In 2014, labiaplasty, or rejuvenation of the vaginal area, was among the procedures that showed the largest growth in volume on a year-over-year basis, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgery. In fact, the numbers of procedures for vaginal rejuvenation are increasing every year, and it has become accepted as a mainstream category.

While one segment of women gets these procedures to improve their sex lives and the appearance of their private parts post-childbirth or with advanced aging, others are more concerned with functional issues, including incontinence and discomfort.

Loosening of the vaginal area is caused by stretching in the diameter of the vagina and surrounding tissues when pelvic muscles become stretched or weakened due to aging, hormonal changes and especially vaginal deliveries. In fact, all women who have given birth vaginally experience stretching of their vaginal tissues.

The ThermiVa is based on the “science of heat,” in that heating the tissues to a certain temperature definitely tightens the collagen and elastin in the heated tissue. The ThermiVa treatments use radiofrequency to gently heat the tissues to rejuvenate collagen, without discomfort or downtime.

A recent study documented multiple benefits for those complaining of vaginal laxity. Usually three treatments are recommended at one-month intervals for maximum results. The treatments are non-painful and have been equated to a hot stone massage and are, in fact, quite comfortable. The treatment consists of passing the probe over the labia majora, the labia minora, and intra-vaginally, tightening all of the tissues treated.

Unlike other types of treatments, such as lasers or surgery, there is no recovery time. Benefits that can be expected are: 1. Tightening of all of the vaginal tissues; 2. Diminished or elimination of urinary incontinence; and 3. More normal secretions from the vagina, thus less painful intercourse, called dysperunia.

The ThermiVA, like other Thermi treatments, uses a specially designed probe to deliver the heat to the specific vaginal area to be treated, and it monitors the exact temperature being delivered. Temperature is critical for the shrinkage of tissue. There is no local anesthesia needed for the ThermiVA and no recovery time.

Ronald Finger, MD, FACS is a board certified plastic surgeon and medical director for Savannah Antiaging and Rejuvenation Center. www.fingerandassociates.com