At a family BBQ my husband and I hosted this summer, my hubby’s cousin asked me if I had heard about FemRenew, a laser treatment to improve the health and wellbeing of the vagina. (Yes, when you’re a sex therapist, sex often becomes a topic of conversation, family BBQ or not.) I had not heard of this particular remedy for vaginal dryness and pain so I was curious to learn more about lasering lady bits. I met with Dr. Fay Weisberg at her clinic to ask her about the treatment.
Dr. Weisberg has been a gynecologist for many years. As her practice matured, naturally so did her patients. As they aged, different issues arose. Most significantly, her patients began complaining about dryness and discomfort during intercourse. Typically complaints about vaginal dryness are dealt with by: non medical moisturizers like coconut oil or Replens; estrogens either local like Vagifem, Estring, or Progesterone Creams; or systemic estrogens taken in pill form like Estrace, Estratab, and Premarin. Steroid creams are helpful for some women. Natural remedies have mixed reviews but include eating soy products, Black Cohosh supplements, and Vitamin E oil applied directly to the vulva. Alternative treatments including acupuncture, pelvic floor physiotherapy, exercise, and meditation have also been recommended remedies. Using a synthetic water based lubrication can be helpful too.
Many women, especially those who have undergone treatments for cancer are reluctant to use estrogen-based therapies and have been underwhelmed with the other choices. This is where FemRenew may be an option. According to Dr. Weisberg, who has treated approximately 50 women between the ages of 40 and 80 since she bought the laser in March, the laser is highly effective for many different ailments. Dr. Weisberg told me that she has treated women; in menopause, in pain, post partum, post cancer, with cystitis, and who don’t like the odor their vagina produces. In only three, five minute treatments a woman’s vulva can be good as new. Dr. Weisberg claimed that there was, “not one negative side effect”. She continued to tell me that there may be a little bleeding and a slight burning sensation but these do not persist.
This sounded too good to be true. I talked to a group of gynecological residents and asked them about the laser treatment. They also spoke highly of the laser. If there is a catch, it is the cost. The price for the three treatments, which are administered six weeks apart, is $2100. Although approved by Health Canada, the treatment is not covered by private insurance plans or OHIP. Women may also need a booster once a year, which costs another $400. I have to say that I am intrigued and may start saving now…