Research we're watching
A small study, published online in July 2021 by the journal Menopause, suggested that vaginal laser therapy could help treat vaginal symptoms caused by menopause. However, a second, much larger study has determined that the intervention comes up short. This study, published Oct. 12, 2021, in JAMA, found that fractional carbon dioxide laser treatments were no better than a sham treatment in improving vaginal symptoms brought on by menopause.
The 12-month trial involved 85 postmenopausal women who were experiencing vaginal symptoms, such as dryness, itching and burning. Half of them underwent three laser treatments spaced four to eight weeks apart. The others received a sham treatment.
Researchers assessed the women’s symptoms at the start and end of the trial and found no significant difference between the groups with regard to symptom severity or quality of life.
An examination of the women’s vaginal tissue also showed no differences between the two groups. Based on their study results, the researchers concluded that laser therapy was not an effective method of improving vaginal symptoms. Additional study and research will help to guide practice in the future.
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