There are a huge number of physical changes a woman experiences during pregnancy and childbirth. Though stretch marks and separation of the stomach muscles are changes that many women expect after carrying a baby, some do not anticipate changes to the pelvic muscles. Following multiple vaginal births, the birth of a very large baby, or forceps-assisted birth, women are especially susceptible to developing vaginal laxity—loosening of the vaginal tissues. Vaginal laxity can be embarrassing, uncomfortable, and affect sexual satisfaction, causing a significant negative impact on a woman’s quality of life. Though it is a common problem, women often feel uncomfortable talking about the issue, and don’t want to consider surgical treatment. Thanks to advances in minimally invasive treatments, however, women with vaginal laxity can enjoy the effects of vaginal rejuvenation without the downtime and discomfort of surgery. Ruth L. Hillelson, MD, FACS of American Self and the Hillelson-Whipple Clinic is dedicated to helping women regain confidence and comfort with Votiva vaginal rejuvenation in Richmond, VA.
What is Votiva?
Childbirth and aging are the main causes of vaginal laxity and stretching. Women who suffer from vaginal laxity may exhibit a variety of symptoms. Most women notice a decrease in vaginal sensation, elasticity, and even urinary incontinence, which can be extremely embarrassing and inconvenient.
Votiva is an FDA-approved, minimally invasive vaginal laxity treatment that uses radiofrequency (RF) technology to tighten the vaginal area. No incisions or surgery are required, and Votiva treatments can tighten both internal and external vaginal and pelvic floor tissues. Votiva’s RF energy handpiece gently heats the tissues and stimulates new collagen and elastin production, tightening and rejuvenating the tissues over time. There are two different Votiva treatments that can be used, depending on the patient’s needs:
Designed for internal rejuvenation, the FormaV treatment gently heats vaginal tissue from the inside, tightening the area for increased sensation and blood flow. FormaV is also used to treat external laxity and labial hypertrophy (enlarged labia).
While FormaV treatments are focused on internal vaginal tissues, FractoraV is designed to rejuvenate the external tissues, such as the labia majora. FractoraV can help improve the tightness and appearance of the external genital area, correcting signs of aging and laxity.
Benefits of Votiva
Votiva helps reverse vaginal laxity by tightening the tissues and rejuvenating the vaginal area. Women who undergo Votiva treatments can look forward to increased sensation and satisfaction during sexual activity in addition to improved genital appearance. Many women even achieve improved control over the bladder. These benefits help women feel more confident and comfortable with intimacy, and can significantly improve quality of life. In addition, Votiva is convenient and requires no downtime. It fits into any lifestyle, and has helped many women take control of their sexual and urinary health.
Are You a Candidate?
Healthy women who have symptoms of vaginal laxity or aging are the best candidates for Votiva treatment. Discomfort, incontinence, lack of sensation during sexual activity, wrinkling, and feeling “looseness” are all reasons women seek Votiva treatment. Because the treatment is gentle and non-surgical, most women who are concerned about vaginal laxity are potentially good candidates for Votiva. Dr. Hillelson can help you determine your individual candidacy for the procedure and potential benefit.
The Votiva Consultation
Before your Votiva treatment, you will need to meet with Dr. Hillelson at American Self/the Hillelson-Whipple Clinic in Richmond to ensure you are a good candidate for the procedure. During the consultation, Dr. Hillelson will discuss the FormaV and FractoraV options and make a recommendation based on your individual goals. This is a great opportunity to ask questions and make sure the treatment is a good fit for your needs. Dr. Hillelson will be happy to guide you through the process and give you all the information you need to make a decision.
Votiva Treatments at American Self
The Votiva treatment is quick and involves very little discomfort. Some patients receiving FormaV treatments my experience minor discomfort if they have vaginal dryness, as the device must be inserted into the vagina (similar to the use of a tampon) to deliver the radiofrequency energy. During the treatment, the handpiece emits RF energy that gently heats the tissues and encourages the body’s natural healing responses, often even improving the dryness of internal tissues. Each treatment lasts only 15-20 minutes, and no anesthesia is required. The treatments are performed at American Self’s the physician’s offices.
Recovery and Downtime
Patients can return to normal activities immediately after Votiva treatments. The treatment is non-invasive, and there are no activity restrictions following a Votiva session. Patients can exercise, have sexual intercourse, and get back to their busy lives without interruption. Many patients notice a positive difference right away, and there are no known adverse side effects.
Will Votiva tighten the pelvic muscles?
Though Votiva can tighten the vaginal tissues by encouraging new collagen and elastin production, it doesn’t alter muscle tone. Pelvic floor exercises can help strengthen muscles and improve control and tightness. Exercises alongside Votiva treatments can yield superior results.
Are Votiva treatments safe?
Yes, Votiva treatments are FDA-approved, non-invasive, and are designed to be self-regulating. The devices have a temperature sensor and a cutoff feature to help control heat and avoid any injury to the delicate tissues. There are no known risks or adverse side effects to Votiva.
Does the treatment hurt?
Unless vaginal dryness is an issue for the patient, most women find the treatment very comfortable. Women with vaginal dryness may find the insertion of the device slightly uncomfortable, but not typically painful. In fact, Votiva treatments often even improve problematic tissue dryness. No anesthesia is needed during Votiva treatments, as the tissues are simply gently warmed and the procedure is non-invasive.
How many sessions will I need?
Many women notice significant improvement after one treatment. However, multiple treatments can improve results. Some patients elect to undergo a series of three treatments, spaced about a month apart. Other patients choose maintenance treatments every 9-12 months.
When will I notice the results?
Some women notice a difference right away, but Votiva is designed to improve the body’s natural responses and gradually build up collagen and elastin production. Because of this, patients will gradually notice improvement over several weeks following the treatment.
Are Votiva results as good as surgery?
As with any non-invasive surgery, the results will not be as dramatic as those that can be achieved with surgery. However, many women are able to get excellent results from the treatment, and appreciate the lack of downtime, pain, and expense associated with surgical treatments.
When can I have sex after Votiva treatments?
Because there is no downtime following Votiva treatments, patients can get back to all activities at any point. Since there are no known side effects, there are no restrictions on sexual activity or strenuous activities like exercise after Votiva.
How old should I be to get Votiva treatments?
Any woman who is experiencing vaginal discomfort and laxity or incontinence may be a good candidate for the treatment. Even young women who have had children may benefit from Votiva. Generally, patients should be at least 21, but beyond that, any woman who has experienced symptoms of vaginal laxity is a potential candidate for Votiva.
Are there any side effects to the treatment?
No, there are no known side effects of Votiva treatments. Patients can get back to normal activities immediately, with no discomfort.
Should I get FormaV or FractoraV for my Votiva treatment?
You and Dr. Hillelson will discuss the treatment type that is best for you. Some patients only need one treatment, while others can benefit from a combination procedure. It is important to discuss your options with an expert before making a decision. Most women choose FormaV on its own or in combination with FractoraV, since this treatment improves, tightness, sensation and blood flow in the vaginal tissues. FractoraV is used to improve the aesthetics of the area.
Votiva at American Self
If you’re ready to take control of vaginal laxity to enjoy a more satisfying and empowering life, then it may be time to schedule a consultation with Dr. Ruth Hillelson. Dr. Hillelson is renowned for her skill with minimally-invasive procedures, and is proud to offer Votiva treatments to patients in Virginia. Call American Self in Richmond at 804.290.0060 to schedule your appointment today.