Energy-based medicine options are helping to reverse many of the sexual dysfunction issues plaguing today’s aging population, according to Maryann Prewitt, M.D., FACOG, a gynecologist and functional medicine physician, who presented yesterday on the future of sexual health at The Aesthetic Show in Las Vegas.
Conventional surgical vaginal rejuvenation comes with the risk of scarring inside the vagina, and it doesn’t rejuvenate on the molecular level, according to Dr. Prewitt.
“That’s the beauty of the lasers and the procedures that we’re using. We’re seeing definite changes at the molecular level. It’s not just improving cosmetic appearance. We’re adding collagen and elastin to the tissue and increasing stem cells and their performance,” she says.
Emerging devices include the FemiWave (Eclipse), which uses low-intensity soundwaves to restore sensation and increase lubrication. Dr. Prewitt is conducting a clinical study on the FemiWave device, which is the women’s version of the GAINSWave (GAINSWave), a shockwave therapy for men with sexual health concerns.
Just as people form plaque in their arteries, men can form microplaque in the arteries in the penis. Women can form plaque in the arteries in the pelvic floor.
“The GAINSWave in men and FemiWave in women breaks up [the microplaque]. The devices stimulate angiogenesis--four times the number of blood vessels grow in the penis and in the female pelvic floor with treatment,” Dr. Prewitt says. “Treatment also releases stem cells and growth factors, so that all the tissue is rejuvenated, not just blood vessels.”
Dr. Prewitt uses the GAINSWave to not only treat but also prevent erectile dysfunction in her male patients.
While the technology is not yet FDA cleared for use in women, Dr. Prewitt says early research suggests FemiWave helps to decrease urinary incontinence when used in female patients.
“In both men and women, there’s heightened sensitivity with intercourse,” she says. “We plan to release final results from the study in women within six to nine months.”
Dr. Prewitt also uses energy-based solutions to enhance women’s sexuality is after childbirth.
“Women can have scar tissue in the vagina and episiotomy remnants. We use the FemiLift (Alma Lasers) to correct that,” she says.
FemiLift, a CO2 laser-assisted minimally invasive technology, stimulates collagen and elastin in the vaginal canal, according to Dr. Prewitt.
“It also treats urinary incontinence and enhances lubrication and sexual sensitivity,” she says.
Dr. Prewitt uses her CO2 Fraxel [Alma Lasers] to do labiaplasty.
When using the CO2 for laser labiaplasty, a procedure in which the labia is trimmed, there’s no need for stitches, she says.
Dr. Prewitt uses the versatile CO2 technology to perform hemorrhoidectomy, as well. And she’ll often combine human identical hormone replacement therapy with shockwave therapy, CO2 fraxel and other procedures to further enhance sexual performance and sensation in men and women.
“We’ve done so much work in the human brain. I think now we’ve come full circle, and the pelvic floor is our next frontier,” she says.
Dr. Prewitt reports no relevant conflicts of interest.