Intimate well-being is an integral part of the general well-being and the emergence of an intimate discomfort in daily life can be a real burden.
The common treatments for intimate complaints consist of topical creams or pelvic floor exercises, but sometimes do not help sufficiently to regain a satisfactory comfort.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is it ?
The purpose of anti-aging and functional gynaecology is to restore and maintain intimate comfort in any situation of daily life and regardless of age. The term “anti-aging” refers to the discomforts related to aging, while the term “functional” refers to conditions that interfere with the natural, daily functions of the intimate area.
Women disturbed by intimate discomfort despite repeated treatments can have recourse to anti-aging and functional gynaecology. The most common complaints are : vaginal dryness, itching, hypersensitivity, pain, weakness of the pelvic floor or loss of intimate sensations.
The intimate area includes externally : the vulva, labia majora, perineum and surrounding skin, and internally : the vagina.
Usually, there are several possibilities for each indication. A first appointment is necessary to discuss these different options in the given situation, and to choose the appropriate treatment.
Intimate or vaginal dryness occurs when the mucous membranes of the intimate area are no longer able to produce sufficient secretions to lubricate the area. This can cause burning, itching or pain.
The main cause of vaginal dryness is a lack of hormonal stimulation of the mucous membranes. This can be due to menopause, breastfeeding or “anti-hormonal” treatments (such as for endometriosis, fibroids or breast cancer). Psychological causes of vaginal dryness are also possible (such as stress, anxiety or depression).
Sometimes, the cause cannot be identified. The classic treatment of vaginal dryness consists of the use of a moisturizing or hormonal cream to hydrate and stimulate the mucous membranes. In addition, a lubricating gel can be used for more comfort. Most complaints disappear with these measures, but other solutions can be considered in case of persistent complaints:
Intimate weakness or laxity
Intimate weakness or vaginal laxity occurs when the mucous membranes and muscles around the vagina are no longer able to provide sufficient support to the vagina. This results in a lack of tightness and elasticity and can lead to intimate discomfort, loss of sensations during intercourse, a feeling of heaviness in the area or urine leakage.
The main cause of vaginal laxity is related to the body’s natural aging process. Over time, there is a deceased cell activity, skin quality deteriorates, mucous membranes become thinner and muscles weaker. This process starts slowly already at a young age, but suddenly accelerates during menopause. Therefore, the first complaints usually appear after menopause. However, pregnancy and childbirth can also cause vaginal laxity due to excessive stretching of the tissues. Although the body usually recovers from this within 6 months, laxity can sometimes persist longer.
The classic treatment of vaginal laxity consists of the use of a moisturizing or hormonal cream to stimulate the mucous membranes in combination with exercises that strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. Most complaints disappear with these measures, but other solutions can be considered in case of persistent complaints:
Intimate contraction or vaginismus
Vaginismus is a condition characterized by abnormal contraction of the muscles around the vagina. This causes tightening of the vaginal entrance and walls and can cause pain or difficulties during intercourse.
Vaginismus can result from a traumatic experience, either physically (such as intense pain in the intimate zone) or psychologically (such as a distressing experience or aggression). Sometimes, the cause cannot be identified.
The treatment of vaginismus is based on the relaxation of the pelvic floor muscles and importantly, on avoiding a new painful or stressful situation. If necessary, an additional solution can be considered:
Intimate pain, discomfort or hypersensitivity
Intimate discomfort is present when unpleasant sensations such as pain, burning, itching or prickles in the intimate zone disturb daily life. The complaints can occur after using the toilet, during sports, during or after intercourse or simply at rest.
Various conditions can cause intimate discomfort : an infection, irritation, a crack, dryness, lichen simplex, lichen sclerosus, chronic vestibulitis, vulvodynia or hypersensitivity without identified cause.
The treatment of intimate discomfort begins with making the right diagnosis of the cause so that an appropriate treatment can be initiated on time. By delaying treatment, some conditions can be more difficult to treat or can cause irreversible changes. When classic treatments are not sufficient, other solutions can be considered:
Intimate area and aesthetic aspect
The intimate well-being also implies to maintain satisfaction with the visual aspect of the intimate area. Over time, the area can lose firmness and consistency, small folds can appear and the skin can become darker. arious solutions exist to refresh the appearance of the intimate area if necessary:
Is it painful?
Pain depends on the treatment chosen. ome treatments are painless, others can be uncomfortable or painful. In that case, a topical numbing cream or local anesthetic injection is provided to make the treatment as comfortable as possible.
Is it dangerous?
In general, the risks are low. Possible risks and unwanted effects are discussed at the first appointment. If specific measures apply before, during or after treatment, these will also be explained at the first appointment.
What is the duration of treatment?
The number of sessions needed depends on the chosen treatment, the initial situation and the desired result. After that, a maintenance session is sometimes recommended in order to prolong the obtained result, depending on the indication.
What is the cost of treatment ?
The cost of treatment depends on the type of treatment and the number of sessions.
An initial consultation is necessary to determine a treatment plan.