel uncomfortable. This can then in turn leave you with beliefs that there is nothing to be done to improve your situation. Fortunately, there is hope.

Based on the latest advances, there are now new laser technologies on the market today that can help boost collagen integrity to the vagina. This can help improve vaginal discomfort. The lasers offer a non-invasive approach with no down time for patients. But I’ve looked into this even further for you. There is a new procedure that is done in the office using your own platelet rich plasma injections. Placed in specific areas, the procedure improves the health and wellness of the vagina. Platelet rich plasma injections have been previously used to inject other trigger points of pain such as the scalp for hair growth.

Platelets play a critical role in healing and releasing growth factors by producing new blood supplies and collagen. The procedure is very precise and begins by drawing your own blood in the office. The blood is then spun in a centrifuge to separate the platelets from the rest of the blood.

The concatenated platelet rich serum is injected into specific spaces of the vagina after it’s been numbed. This allows you to then release your own natural growth factors that will help rejuvenate the desired tissue of the vagina. Since your own growth factors are injected, you don’t have to worry about the risk of allergies or harmful side effects. I’ve been a vaginal and robotic surgeon for over 20 years and this delicate procedure to rejuvenate the vagina is most rewarding for me.

Because the platelet rich plasma rejuvenates blood flow to the vagina, women who have had problems with achieving arousal and pleasure during intimacy have a greater chance of increasing their orgasm. Platelet rich plasma (PRP) also helps improve other issues such as vaginal discomfort, skin condition in the vagina such as lichen sclerosis and bladder control. While some women respond to a single treatment, others may require two. A topical numbing medication is applied to the injection site first. Benefits can last up to 12 to 18 months.

After the procedure, women have reported a significant improvement in stimulation, arousal, sensitivity and sex drive. Problems related to urinary incontinence are often resolved after treatment.

To schedule your own vaginal health checkup and learn more about how PRP can help rejuvenate your vagina, call today.