I had never heard that a vagina needed to be “rejuvenated” until I saw an advertisement in an OB/GYN publication offering me a class on the topic. I was perplexed. How had I had gone through 12 years of formal training and never come across the procedure? A little investigation revealed that, in fact, there is no textbook medical definition of “vaginal rejuvenation” – so it can mean pretty much anything. The term is mostly used for marketing, not necessarily to describe a specific procedure.
Soon after, I noticed ads for an even fancier type of vaginal rejuvenation: “Laser” vaginal rejuvenation (because every child of the eighties knows that lasers make everything better!).
Using lasers in the vagina is not something brand new. Though lasers have not yet been specifically FDA approved for use in the vagina, studies have shown that laser therapy can improve symptoms of postmenopausal vaginal dryness and pain. Based on this research, many physicians (including myself) have recommended the off-label use of vagina laser therapy to our patients who are looking for a non-hormonal option to treat dryness caused by menopause.
But the key here is research. And while we do have data to support the use of lasers for postmenopausal dryness, there just isn’t any research to support the uses these lasers are now being marketed for – incontinence, “vaginal rejuvenation,” and a general cure-all for every vaginal concern, real or imagined.
The “vaginal laser rejuvenation” pitch is that the laser can magically “tighten” the vagina to improve sexual response and aesthetics. Again, there are no studies to support these claims, and the truth is that most vaginas are just fine and in no need of “tightening”. To make matters worse, vaginal laser rejuvenation is being performed by specialists, like dermatologists and plastic surgeons, who have no training in gynecology.
Hopefully we’ll soon have some research on other uses for lasers in the vagina. But until then, beware that vaginal lasers have not been proven to tighten or “rejuvenate” your vagina – and until we know more, a laser could do your vagina more harm than good.