I had not given birth, so I assumed I completely avoided the whole tinkle when you laugh phase. I was so wrong. Factor in having a hysterectomy at 34, I was in need of help. I was dealing with many of the symptoms of being post-menopausal and my sexual health was suffering. After a consultation with Center for Women's Sexual Health, I was a good candidate for diVa laser vaginal therapy.
After discussing it with Nisha McKenzie PA-C, I ended up down every internet rabbit hole. I read the reviews, looked up every place that performed the service, I even watched procedural YouTube videos. Many of them said the same thing: Minimal downtime, back to work the same day, helps with vaginal atrophy, dryness and urinary leakage. That's great, but what about the actual procedure?
Sometimes, you need a friend's explanation of the procedure to really understand it.
I arrived 30 minutes before my appointment and was brought back to the procedure room. I undressed from the waist down and a topical numbing ointment was applied intravaginally. Bring a book or your phone, because once you're back, you will be hanging out while your vagina numbs. You'll spend about 10-15 minutes on your back, then will flip onto your stomach.
Then, Nisha came in.
All the additional numbing ointment needs to be removed, because the laser is attracted to it and could impact your treatment if left in. Once that's complete, its laser time!
A stamped quartz dilator or sheath is inserted. And nope, you can't keep it afterwards—I asked. The laser then is inserted into the sheath and slowly spirals around the vaginal walls. The first pass through with the lasers penetrates the surface of the vagina. It wasn't painful and went pretty quickly.
The second pass with the laser penetrates deeper into the vaginal tissue and helps promote collagen growth. The second pass was not really painful, but prickly—a little uncomfortable. It only took a few minutes, and I was done!
I was sent home with some panty liners, pads, a tube of Vaseline and after care instructions. Although it is completely normal to experience some light spotting, I didn't have any. I was a little tender and warm feeling following the procedure, but by the next day, I felt completely normal. It's important to note that you have to abstain from intercourse for 72 hours, because it could cause scarring as the tissue is healing.
The recommendation is three treatments, but after one treatment, I was experiencing many of the benefits! If you are experiencing urinary leaking, vaginal dryness, have given birth, or received chemotherapy, diVa Vaginal Therapy might be a great option for you!
Written by Nicholette Driggs, Coordinator, Marketing & Community Outreach, Grand Rapids OB/GYN and the Center for Women's Sexual Health.