PLANO, Texas -- The FDA is warning patients and doctors against the promises made in 'Vaginal Rejuvenation' procedures, but North Texas doctors say the results tell a different story.
Holly Yarid is one of those success stories. While many women only discuss it in whispers with girlfriends, she's willing to tell anyone she can about the procedure that changed her life. Even on TV. "I was in my mid-40s and just really felt a lot of sensations of dryness, burning, itching…so uncomfortable," said Yarid. "I thought something was wrong with me."
We're talking about Vaginal Atrophy, two words the wife and mom was shocked to hear her doctor say. "I was quite offended by that and told him so, but he said 'No no, this is a medical condition that starts as you get a little older and your estrogen production goes down,'" she said.
Her doctor offered the chance at relief in the burgeoning world of 'Vaginal Rejuvenation.' "When this came along, I took such a huge interest in it because it was such a game-changing thing," said Dr. Dennis Eisenberg, with MonaLisa Partners in Plano.
He treated in 2015 with the 'MonaLisa Touch', a procedure aimed at women who are cancer survivors, post-menopausal or who have poor vaginal health at any age. It's non-surgical, but not covered by insurance at a cost of about $2,700. Through the course of three, minutes-long treatments, lasers zap these small grid patterns onto the vaginal walls. That resurfaces the tissue, stimulating new, healthy collagen production.
"After the second treatment, there was much more of a noticeable difference, kind of an ‘Ah,ha, 'Oh my goodness, life can be resuming back to normal," said Yarid. "The dryness, itching, painful intimacy…every bit of it was gone."
The procedure is popular, which is why so many were stunned last week when the FDA issued a warning saying it hasn't seen proof the procedures work. In fact, it cited a dozen reports of complications and reinforced that Vaginal Rejuvenation treatments are not FDA approved.
The FDA says it will now contact the various companies manufacturing the lasers, and monitor what claims each are making about their uses and treatments. The Administration is also asking for any patients who've experienced issues with a vaginal rejuvenation treatment to report it via MedWatch.
Dr. Eric Jacoby is also with MonaLisa Partners. He believes the FDA needs to consider more research. After three years of use, he says the results speak for themselves."In treating over or close to 500 patients now, over 90% are extremely satisfied," said Dr. Jacoby. "Over 90% are extremely satisfied."
Yarid believes so strongly in the benefits, she's now working for both doctors. And watching other women have her same success. "We've had a cancer survivor come up and say 'We haven't had intimacy in two years, we feel like we are back to when we were newly married.' I mean, it's that much of a difference," said Yarid.
And for her, that's something worth talking about. "It makes you feel pretty good at the end of the day to know you’ve helped change somebody and shoot them off in a direction that’s more happy and fulfilling," said Yarid.