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According to the Women’s Health Organisation, 17% of women between the ages of 18 and 50 experience problems with vaginal dryness, whilst around 58% of post-menopausal women experience vaginal atrophy. Since this is more common among post-menopausal women, the signs that appear during peri-menopause and menopause should be better understood to help identify the problem earlier.

“Loss of the sense of a woman’s femininity is associated with decline in oestrogen levels. Although lack of hormones has much to do with physiology, this is a multifactorial issue involving psychological and lifestyle factors, as well as correcting physiology by balancing hormones naturally.”

A Femiclinic Patient Shares Her Journey Of Ageing Problems In The Intimate Areas

I’m 48, and it had never occurred to me that even the ‘nether regions’ change over time with a loss of collagen and elasticity, just like on the face. When Dr Yuliya Burmagina-Mikhael, Gynaecologist at Dubai’s Femiclinic told me that my changes were normal, I felt relieved, if not cured. She explained that despite the high number of women experiencing symptoms related to vaginal dryness, it is still a sensitive issue that many women feel embarrassed to share with their partners, friends and even doctors.

What’s Killing My Libido? Read more here…

Vaginal Dryness… What Is It?

This is a common symptom experienced during the peri-menopausal and post-menopausal years of a woman’s life. Although inadequate vaginal lubrication can occur at any age, vaginal dryness is a hallmark sign of vaginal atrophy (atrophic vaginitis) – the thinning and inflammation of the vaginal walls due to a decline in oestrogen. Along with vaginal dryness, women may also experience itching and stinging around the vaginal opening, and in the lower third of the vagina. Whilst I know that menopause is inevitable with most of us undergoing ‘the change’ at around age 50 (usually around 45-55), I feel youthful, am told I look youthful and am committed to leading a vibrant life in every way. So even though with menopause, periods cease, the ovaries stop making oestrogen and progesterone – no longer releasing eggs for baby-making ends – a fulfilling intimacy need not be part of the package. With a little help, of course…

yuliya

Vaginal rejuvenation – I prefer to call it female genito-urinary restoration – is becoming increasingly popular. This is because more women are now aware about available and affordable techniques. The media plays a huge role, but word-of-mouth is essential in gaining popularity. Patients are happy at the end of the treatment and they obviously share their success stories with their friends and relatives. The range of procedures available have also increased recently – now we offer laser, radiofrequency, use of platelets rich plasma, dermal fillers, and growth factor substances, all of which are sometimes used as a combination. There diverse procedures for different indications. However most of them are designed to restore vulvo-vaginal complex. These are the areas that are most affected during a normal birth, and particularly if it is a difficult one, like instrumental deliveries, prolonged labour, deliveries of large babies etc. If a woman has had multiple deliveries, things ‘down there’ suffer; it’s inevitable to have some vulvo-vaginal dysfunction. However, some procedures are not related to childbirth at all, like labiaplasty, correction of genital hyperpigmentation (darkening of the skin), treatments of some forms of sexual dysfunction, and treatment of vaginal dryness.
– Dr Yuliya Burmagina-Mikhael, Gynaecologist, Femiclinic

Ready, Steady, Go

For me, she advises a series of three 15-minute sessions using a radio frequency device that rejuvenates the intimate area overall. I am prepped in the same way as a normal gynaecological exam and did not feel uncomfortable in any way. It was so quick; I barely noticed anything other than mild inner warmth and tingling.

Each procedure has its own potential indicators. Any woman who experiences mild to moderate urine incontinence (‘leaky bladder’), has problems withholding wind, or decreased sexual gratification would be an ideal candidate for such a treatment. Additionally, women dissatisfied with the appearance of their external genitalia would benefit without the need of surgery. Another good example is women who have undergone treatment for cancer and suffer from vaginal dryness – the use of hormonal meds for them is limited, so for them these non-invasive protocols have value. There is no established age limit for vulvo-vaginal restoration if the patient is in her reproductive age or beyond, so long as she is generally healthy.
– Dr Yuliya Burmagina-Mikhael, Gynaecologist, Femiclinic

After the procedure, Dr Yuliya added a few dabs of AQ Vaginal Rejuvenation System (VRS) created by Emirati scientist Dr. Ahmed Al-Qahtani. She explained that it is a breakthrough nonsurgical and effective solution for vaginal rejuvenation. Formulated using patented Growth Factor technology, a by-product of scientific innovation; it was originally created for healing wounded tissue and creating artificial skin grafts.

