In the early 20th century a women’s life expectancy coincided with their child bearing years and menopause was not an issue. With advances in modern medicine in the last few decades and better lifestyles, more than 95% of women reach menopause with a life expectancy of 30 years past menopause.
Today, the average menopausal age for Australian women is 52 years – meaning that 40% of a women’s life is post menopause.
What is menopause?
Menopause is a stage of life where ovaries cease producing hormones, which presents as cessation of periods.
It can have distressing symptoms such as; hot flushes, night sweats and mood swings just to mention a few. One third of menopausal women experience vaginal atrophy by the third year of menopause. This is due to thinning of the vaginal skin and loss of collagen. The woman experiences vaginal dryness, burning, itching, pain with intercourse and urinary incontinence or urinary urgency at times. Unlike other symptoms of menopause the vaginal and bladder symptoms worsen with each passing year severely affecting quality of life. This fact is unfortunately never discussed either by the women or their doctors.
Treating the symptoms of menopause
Traditionally these symptoms have been treated with vaginal Estrogen therapy (HRT), which requires prolonged usage and may not suit everyone. This hormonal treatment is contraindicated (not recommended) in women who have had breast cancer, blood clots in their leg veins or lungs (deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism) in the past.
However in 2008, the treatment for vaginal atrophy was revolutionised by the introduction of the MonaLisa Touch™ vaginal laser.
MonaLisa Touch™ provides relief with symptoms of vaginal and bladder atrophy, along with vaginal laxity and prolapse, it stimulates the vaginal skin to repair itself by increasing collagen production reducing symptoms by up to 80%.
The procedure is minimally invasive, painless, non-hormonal, needs no downtime and is performed in our rooms. A woman would need 3 procedures lasting 5 -10 mins each 4-6 weeks apart to give lasting results. Patients could have 1-2 top up treatments every year.
We know that with women living longer we need to remember that being menopausal is not renouncing lifestyle activities. These are active women in the prime of life and with a lot to contribute to society. MonaLisa Touch™ is about understanding some of the important issues surrounding menopause and providing effective and lasting solutions.
Northside Gynaecology have been one of the pioneering practices in Brisbane offering this treatment with very promising results in more than 260 patients since the start.
One of our patients commented on their results, “The MonaLisa Touch™ has made a great difference to my life as I now always feel comfortable! I sleep better, walk more comfortably, don’t fear going to the toilet and I am more relaxed with intercourse. It’s such a relief knowing all is great again!”
Author: Dr Archna Saraswat ( September 2015 )