In case you haven’t heard, actress and businesswoman, Jada Pinkett Smith recently made headlines by opening up about her vaginal rejuvenation treatment.

In an episode of her Facebook Watch series, Red Table Talk, Jada Pinkett Smith spoke candidly about undergoing a treatment to resolve bladder issues. This episode sparked a media frenzy of people asking: what exactly is vaginal rejuvenation?  Which treatment is best? How do they work? And, most importantly, are they safe?

Is this a comfortable conversation to always talk about? No. But I think it’s super important,” said Jada on the Red Table Talk episode, “Vaginal Rejuvenation 101,” which you can watch here.

Vaginal rejuvenation has many different definitions; surgical vs. nonsurgical, invasive vs. noninvasive, laser vs. radiofrequency, etc. Here’s the low-down on what vaginal rejuvenation is, and what are different treatments/procedures.

 

What is vaginal rejuvenation?

Before we go any further, it’s important to note that vaginal rejuvenation is about more than aesthetic appeal. It’s about function and feeling. And, it’s about treating medical conditions that are affecting women worldwide.

“Vaginal rejuvenation is a marketing term, not a medical one. My patients don’t come in to have their vaginas rejuvenated; they come in because they are having medical problems that need a solution,” Lauren Streicher, MD, medical director of the Northwestern Medicine Center for Sexual Health and Menopause in Chicago, told Coveteur.

When you hear someone mention “vaginal rejuvenation,” they’re usually referring to surgery, laser, or radiofrequency to treat conditions such as vaginal laxity, urinary incontinence, sexual dysfunction or dyspareunia. And, these conditions are much more common than you might think. Many women suffer in silence with these treatable conditions.

  •  40% of women are affected by vaginal laxity (a feeling of looseness) resulting in a loss of sexual sensation.
  • One in three women are affected by bladder leakage (urinary incontinence) which causes women to pee a little when they laugh, sneeze, or workout.
  • 50% of postmenopausal women are affected by dyspareunia (vaginal dryness and irritation).

Some people think Jada’s candidness is TMI, but we absolutely love her openness and how she is normalizing women’s health. There are many treatments and procedures seeking to treat these normal, but life-changing, conditions. Keep reading to learn more!

 

Who is a good candidate for these treatments?

Women experience vaginal changes at different times in their lives, which means there’s a broad age range of women who are candidates for vaginal rejuvenation.

“Some women experience vaginal changes as a result of childbirth, trauma from surgery, or simply from the aging process,” said Dr. Maria Canter, urogynecologist and owner of the Urogynecology Center Nova in Virginia. “Some of these age-related vaginal changes, result in a loss of collagen, when it loses its strength and structure. Vaginal rejuvenation procedures can rebuild and renew this weakened collagen.”

Many women want to improve their vaginal laxity, urinary incontinence or sexual function. But there are also women who just like to keep up their bodies and maintain their current health, so they use vaginal rejuvenation treatments as preventative care.

“Almost every woman is a good candidate for a vaginal rejuvenation procedure,” said Dr. Canter. “Maybe a woman is in a new relationship or maybe she just had a divorce and wants to rejuvenate her intimate health and prepare herself for her next partner. This could also be for the athlete who doesn’t have time for a post-op recovery, or the woman who didn’t get the results she wanted from pelvic floor therapy.”

Before we dive in, it’s important to note:  The FDA has not approved any medical device for vaginal rejuvenation, but there are ongoing studies to research the safety and effectiveness of specific treatments.

 

Radiofrequency treatments

There are many treatments that use radiofrequency including Viveve, ThermiVa and Ultra Femme 360 (which Jada used). The Ultra Femme 360 treatment requires three separate visits.

What is it?

Radiofrequency treatments use a small probe or wand inside the vagina to gently deliver pulses of energy to remodel collagen in the vagina. Treatments last 8-60 minutes and require multiple visits, except for the Viveve treatment which only requires one session.

How much does it cost?

$1,000- $6,000 depending on the treatment, the healthcare provider and the number of required visits.

What is the recovery time?

Most radiofrequency treatments require women to abstain from sex for at least 2 days, and some have side effects of light spotting. Also, a topical anesthetic or cream is usually recommended before or after treatment, except the Viveve treatment which uses patented cryogen-cooling to protect the vaginal tissue so no anesthetic is needed.

 

Surgical treatments

The most popular surgical procedures for vaginal rejuvenation are labiaplasty and vaginoplasty.

What is it?

Labiaplasty is a surgery to “remove excess tissue from the labia, either for cosmetic reasons or for women who feel physical discomfort due to enlarged or elongated labia,” according to RealSelf. Vaginoplasty is a surgery for “tightening of the vaginal wall, specifically at the entry point to the vagina. Incisions are made on the inside of the vagina,” according to RealSelf.

How much does it cost?

$3,500 to $9,500 depending on the surgery and the healthcare provider.

What is the recovery time?

“I usually suggest that patients take two full days off work/school to decrease swelling. During this time, it is important to stay off your feet and ice the area…Healing is complete in two weeks, and at that point patients can resume exercise,” Dr. Leila Kasrai, Toronto plastic surgeon, told RealSelf.

 

Laser treatments

The most common laser treatments for vaginal rejuvenation are DiVa, Femilift, MonaLisa Touch, Juliet, and IntimaLase.

What is it?

Laser treatments use a small laser in the vagina to heat the tissue. The procedure lasts 10-45 minutes and requires multiple sessions.

How much does it cost?

$1,000- $6,000 depending on the treatment, the healthcare provider, and the amount of required visits.

What is the recovery time?

Most laser treatments require a topical anesthetic before treatment or a healing cream such as aloe vera, after the treatment. Patients may experience some cramping or light spotting, and usually have to abstain from sex for several days.

 

Tying it all together

If you are considering a vaginal rejuvenation treatment, always make sure you consult your healthcare provider and do your own research. Look for a clinically-proven, effective treatment with positive patient testimonials, and real results.

Pro tip: check out RealSelf, the go-to review site for elective procedures. It includes reviews of treatments, healthcare providers and patient testimonials. You can also connect directly with a provider who offers the treatment you want.

Most importantly, remember to choose for you. It’s about what you want, what makes you feel confident, happy and healthy.

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