If vaginal dryness is bothering you, vaginal laser treatment can help. For many people, it restores vulvar and vaginal lubrication, reduces pain and discomfort during sex, and helps with urgent or frequent urination.
This treatment, which works by gently stimulating tissue in and around your vagina, is noninvasive and nonhormonal. It can be a particularly good option if you want to avoid the hormonal therapies sometimes used to treat vaginal dryness.
Doctors at Rush use a specially designed laser called MonaLisa Touch.
Who Should Get Vaginal Laser Treatment (MonaLisa Touch)?
Vaginal laser treatment can help most people experiencing vaginal dryness and pain during sex. It might be a good choice for you if you’re looking for:
- Nonhormonal treatment for vaginal dryness and painful sex: Breast cancer, high risk of blood clots and other conditions can make it risky to use the hormonal treatments often prescribed for vaginal dryness. Because vaginal laser treatment is nonhormonal, it can be a safer choice for people with these conditions. It can also be a good choice if you experience unwanted side effects after using hormonal treatments.
- More lasting relief: Some people find relief from vaginal dryness with lubricants, moisturizers or estrogen creams. For others, these treatments fail to work or are too bothersome to use consistently. If that’s been your experience, vaginal laser treatment may offer more lasting relief.
- Help with urinary problems: Vaginal dryness often goes hand in hand with urgent or frequent urination and urinary tract infections (UTIs). For some people, vaginal laser treatment improves these urinary problems in addition to vaginal dryness.
- Lichen sclerosus relief: This condition causes white patches of thinning skin around the vagina and anus, usually in people older than 50. Vaginal laser treatment has proven effective at reducing its symptoms.
What to Expect
Your First Appointment
During your first appointment, you’ll meet with one of Rush’s gynecologic experts to discuss your symptoms. During this conversation, they’ll work with you to decide whether vaginal laser treatment is the right choice for you. If it is, you may be able to begin treatment that same day.
If it’s not, your provider will talk with you about other options that may be available. Rush offers the full range of treatments for vaginal dryness, pain during sex, and related conditions and symptoms.
MonaLisa Touch Procedures
Most people get the best results after three vaginal laser (MonaLisa Touch) procedures, each four to six weeks apart. But if you have lichen sclerosus or certain cancers, you may need five or six treatments. During each treatment, here’s what you can expect:
- Before starting the procedure, your doctor will use numbing cream so that you don’t feel any pain.
- When you doctor begins using the laser, you may feel a slight vibration.
- The procedure will last about 10 minutes.
- Afterward, you can resume most normal activities right away. The only exception is sex, which you should avoid for two or three days.
MonaLisa Touch Results
Here’s what you can expect once you’ve had your treatment:
- For the first few days after each procedure: You may have some mild discomfort or watery discharge. These are normal side effects, and no cause for worry.
- Within a week of your first treatment: You should notice an improvement in vaginal dryness and other symptoms — 97 percent of our patients do. That improvement typically continues with additional treatments. Most people get the maximum benefits after three initial treatments, though some need five or six.
- After your initial treatments are over: You’ll need one “touch-up” treatment per year to maintain the results.
MonaLisa Touch Cost
Vaginal laser treatment (MonaLisa Touch) is not typically covered by insurance. At Rush, it costs:
- $2,500 total for the first three treatments (most people do best with three initial treatments)
- $833 for each additional treatment, including annual touch-ups (most people do best with one touch-up per year)
Rush offers payment plans, so you don’t have to pay for the treatments all at once.
Rush Excellence in Vaginal Laser Treatment (MonaLisa Touch)
- Nationally ranked for gynecologic care: U.S. News & World Report ranked Rush University Medical Center No. 13 in the nation for gynecologic care. Our gynecology program takes a holistic approach to your care, prioritizing your preferences and offering you a full range of treatment options that consider your overall well-being.
- Vaginal dryness and painful intercourse treatments tailored to you: Rush offers multiple treatment options for vaginal dryness and related problems. Our experts will listen to your needs and help find a treatment that works best for you.
- Specialized program for pelvic health: Rush University Medical Center offers a program for abdominal and pelvic health problems. The program offers physical therapy and a range of other treatments for vaginal dryness and painful intercourse. These options can work in concert with vaginal laser treatment or provide a good alternative if it turns out that vaginal laser therapy isn’t right for you.
- Caring for your emotional health: The Marital and Sex Therapy Program at Rush University Medical Center specializes in helping women who experience painful intercourse or other sex-related issues. A clinical psychologist will partner with you to work through any emotional issues that may be impacting your sex life.