Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT)
There’s an exciting new treatment for Provoked Vestibulodynia (PVD). A new low level laser treatment has been proven to successfully treat PVD, most specifically neuroproliferative PVD. Until now the main option for treating PVD was extensive surgery with a recovery period of up to six weeks. The new 820 NM low level laser treatment is aimed at providing an alternative treatment for surgery that is less costly and has a much quicker recovery time.
PVD is clinically defined as chronic, unexplained, vulvar pain or discomfort confined to the vulvar area in response to pressure. The pain may be in response to non-sexual activities such as tampon insertion, gynecological examination or recreational activities, as well as sexual intercourse. Once symptoms develop, they may last for years and get more intense with time. The symptoms can have a profound effect on a women’s’ day to day functioning as well as psychological, and emotional well-being. Sexual activity is usually impossible and extremely painful for most women with PVD.
If you have been diagnosed with neuroproliferative PVD and it has been suggested you have a vestibulectomy, you might be a candidate for LLLT. In addition if you have been suffering from painful burning at the vaginal entrance, painful intercourse, and have found no relief from topical or oral medications, you might also be a good candidate for LLLT.
The low level laser probe will be placed directly on the prescribed painful points as determined by your practitioner. The laser will penetrate into the tissue and initiate a process called photo-biostimulation, which will decrease inflammation, reduce stress and skeletal muscle fatigue and cause pain relieving effects. The exact mechanisms of action are still not fully understood.
The laser does not burn or cut the tissue in any way. Participants will not feel any additional pain than they already do when pressure is applied to this area. Some women have reported a warm and pleasant feeling during treatment. Some report a mild tingling in the fingers and toes during treatment. These feelings end after the treatment.
The initial appointment will last approximately one hour and will include assessment, explanation of the problem and treatment being offered, and if time permits, the first treatment. Participant will receive between 8 and 16 treatments depending on the severity of the condition. Treatments are scheduled twice a week (except during menses), for up to 8 weeks. After the initial appointment, follow up appointments will last approximately 20-30 minutes.
IN A PATIENT’S OWN WORDS:
“I am so thankful for E-radiology, for providing me with low-level laser therapy. The staff at E-radiology was always encouraging and empathetic. I had tried hormonal cream and physical therapy yet nothing worked to help my vestibulodynia until the LLLT – it was truly a miracle! The laser itself never hurt and even after only a few sessions with the LLL, I could feel a difference. Going through all of the therapy sessions along with dilator insertion has left me, finally, painful-sex free!”
– L, Age 23 –