While the procedure is relatively new for older South African women, we spoke to aesthetic medical experts recently to get the facts on what they say is a, “quick and painless” rejuvenation of the female genital region.
“Women in their late 30s and 40s are generally in a good space in life but usually start losing control over their bodies as their hormones take toll. This procedure is giving them control over their bodies if they’ve had insecurities about their vaginas following menopause or even childbirth,” says Dr Nondumiso Makhunga-Stevenson, a GP with a special interest in aesthetic medicine.
“More women are reading up on this procedure as celebrities who’ve done it are influential in giving information on what it is about. As time goes, I’m expecting women coming out on their experience of it,” Makhunga-Stevenson said.
The procedure, which uses energy-based laser technology that emits carbon dioxide to layers of vaginal tissue, was designed to help women who have been through menopause, weight loss or childbirth, had laxity of the vaginal canal or damage to the pelvic wall among other issues.
The technology is used for both medical and cosmetic procedures.
Through the application of the heat through the layers of the vagina, collagen regeneration is stimulated making those layers firmer and tighter.
“More women want to change the appearance of their external vagina area, a treatment known as a labiaplasty, wanting to make theirs firmer or tighter like that of a younger woman,” she said.
Another procedure that is frequently requested by women is vaginal bleaching which basically lightens the skin around one’s vagina and anus.
“Women who come to us are those concerned or looking to improve their quality of life.
"Sometimes their issues result from incontinence and through the day, even the slightest cough or laugh can cause the release of urine and they want to correct that, also done through this procedure.”
For about R3 500 per treatment for a 30-45 minute session, women are taking matters into their own hands to also increase their sexual pleasure through the tightening procedure.
“You have three procedures over 12 weeks, thereafter an annual treatment. We’re still working to have medical aids to reimburse their members for the treatments but that’s still pending. I think it’s still very new in SA so it’s not a very well-known service but it does get a lot of attention and interest during conversations”.
Another aesthetics practitioner, Dr Yair Edinburg, said that there are other medical options women can use to tighten their vaginal muscles.
These include treatments such as hormonal gels, hormone replacement therapy or even vaginal surgery, but many are now opting for the laser technology.
“It’s exciting for me as a GP to be able to give my patients another option through this procedure,” Edinburg said.