Spoiler alert: They want to feel and look vibrant and it’s their choice.
*This blog is personal, and has been brewing for quite some time. Hope you find it helpful for you and the women in your lives*
I am 42 years-old. I have abundant energy, goals, and long-term life plans. It is difficult for me to accept things that our mothers, and their mothers, accepted to set their dreams and lives aside because of their wellness struggles that came with age – at ages very close to mine. It’s put a lot of things into perspective for me.
In the 1980s, people would have thought Jennifer Lopez was a complete mutant for her performance at the Super Bowl Half-Time show, but sadly, today, people still think women like her should just be tucked away; people still want women to look and feel repressed. They have a hard time seeing a woman be so vibrant, powerful, completely taking her own life into her own hands, seemingly unabashedly.
Here are some stories of women who made a personal impact on me:
Both my mother and mother-in-law are 72 years old. During their late 50s-60s, they both started experiencing symptoms of vaginal dryness and urine leakage doing the most simple things like coughing or laughing (something women of ALL ages can experience). Their physicians and peers would tell them that it was ‘normal’ for their age, even when they were in complete and constant discomfort. These symptoms continued for years, and they tried to treat it with over the counter pH balancing products and/or very frequent medications for urinary tract infections.
Unfortunately but unintentionally, neglecting their symptoms led to full pelvic floor dysfunction causing frequent urinary tract infections, significant pelvic discomfort, more incontinence, and more emotional discomfort as well. This required both of them to undergo identical long surgeries in the last few months – a hysterectomy, and pelvic floor repair with a bladder lift because their weak pelvic floor had allowed their bladders to literally ‘fall’ into the vagina (no, I am not exaggerating). At 72 years-old, they had accepted this simply as a part of being an aging woman. In fact, many of their friends still do, and I give major kudos to my mom and mother-in-law for actively seeking treatment, first with the MonaLisa Touch laser (more about this later) to rebuild their vaginal wall and pelvic floor, and then with surgery, because their cases were so longterm, it was truly the only other option for them. They were both given other less invasive options, but they bravely declared that they wanted the best and most effective option so that they could continue to lead their active lifestyles. They are both healing very well and quickly.
My second source of inspiration comes from a patient who was diagnosed with breast cancer at age forty. She was lucky to be diagnosed early and she immediately underwent aggressive treatments that forced the cancer into remission but pushed her into early menopause. She is certainly grateful to be alive to raise her young family, however, a year after her treatment, some harsh realities of being a cancer survivor had started to surface. She is a beautiful, vibrant and intelligent woman who lives life to the fullest, but her chemotherapy left her with all the symptoms of an older woman in her 50s-60s, and because her menopause was medically induced, her symptoms were very severe. She has discussed this with her physicians only to be told that she should ACCEPT this as an expected part of being a cancer survivor, and then told to be grateful that she is alive. Being a physician herself, she decided that this simply was not acceptable and started researching her options on her own. She decided to proceed with a series of vaginal treatments with the MonaLisa Touch Laser. I had the privilege of facilitating her MonaLisa Touch laser treatments, and in the end, I felt grateful for this important lesson she had taught me – a patient is a person first, and don’t forget to treat a person while you treat their disease, whether you’re a doctor or anyone else who is overlooking your (and their) emotional and physical pain.
Mona Lisa Touch treatments have given this patient her sexuality back AND comfortable in her womanhood that had been stripped by her cancer treatment. She, and many cancer survivors like her, are taught to accept that they are fortunate to be cancer-free and alive, but they often forget that living your life to the fullest is a part of being alive. These are still women who lead vibrant and full lives.
My patient, mother and mother-in-law clearly live life on their own terms, as they should, and I can list multiple other women who I admire for doing so. While I admire their determination to seek only the best treatments, I am equally impressed with the technological advancements available to us.
What is MonaLisa Touch?
The MonaLisa Touch laser has been a staple in my practice since we introduced it a few years ago. It is a novel laser treatment that treats vaginal dryness, atrophy, mild incontinence, painful intercourse and vaginal laxity after child birth. I chose to add this technology to my practice because of all the scientific literature supporting an almost 99% efficacy and satisfaction rating (which is very high for medical treatments), and the number of women I was treating with hormones for their menopausal symptoms.
How Does MonaLisa Touch work?
MonaLisa Touch requires a series of 3 painless treatments that are performed in my office, completely medically supervised, and does not require any anesthesia or down time.
MonaLisa Touch is not ideal in these circumstances:
Unfortunately, hormones are not an option for peri-menopausal women in the long-run as they can lead to increased chances of cancer and heart disease, and this is also not an option for women who have a history of breast or gynecological cancers.
Please be aware that this is not a treatment for more severe types of incontinence, bladder or rectal prolapse, which is why I do a full vaginal speculum exam along with detailed symptom review before determining eligibility for the treatment.
What Can you do NOW…
Educate yourself about the options you have and DESERVE. Explore our website if you want to learn more about MonaLisa Touch, and the scientific details behind the treatment for vaginal rejuvenation.
I do hope that reading this blog has inspired you to open up about a topic that so many of us had undervalued, and considered a ‘normal’ part of life. PAIN and DISCOMFORT in your body is NOT normal. I have tried MonaLisa Touch and will continue with my annual maintenance treatment, because like so many of my amazing patients, I do not believe in accepting vaginal symptoms as a ‘normal’ part of aging, and plan to live a fully vibrant and pleasure-filled life.
Also, thank you Jennifer Lopez and Shakira for basically changing my life in 14 minutes 😂