Non-Surgical Radiofrequency Procedure for Bladder Problems

When pregnancy, childbirth and aging take their inevitable toll on women’s vaginal tissues – potentially causing stress incontinence, vaginal dryness and other troublesome issues – a non-surgical, painless vaginal rejuvenation procedure can step in to restore comfort and confidence, according to dermatologist Sonoa Au, MD, of Advanced Dermatology P.C.

Known as ThermiVa, the simple radiofrequency procedure has been shown in research to help ease mild stress incontinence, which can cause women to leak tiny amounts of urine when they cough, sneeze or laugh, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. More than 55,000 ThermiVa treatments have been performed worldwide since 2015, according to the ThermiVa website.
The procedure is one of several currently available using various forms of energy to rejuvenate collagen tissue within and around the vagina, helping to tighten tissues.

“Women used to suffer in silence when medical and functional issues related to reduced vaginal tone cropped up,” says Dr. Au. “That’s just not necessary, and now ThermiVa is a great option to help reverse some of the effects of childbirth or aging.” 

How does ThermiVa work? 

Naturally, it can sound daunting to consider having any medical procedure done on sensitive genital tissues. But ThermiVa offers many upsides, Dr. Au notes. “It’s non-invasive and requires no anesthesia, and it conveniently can be done in a physician’s office,” she says. “Right afterward, patients can go back to their regular activities.”

During the procedure, a small “wand” is custom-controlled for temperature, emitting painless radiofrequency waves into vaginal tissues. The treatment stimulates the production of collagen and elastic fibers as well as increases blood flow and improves nerve supply. All of these effects can help “remodel” the vagina and restore lost tone and moisture.

“While ThermiVa wasn’t initially designed for incontinence, it’s logical that so many patients with mild urinary control issues are seeing improvement in their symptoms,” Dr. Au says. “It can also help improve women’s comfort during sexual activity, and help them feel more self-assured.”

Tips on what to expect with ThermiVa

Dr. Au says the procedure lasts about 30 minutes and typically needs to be repeated two more times, with four weeks elapsing between treatments.

While some women notice improvements – such as better bladder control – after only one ThermiVa treatment, others notice that optimal results take a few weeks or months after the third treatment, she says.

“ThermiVa is customized to the needs and expectations, which of course differ in every woman,” she adds. “The need to repeat treatments depends on the types of results patient’s are looking for, along with genetic and environmental influences such as weight control, hormones and if they smoke.”

“Most of the time, I tell women to expect to need one ThermiVa treatment each year to maintain their optimal results,” Dr. Au adds. “Many are thrilled with their vaginal rejuvenation and the day-to-day advantages of having undergone the procedure.”

Sonoa Au, MD, is a board-certified physician and a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology Advanced Dermatology P.C. and the Center for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery (New York & New Jersey) is one of the leading dermatology centers in the nation, offering highly experienced physicians in the fields of cosmetic and laser dermatology as well as plastic surgery and state-of-the-art medical technologies.

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The Editorial Team at Lake Oconee Health is made up of skilled health and wellness writers and experts, led by Daniel Casciato who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We aim to provide our readers with valuable insights and guidance to help them lead healthier and happier lives.