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Senior Scene® | January Issue
Forever Young
(In Places your mother told
you not to mention)
by James Raders, Zipper Urogynecology Associates
Face it: Our skin was not built to last. As we mature, the elements that give our skin it’s resilience & luster become ineffective. It becomes thin, fragile, sensitive, & unattractive! It acts as our interface with the world, giving us sensation, touch, & pleasure. But oh so fragile it is.
Now imagine the skin that forms the lining of the vagina. This skin is special as it is internal & therefore moist (like the inside of your mouth). It is inhabited by healthy bacteria, which do good things. It functions as a support system for the bladder, urethra, & rectum. This skin also acts as a center of pleasure, but most importantly, is completely dependent on the hormone estrogen. When estrogen goes away with menopause (either natural or surgical), the lining of the vagina & urethra become very thin & fragile. The healthy bacteria are replaced by less healthy ones, & bad things can begin to happen.
Women experience a sense of dryness, irritation,
& discomfort. Sexual activity & intercourse become uncomfortable & even painful, resulting in women giving up. Vaginal discharge & even bleeding can occur. Urinary symptoms such as discomfort with voiding, frequency of urination, getting up at night, & yes our nemesis, bladder infections. This has now become so common that we even have a name for it: Postmenopausal Genitourinary
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Syndrome.
How can we stop & reverse this aging vaginal skin &
the symptoms it generates? One way is to try & restore the hormone estrogen to the skin. A cream can be placed in the vagina. This is messy, takes months to work, & has to be done forever. Oral compounds or patches are a different option. The drawbacks are side effects (breast tenderness & bloating) potential dangers such as cancer & blood clots. Additionally, they are often not effective. Another option is a ring containing estrogen that is placed in the vagina. This is a foreign body & must be changed periodically. Many women don’t want to deal with these things or are afraid
of side effects, especially if they have had breast cancer or heart disease.
Dermatologists have known for some time that fractional laser therapy can resurface the skin & restore it (formerly the “skin peel”). As pelvic  oor & menopause specialists, we have adapted & improved this technology to treat the vaginal skin. A small probe (known as the Mona Lisa Laser) is placed in the vagina & delivers low- level laser energy to the skin. In a very short amount of time, it regenerates into a healthier, thicker, & moister environment. The good news is this is painless, & consists of three 3-minute treatments in the comfort of the of ce.
Most of our patients notice great improvement after only one treatment. Our patients report better intercourse, resolution of vaginal dryness & urinary tract infections, & better bladder control. Be young on the inside!
For additional information please call Zipper Urogynecology Associates at 321-674-2114 SS
As a non-profit organiza on, our objec ve is to improve awareness of exis ng senior care programs and help SENIORS access them.
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Cancer Care Centers of Brevard Welcomes Dr. Sumeet Chandra & Dr. Lisa Duhaime
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18 | www.seniorscenemag.com | January 2018
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