An estimated 24% of women in the US alone are diagnosed each year with pelvic floor issues.
That's right. For nearly 1 out of 4 women, a life where they can live and love like they want to may feel completely out of reach. With numbers like these, it's no wonder that vaginal and vulvar makeovers are among the fastest growing elective cosmetic surgery, but it often comes with a massive price tag.
Yet, price isn't the only consideration. Many women experiencing pelvic floor dysfunction simply don't have time to make regular visits to their doctor or physiotherapist.
If you're feeling a little less like yourself down there and aren't sure where to turn, you're in the right place. What's happening to you happens to so many of us. Whether you're seeking help due to babies, menopause or the simple fact that you deserve to feel comfortable in your own skin, we'll walk you through your options step-by-step.
Table of contents
- What Is Vaginal Rejuvenation, Anyway?
- How Have Vaginal Rejuvenation Procedures Changed over Time?
- Vaginal Rejuvenation 101: Surgery, Laser Treatment and Other Options
- The Vaginal Rejuvenation Process (and How Much Does It Really Cost?)
What Is “Vaginal Rejuvenation”, Anyway?
Before we dive into the so-called vaginal rejuvenation process and the growing catalog of options for women, let’s talk about the name itself. In 2018, the FDA issued a statement on many in-office devices which were marketed as “vaginal rejuvenation” without appropriate clearances. It left consumers confused about the claims many companies were making as well as the potential outcome and results from these products. The bottom line is that the name vaginal rejuvenation doesn’t really mean anything, which is why the FDA has an issue with medical device companies using it to describe their technology. Facial rejuvenation is a word that’s been used for decades to describe skincare products and procedures that help give skin a healthy glow. But when it comes to vaginal health, it’s just not the same.
Regardless of what you’d like to call the process, it’s a fact that many women experience physical changes to their intimate areas that may require them to seek solutions. Let’s take a closer look at what happens downstairs over time.
The first time women experience significant vaginal changes post-puberty is after vaginal childbirth. The vaginal muscles are incredibly elastic. This allows the pelvic floor to stretch and expand (and sometimes tear) in order to push a fully formed human through the vaginal opening.
Pretty ah-mazing, huh?
Our bodies are truly extraordinary but even for women who don't have vaginal deliveries, the natural aging process can cause your vagina to lose its elasticity and natural lubrication making it difficult to enjoy life and sex as usual.
How Your Vagina and Pelvic Floor Change Over Time
Due to the trauma on the pelvic floor that occurs during childbirth or in the natural process of aging, the vagina and labia (exterior tissue) never quite return to their initial starting place. Some of these changes are inevitable, but a woman’s previous pelvic floor health, and what happened during birth have a larger effect on how well her pelvic floor muscles bounce back.
In addition, some women notice the following changes:
- Labia becomes darker
- Vulva and labia have less volume and plumpness
- Labia minora may lengthen
Hormone changes may also lead to vaginal dryness causing sex to become painful.
Looks aside, more serious complications can occur when the pelvic floor weakens. The pelvic floor functions like a hammock that holds the pelvic organs, which include the uterus, cervix, bladder, and rectum, in place.
Could Leakage Be Part of a Larger Issue?
In some cases, the pelvic floor muscles may weaken so much that they no longer support the pelvic organs, and women may develop pelvic floor dysfunction. This can result in urinary or fecal incontinence and may also result in what’s known as pelvic prolapse. Pelvic prolapse, or simply prolapse, happens when one or more pelvic organs drop down into the vagina.
Many of these changes also happen as women enter perimenopause and menopause. On average, women go through menopause around age 51. However, perimenopause (when ovaries gradually begin to produce less estrogen) can begin in a woman's 40s, and sometimes as early as her 30s.
As estrogen levels drop, the body produces less collagen. This causes thinness in the vaginal walls, loss of volume in the labia and clitoris, and loss of lubrication.
