Menopause Specialist

Rebecca Dunsmoor-Su, MD, MSCE -  - Vaginal Rejuvenation Center

RENUvaGYN

Rebecca Dunsmoor-Su, MD, MSCE

Vaginal Rejuvenation Center located in Seattle, WA

As any woman in her late 40s or early 50s knows, hot flashes and mood swings are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to menopause-related symptoms. Just as common — but not as openly discussed — are uncomfortable urinary and vaginal changes like vaginal dryness, urinary incontinence, painful intercourse, and chronic UTIs. At RENUvaGYN, a state-of-the-art vaginal rejuvenation center in Seattle, board-certified gynecologist Dr. Rebecca Dunsmoor-Su uses MonaLisa Touch® laser therapy to help women address many of the problems caused by menopause. Call or book your appointment online today.

Menopause Q & A

by Rebecca Dunsmoor-Su, MD, MSCE

What is Menopause?

Menopause is a natural biological process that marks the end of female fertility. It starts with a decline in the production of estrogen and progesterone, the reproductive hormones that control menstruation and make pregnancy possible, among other things.

Although these hormones usually begin to level off in a woman’s late 30s, menopause doesn’t usually occur until you reach your late 40s or early 50s. The average American woman reaches menopause at the age of 51.

Menopause may signify the end of your fertility, but it doesn’t have to affect your vitality, sexuality, or health.   

What are Common Menopause Symptoms?

One of the first signs of early menopause is an irregular menstrual cycle, which may include light periods, skipped periods, and spotting between periods.

As you transition into menopause, you may begin experiencing a variety of physical and emotional symptoms directly related to reduced hormone levels, including:

  • Hot flashes and night sweats
  • Weight gain and slowed metabolism
  • Mood changes and sleep problems
  • Vaginal dryness and sexual discomfort
  • Urinary incontinence or chronic UTIs
  • Persistent vaginal infections

Some women are also affected by drier skin, thinning hair, and loss of breast fullness. The physical symptoms of menopause can lead to lower energy levels, too, or they may give rise to feelings of sadness and loss.

What are the Benefits of MonaLisa Touch®?

MonaLisa Touch is an innovative therapy that uses fractional CO2 laser technology to rejuvenate the tissues that line your vaginal canal. It’s widely considered to be the safest, gentlest, and most effective way to prevent vaginal atrophy and treat the vaginal and urinary symptoms brought on by menopause.

MonaLisa Touch helps return proper trophic balance to your vaginal tissues and restore vaginal function. The therapy is just as effective for older women who are dealing with natural menopause as it is for younger women whose menopause was induced by a hysterectomy.

MonaLisa Touch is useful for treating the following menopause-related conditions:

  • Atrophic VaginitisThis common menopausal problem is characterized by vaginal dryness, burning, and irritation, as well as frequent vaginal infections.
  • Female Sexual Dysfunction: Symptoms of this prevalent issue include pain during intercourse, lack of natural lubrication, reduced sexual response or sensation, and diminished orgasmic response.
  • Urinary Incontinence (UI)MonaLisa Touch laser treatment can address mild to moderate UI, including stress incontinence and urge incontinence, as well as frequent urinary tract infections (UTIs).
  • Lichen Sclerosus: When combined with steroid treatment, MonaLisa Touch is also useful for clearing up lichen sclerosus, an itchy vaginal skin condition that most often affects postmenopausal women.

What about Traditional Treatment Options?

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT), or the supplementation of reproductive hormones that your body no longer makes, has long been the go-to treatment option for menopausal women.

Although HRT creams, gels, pills, and patches can be effective, HRT is a short-term solution that doesn’t work for some women and may be medically inappropriate for others.

For example, women with a history of venous blood clots, heart disease, gallbladder disease, or certain types of cancer shouldn’t receive HRT.