After childbirth many women experience a change in their vagina which can lead to urinary incontinence and decreased sensation during sex; there can also be an alteration in the shape and size of the labia. Similarly, with menopause there are changes that can occur to the vaginal tissue; vaginal dryness is a primary concern for many peri-menopausal and post-menopausal women.
What is radio frequency?
Radio frequency (RF) is another name for radio waves. This type of energy has been used for non-surgical skin tightening in aesthetic devices since 2001. Radio frequency stimulates fibro-blasts to produce collagen and elastin. The first RF vaginal rejuvenation device to enter the market was Thermiva. As with most technology, it gets better with time. FormaV is the unique type of RF that is utilized by the Votiva system and is the latest and greatest for gynecological RF devices.
When will I see the results of my Votiva treatment?
Patients report immediate changes; even after one treatment session. The full benefits of Votiva treatments are enjoyed 30 days after the third treatment session. The results are best maintained with yearly or semi-annual maintenance treatments.
What are your qualifications as sexual medicine experts? Are you qualified to help with my concerns?
We completely understand that when it comes to women's intimate wellness issues, you want to seek a highly qualified provider. Sexual Medicine is our area of expertise! Our board certified physicians, surgeons and women’s health nurse practitioners have extensive training as gynecologists, surgeons, integrative medicine experts, aesthetics and sexual medicine. And we have all the latest and greatest tools at our disposal - not just one! As an all female team, we know what you’re going through. We understand that talking about your sex life and intimate concerns can be a embarrassing or even intimidating. We’ve been there and have had several of these procedures performed on ourselves. We will review your concerns, goals and budget and determine which treatments would be best for you whether it’s Votiva alone or in combination with other treatments such as the O-Shot®, Morpheus8 or whether one of our services such as Aviva Scarless labiaplasty, CORE Intima® or MySecret® surgical options. We are a full service sexual medicine provider in Cincinnati. And as always, your comfort and satisfaction are our top concern.
Are the treatments painful?
No. Votiva is painfree! It has been described as a warm pelvic exam.
How long does the treatment take?
The treatment takes approximately 15 minutes . The entire appointment is usually completed in a 30 minute time frame unless add-on treatments such as Morpheus8 or the O-Shot are added.
Is there any downtime or restrictions after the Votiva treatment?
For patients that have Votiva alone, there is no downtime or restrictions. For patients that choose to add-on Morpheus8 for enhanced skin tightening of the external vulva, we will ask you to abstain from intercourse, hot tubs, and pools for 72 hours following treatment.
Am I a candidate for Votiva, even if I'm not finished having babies?
YES! Votiva is for women of all stages of life. Women who have never been pregnant or who have had multiple children can all be candidates for Votiva.
How many Votiva sessions are required?
Most patients start to notice results after a single Votiva treatment, but 3 treatments a month apart are recommended for optimal results.
Can Votiva be used on dark skin?
Unlike lasers (such as the CORE Intima , Mona Lisa Touch, Diva Laser, Femitight Laser), Votiva (FormaV). can be used on all skin types for the treatment of the external vulva.
What are the risks or side effects associated with the Votiva procedure?
In general, Votiva offers a safe and effective non-surgical vaginal rejuvenation with a highly unlikely chance of having an adverse effect. Theoretically, since radio frequency energy is used to heat the tissue, the following have been reported in the medical literature with radio frequncy: skin burns, scarring, pain
How long doe the results last?
The Votiva is very effective in generating your own collagen and elastin and tissue tightening. Therefore, the results in general are permanent barring subsequent pregnancies or significant weight changes. However, with the natural aging process, you can expect to experience changes in your vagina and vulva and we recommend periodic maintenance sessions to maintain the results.
Can the Votiva procedure be paired with other treatments?
Patients that combine treatments see better, faster results than doing one treatment alone. Many patients have significant concerns and/or want to optimize their results. We have used Votive in combination with Morphueus8, O-Shot, bioidentical hormone therapy, wave therapy and Aviva Scarless labiaplasty. We will work with you to develop a customized plan for you.
Why choose Votiva over CORE Intima,, Mona Lisa, Thermiva, VIVEVE or other devices?
Votiva is the ONLY device FDA cleared for the treatment of sexual dysfunction & as an adjunct to kegel exercises for tightening the pelvic floor.
Votiva is the ONLY FDA device cleared for stress incontinence
Mona Lisa Touch, CORE Intima, DIVA LASER, FEMITIGHT LASER, etc. are NOT cleared for strengthening of the pelvic floor muscles, nor for all ages/skin types. Lasers cannot be used for the external vulva for dark skin types.
Thermiva is a mono-polar radio frequency (RF) device requiring a grounding pad to avoid burns. Votiva uses bi-polar RF which improves safety, efficiency, and faster treatment times over older RF models.
Votiva is the ONLY device with built-in temperature control for added safety and effectiveness.
Votiva may be utilized for multiple symptoms (sexual dysfunction, stress urinary incontinence, atrophy, external cosmetic appearance, pelvic floor strengthening, vaginal dryness/thinning) versus older ablative treatments which are really only meant for atrophic vaginitis (post-menopausal vaginal dryness and thinning).
What's the difference between the vagina and vulva?
Although a lot of women refer to anything “down there” as the vagina, that’s actually not anatomically correct. All of the external parts are collectively known as the vulva. The vulva consists of the labia major (big lips), labia minor (small lips), clitoris and surrounding tissue. The vagina is the muscular tube that is inside the body that connects to the cervix and uterus. Inside the vagina, there are three layers of tissue: mucosa (skin of vagina) , smooth muscle and fibrous tissue (where collagen and elastin live).
What's the difference between lasers and radio frequency (RF)?
Both of these modalities are non-surgical energy devices that are used in the aesthetic and cosmetic gynecology field. There is some overlap for what they treat. For example, both modalities help with dryness, but when mucosal issues such as vaginal dryness or lichen sclerosus are the main concerns, lasers (CORE Intima ) are the best option as they work on the mucosa (skin) of the vagina and vulva.
Similarly, we have seen some tissue tightening of the vulva and vagina with lasers. However, with vaginal and vulvar tightening, radio frequency devices such as Votive is the best bet. RF is able to penetrate deeper than CO2 and work on the fibrous tissue (where the collagen and elastin live), so it is thought that the supportive structures of the vagina may be targeted more easily with RF technologies.
How does Votiva compare to Vaginoplasty or surgical slings?
Votiva is a non-surgical, noninvasive approach to improving the health and appearance of the vaginal and vulvar tissues by using radio frequency heat. The benefits include minimal risk and no downtime. If a patient has significant laxity or incontinence, a surgical repair may be a better option. Our all-female team of sexual medicine experts in Ohio will help develop a customized plan to address your individual concerns and budget.
Who is not a candidate for Votiva?
Votiva is not for everyone. Anyone with an active infection should wait until the infection resolves. Patients with significant laxity of the vulva or vagina may want to consider a surgical approach such as vaginoiplasty, labiaplasty or Aviva Scarless labiaplasty or consider additional therapies such as Morpheus8 in addition to Votiva. Women with severe stress incontinence may also want to consider a suburethral sling which is a surgical procedure that is performed under general anesthesia in the hospital. Also, women with significant incontinence may want to combine Votiva with the O-Shot and/or Aviva treatment if they wish to forego the risks of mesh with a urinary sling. No worries. Consulting with one of our providers is the first step to determining which procedures or surgeries are a right fit for you.
Is Votiva covered by insurance?
No. This procedure, along with other procedures that have been considered “vaginal rejuvenation,” are not covered by insurance.