Some women experience vaginal atrophy, where the muscles and other tissues shrink and blood flow is reduced. This can lead to the point of partial or full closure causing intense pain and discomfort during sex, plus a greater risk for vaginal and urinary infections.
As you can see, the vagina is a complicated yet beautiful marvel. This is why vaginal rejuvenation holds so much promise for many women looking to restore vaginal health.
However, not all procedures are created equal. Now that we understand what happens to the vagina as we age, here’s a closer look at what the vague term “vaginal rejuvenation” really entails, along with alternatives to improve vaginal health and sexual function.
How Have Vaginal Rejuvenation Procedures Changed over Time?
Just as your vulva, vagina and pelvic floor change over time, so too do vaginal rejuvenation procedures.
Early procedures in the 2000s focused on giving women a cosmetically pleasing “Barbie” vagina.
So it was no surprise when, in 2007, The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) published a critical paper claiming vaginal rejuvenation and other vaginal beautification procedures were not acceptable surgical practices, citing data that supports safety and effectiveness concerns.
Their concerns were, and still are, very real. However, so is the demand for vaginal rejuvenation processes.
According to data published in the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the global vaginal rejuvenation market size was estimated at $4.4 billion in 2018, with vaginoplasty being the most popular—followed closely by labiaplasty.
So, where did this craze for a refreshed vagina come from?
Most of the credit goes to Dr. David Matlock, also known as the doctor who sculpted his perfect wife. Known as the founding father of fixing up V’s, he built an empire from his posh Beverly Hills practice. To this day, Dr. Matlock trains hundreds of doctors, has developed his own vaginal rejuvenation laser, and licenses his institution's name to over 150 doctors globally.
Vaginal Rejuvenation 101: Surgery, Laser Treatment and Other Options
Female genital cosmetic surgery (FGCS) is the more scientifically accurate term used for surgical and non-surgical vaginal corrective treatments. These procedures include:
- Vaginoplasty: surgical procedure to tighten the vagina
- Labiaplasty: reduce the size of the labia.
- Labia majoraplasty: enhance the size of labia majora, often using fillers to replace collagen
- Hymenoplasty: a surgical procedure to repair or replace a torn hymen
- Clitoral hood reduction: surgery to reduce excess folds in skin above the clitoris
- Monsplasty: procedure to reduce the mons (fatty tissue in pubic area)
- Non-surgical radiofrequency and laser vaginal rejuvenation: devices that use radiofrequency or laser energy to induce collagen tightening
- O-Shot and G-Shot: injections into the clitoris and/or G-spot using platelet-rich plasma or fillers to enhance orgasm
Despite a growing number of practices offering these procedures, the medical community remains skeptical. Let's take a closer look at why this skepticism exists.
The Vaginal Rejuvenation Process (and How Much Does It Really Cost?)
A laser or surgical vaginoplasty can cost upward of $10,000 dollars. Even smaller procedures like the O-Shot can set women back a cool $1,800.
Still, for some women in search of better sex, lubrication, and a leak-free lifestyle, no cost is too high.
For others, the hefty price tag of vaginal rejuvenation, coupled with the often invasive procedures and large time commitment, is enough to steer them away. That’s why many women seek natural or home-based alternatives to restore sexual health and personal confidence.
Alternative Options to Restore Intimate Health and Function
Despite an estimated 30 million women in the US who suffer from pelvic floor issues, women’s intimate health and function is often a taboo topic at home and in doctors’ offices.
Many women feel too embarrassed to seek medical advice and treatment to improve pelvic floor function, while others simply don’t have the financial means for expensive procedures.Luckily, companies like Joylux are working to change this. A global women’s health company committed to driving innovation and bringing awareness to the importance of intimate health. Joylux offers a portfolio of premium products indicated to help women overcome intimate wellness issues- from pelvic floor weakness to the simple desire to improve sexual wellness with confidence, certainty, and dignity.