Many private clinics today offer women a laser procedure described to rejuvenate their genitalia, a possible menopausal treatment.
However, BBC News reported that according to researchers, this potentially risky therapy offered to menopausal female individuals "is no better than sham or fake" treatment
The researchers tested the laser treatment in a trial to find out if it may help alleviate vaginal dryness and painful sexual intercourse associated with experiencing the change due to menopause.
According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, the National Health Service advisory body said the treatment needs to be used only for study purposes.
However, some private clinics in the United Kingdom, as well as the United States, continue offering the said procedure.
Essentially, laser rejuvenation includes a probe that's inserted into the vagina to change and heat or remodel the tissue surrounding it.
Potentially Harmful Procedure
Clinics have claimed that kick-starting the healing process of the body by deliberately injuring the tissue can augment natural lubrication and restore sexual pleasure.
Officials said the non-surgical treatment can be done completely within a lunch hour although it is not totally risk-free.
The US regulator has already expressed its deep concern for women that the procedure can do them harm. In fact, as this report said, some who have undergone laser treatment experienced vaginal scarring and burns.
The study which came out in the Journal of the American Medical Association is one of the most extensive studies to independently scrutinize the treatment through the use of the so-called "gold standard" design of a clinical trial.
Meanwhile, NICE has called for this type of work, to find out if the treatment is safe and providing enough benefits to be recommended for more extensive use in the NHS.
Laser Vs Placebo
The Australian scientists, not financially backed by the industry, randomized more than 80 women to be given either the laser procedure or a placebo treatment, where the probe was inserted although the required dose of the laser energy was not provided.
As a result, no adverse side effects were recorded although, during the year of follow-up, no serious side-effects were recorded - but during the year of follow-up, no visible difference was found in both groups in terms of alleviation of symptoms either.
An accompanying JAMA editorial related the laser-treatment situation to the recent "vaginal-mesh scare," when a number of women were harmed by a procedure later stopped due to safety concerns.
Dr. Marisa Adelman and Dr. Ingrid Nygaard, authors of the study from the University of Utah School of medicine explained, the extensive use of vaginal laser treatment, followed by burgeoning reports of the adverse occurrence of rigorous randomized trials, such products are not marketed in the US anymore.
Dealing with Menopause
A 2017 report from Harvard Health Publishing said one could argue that both the physical and mental changes taking place during menopause "are not really symptoms." The term is typically associated with a disease while menopause is not.
More so, it is frequently difficult to say which changes are a direct outcome of a drop in levels of hormones and which are natural effects of aging.
Two symptoms most typically associated with menopause include vaginal dryness and hot flashes. Other symptoms linked to this condition may also include sleep disruptions, urinary discomfort, sexual dysfunction, mood swings, and quality of life.
In relation to these experiences, gynecology doctors may perform a blood test to gauge hormone levels and can refer their patients to a menopause specialist.
Hormone-replacement therapy on the other hand or vaginal estrogen creams and lubricants are recommended for use by some specialists to help alleviate such discomforts.
Related information about laser treatment for vaginal rejuvenation is shown on AI Hayat Medical Center's YouTube video below:
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