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Treatment an answer for menopause symptoms

September 19, 2016

Some symptoms of menopause are well known, such as hot flashes and night sweats, but other problems aren’t often discussed, although as many as 50 percent of menopausal women suffer from them.

“The falling estrogen levels can cause a change in the vulvar and vaginal tissues over time, resulting in fragile, thin tissue that is less sensitive and less stretchy,” said Dr. Janet Bernard, a local physician who offers treatment for the issues that can accompany menopause.

The change in tissues can lead to pain and bleeding during sexual activity, but Bernard said there is hope for sufferers through treatment. Traditional treatments have proven to be effective in some cases, but there isn’t a “one-size-fits-all treatment” for anything.

“The traditional treatments that still very much have an important place in treating menopause are estrogen replacement, antidepressants and topical lubricants,” Bernard said. “However, some women cannot take estrogen due to certain types of cancer or blood clotting disorders, and some women simply choose not to take estrogen.”

Bernard is among a select group of physicians offering a form of treatment called the MonaLisa Touch, which was approved by the FDA in 2014.

The MonaLisa Touch is a laser treatment that promotes the regeneration of tissue by improving the collagen and elastin fibers in the tissue and increasing blood supply to the area. Similar technology is often used by plastic surgeons to help people appear younger.

“This treatment has been shown to be helpful in over 90 percent of cases,” Bernard said of the MonaLisa.

Women who complete the treatment report increased natural lubrication, decreased itching and dryness and decreased odor as well as decreased pain with intercourse and in some cases a decrease in frequent urination, Bernard said.

“I have been surprised at the number of women who report significantly decreased urinary frequency,” Bernard said. “Some of my patients have not been able to have sex for years due to discomfort. Needless to say, they and their partner are thrilled.”

Patients often have little discomfort with the procedure, and in most cases no anesthesia is required.

“This treatment has been very gratifying to me to be able to provide,” she said.

More information about the procedure can be found on monalisatouch.com or by contacting Bernard’s office at 308-534-4440.