Got Those Post-Partum Below-The-Belt Blues?

From the 38th Global Congress of Minimally Invasive Gynecology, Orlando, Fla.

Life, Before Kids: Movie. Attraction. Passion. Sex. Pregnancy. Childbirth. Life, After Kids: Pregnancy. Childbirth. Passion? Sex?? Attraction… Movie!!

Women’s No. 1 postpartum complaint – before stubborn baby fat and even before urinary incontinence – is poor sexual satisfaction due to vaginal laxity.

"It sounds great, Honey ... but will our insurance pay for it?"

That’s according to marketing research conducted by The Ob/Gyn Alliance and sponsored by Viveve –not a disinterested source, given that Viveve is devoted to the subject of laxity and to selling a device aimed at tightening tissue in the area in question.

Viveve marketing VP Sherree Lucas says the next-biggest problem is the “big gulp” – the lump in a patient’s throat that prevents her from asking her ob.gyn. for advice on the subject, and the similar throat-lump that prevents her doc from bringing it up.

“The plain and simple truth is that many women feel it’s an embarrassing topic to discuss, and many physicians don’t want to ask about it because they really have very little to offer in the way of remedies,” Ms. Lucas said, while dodging exhibit hall crowds during the meeting.

The brave twosomes who do bridge the gap usually end up talking about the benefits of Kegel exercises, although both know that the exercise isn’t a cure-all.

But Ms. Lucas and her Viveve colleagues are coming to the rescue with  a vaginal version of Thermage, the radiofrequency-powered facial tightener.  With a few modifications, the same energy seems to work just as well on collagen underlying the tissue of the vaginal introitus. Sound preposterous? Viveve proponents presented data to back the claim at the meeting.

Dr. Seth Herbst of the Institute for Women’s Health and Body in Wellington, Fla., cited results from his study of 24 women aged 25-44 years, all of whom had had at least one vaginal delivery.  Each woman received a single treatment, without anesthetic, even though the facial treatment often requires it.

One month later, all the women reported significant gains in tightness and sexual satisfaction, a trend that continued three months later.

Viveve's system

So what’s next? With FDA input, the company is gearing up for a larger, sham-controlled  study. Outcomes measures are one point of discussion.

There’s simply no validated way to measure vaginal tightness and no one is thinking about asking sex partners their opinion.

After all, Viveve isn’t for men.

—Michele G. Sullivan (@MGSullivan on Twitter)
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Filed under Dermatology, Family Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology

3 responses to “Got Those Post-Partum Below-The-Belt Blues?

  1. Pingback: Improbable Research » Blog Archive » Not a traditional slot machine

  2. I am visiting your articles whenever I have some time left

  3. Pingback: Kegel Women – YouTube – Hab-It: Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy DVD

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