Thermi Part 2: ThermiVA Vaginal tightening and leaking urine (stress incontinence)
So I’m guessing you’re wondering what this has to do with skin. But….when you think about it………we also have skin called “mucous membranes” in our mouths, vaginas and inside the nose, and the urethra (the tube we pee through). The ThermiVA focuses on the vagina and external female genitals (“lady bits”). This is different than the other two Thermi systems which focus on skin on the face, neck, body etc. If you are now totally confused, I don’t blame you. They made the names so similar it was bound to cause confusion!
What does the Thermi system do?
The Thermi systems use radiofrequency, a type of sound wave to generate a certain degree of heating for a specific time which causes tightening. It turns out this type of system works a lot better on mucous membranes which makes sense if you think that regular skin acts as a barrier. So since the skin inside our vaginas doesn’t have that barrier layer and the barrier layer for our labia (external lady parts) is thin, this system works well here.
Why does ThermiVa vaginal tightening help during sex?
Why would you want this? Over a short series of 2-3 treatments it tightens the inner vaginal walls by thickening the lining. For many women it increases sexual pleasure by allowing more friction in a good way during sex. Nice for women who are stretched out after childbirth. The improved thickness of the vaginal lining also makes sex more comfortable for women who are post menopausal or post chemo/surgery for breast cancer who can’t use estrogen. Some women have also reported more intense orgasms. Insurance does not cover this. Maintenance data is not available yet but possibly once or twice a year.
Why does this help with leaking urine (stress incontinence)?
If your stress incontinence is severe, it wont!! See your urologist. If though, you have a mild or moderate problem – a little leaking when you cough or sneeze or laugh when your bladder is full, then this is a non surgical option that might an option for you. It seems to improve this problem by increasing the collagen in the surrounding tissues. You still need to do your Kegle exercises! Insurance does not cover this. Maintenance data is not available yet but possibly once or twice a year.
What does it feel like?
I had to try this myself (post 3 children)!! I found this very comfortable and almost fell asleep. The machine itself which looks like a laser system has an arm with a flexible end shaped a little like a dildo. No other way to describe this. During the treatment, it feels warm but rarely too hot. I and most women have no discomfort afterwards, there are no restrictions on activity and it takes about 1-3 months to see the full effect.
Bottom Line: This treatment is worth a try, if you have the money and time, as a possible nonsurgical option for vaginal laxity (too loose) and for mild, and possibly moderate stress incontinence.
Hope this helps, Dr. I