Dr. Ahmed Al-QahtaniThese two technologies (Radio Frequency plus Growth Factors) are also ideal for younger women. She explains, “I use this excellent combination to address incontinence and problems relating to multiple births”, she says. “Whenever the area has been compromised or weakened, these non-invasive approaches help all women.”

“Research from the Yale Midlife Study showed that leading up to and around the menopause 77% of women reported a loss of libido, 58% experienced vaginal dryness and 39% painful intercourse. Loss of libido is even more common than hot flushes for women in the menopause and many women also have either loss of sensation or physical pain due to vaginal dryness that further contributes to a lack of sex drive. Is this just ‘what happens’ or is there something you can do about it?”

A Little Serum Goes A Long Way

After having completed three sessions with Dr Yuliya, spread over two week intervals, I can safely say that I am now far more aware of just how delicate and overlooked this area is. I feel more complete in myself. It’s a subtle change and is difficult to put into words, but I am appreciating the benefits with renewed youthfulness and elasticity. For decades, this vital area has served me faithfully and I naively expected it never to change. Yet, since the only constant of life, is change, now I use the AQ serum at home, applying it as naturally as I would a cream on my face.

“The main driver of loss of sensation is low testosterone. The vulva and clitoris contain testosterone receptors and atrophy without enough testosterone. The first issue that must be corrected is vaginal dryness because this makes sex painful which is really a turn off.”

ThermiVa

ThermiVa

ThermiVA is Dr Yuliya’s favourite radiofrequency technique…

It is the latest available rejuvenation technique involving radiofrequency thermal effect. It’s super popular in the US and we at Femiclinic are the first clinic to offer the procedure in the UAE. The treatment is versatile, painless, does not require any preparation and has no downtime at all. It consists of heating the tissue with the help of a special wand using coupling gel. The difference compared to existing options is that it also helps in improving sexual function as it works beautifully on improving nerve sensitivity by correction of existing nerve damage, thanks to the radiofrequency thermal effect. Another plus is that there are no complications and no downtime to this procedure. Patients are particularly happy about the results because they are obvious even after the first session. The design of the hand piece is very ergonomic so it can be easily used even for post-menopausal or young women.
– Dr Yuliya Burmagina-Mikhael, Gynaecologist, Femiclinic

Address Vaginal Dryness With Growth Factors…I Did

Growth Factors are a group of specialised proteins with many functions, the most important being the activation of cellular proliferation and differentiation – in other words, cell repair.

They can turn essential cellular activities ‘on’ and ‘off’, increase cell functions including cell division, blood vessel formation and collagen and elastin production.” Using this technology, the VRS serum serves as part of the body’s natural lubrication, which consists of thick fluid that is deposited to contact the walls encircling the vagina. VRS rejuvenates the vagina by helping to restore natural vaginal function. Lastly, it can “help women achieve heightened vaginal sensations, hydrate the interior vaginal walls and create a tightening effect, thereby allowing increased sensation and youthful resilience to an important part of the body.

I’m up for that, at any age…

Make Sense Of The Menopause

Women can experience all or none of these symptoms. Hot flushes, moodiness, headaches, trouble sleeping, problems with short-term memory, decrease in breast tissue, diminished sex drive (libido) and sexual response, high risk of bone loss (osteoporosis), urinary system changes such as frequency and urgency of urination, and increased risk of urinary tract infection, a loss of tone in the pubic muscles resulting in the vagina, and the uterus, or urinary bladder falling out of position (prolapse).

Menopause And The Increased Risk Of Heart Disease

Check-Up And Check Out

Physicians advise that in addition to these changes, take a handheld mirror and observe the colour inside the opening of the vagina. Deep pink signifies healthy vaginal tissue, whereas, pale or very light colouring can mean fragile vaginal mucosa. Also, if you experience vaginal dryness, itching, irritation, and/or pain during sexual intercourse, consult a gynaecologist immediately for proper examination. Most importantly, regular check-ups and preventive screening are essential, even if you’re not exhibiting symptoms; an annual visit to the gynaecologist once a year is a must.

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