Vaginal health after breast cancer: Finding a more permanent solution for post-treatment vaginal pain and discomfort
Once you have conquered breast cancer, you shouldn’t have to face vaginal health issues and compromised sexual self-confidence.
Unfortunately, one of the lingering side effects of most breast cancer treatments is that vaginal and overall pelvic health can suffer.
How does this happen? One of the key elements for vaginal health is the hormone estrogen. But for breast cancer patients, even naturally occurring estrogen can increase the risk of cancer recurrence. Chemotherapy, drugs and other treatment methods suppress estrogen production and absorption. As a result, many women, even younger women, experience menopausal symptoms, including thinning of the vaginal walls, vaginal dryness, and painful intercourse, along with hot flashes, joint aches and night sweats.
Some of these menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes, can be temporary. However, vaginal dryness, painful intercourse and changes in sexual function are often more persistent and may even worsen over time. Urinary incontinence can become an issue as pelvic floor health is compromised. This common set of symptoms is called the genito-urinary syndrome of menopause (GSM).
The emotional fallout of cancer diagnosis and treatment can exacerbate the physical symptoms. Depression, changes in appearance, fatigue, and stress can all affect a woman’s self-image and sexual self-confidence.
When experiencing sexual, vaginal, and urinary health problems, many women turn to a urogynecologist, a doctor who specializes in pelvic floor health, which includes the reproductive and the urinary systems. A urogynecologist will work with you to develop a treatment program that will improve and maintain your vaginal health and strengthen your pelvic floor.
One option that can offer long-lasting relief from vaginal dryness and painful intercourse is a new, non-invasive procedure now available at the Coyle Institute. As Pensacola’s only urogynecologists, the doctors at the Coyle Institute understand the unique health needs of women who have gone through breast cancer treatment.
diVa Laser Vaginal Therapy
The Coyle Institute has had overwhelming success treating the genito-urinary symptoms of early-onset menopause with diVa Laser Vaginal Therapy. diVa uses cutting-edge Hybrid Fractional Laser Technology to increase the thickness and elasticity of the vaginal wall painlessly while increasing vaginal moisture and improving sexual satisfaction. Because the lasers penetrate deep into in the tissues, diVa can also help minor cases of urinary stress incontinence.
But most importantly, it improves a woman’s sexual confidence and quality of life.
During each diVa dual-laser vaginal therapy session, layers of the vaginal walls are deeply resurfaced by the first laser and replaced with healthy new tissue. The second laser heats the deep layers of collagen, which strengthens and revitalizes the vaginal tissue. Collagen and healthy new tissue layers continue to regenerate over time, so women regain elasticity and vitality in their vaginal tissues, which can decrease painful intercourse and urinary incontinence.
diVa requires no sedation, no surgery and no recovery time. It takes only 3 to 5 minutes to treat the full length of a vaginal canal in the comfort and safety of an in-office setting with minimal discomfort.
Yes, diVa improves vaginal health, but more importantly, it empowers women to restore their confidence about their health and their sexuality after breast cancer treatment.
Contact the Coyle Institute today to learn more or to schedule your consultation.