Feminine health and vaginal rejuvenation are topics that are difficult for many women to talk about. I’m glad you found your way here to my blog, because I’m going to talk about Votiva from Inmode. I have undergone two treatments at Shapiro Plastic Surgery in Scottsdale, Arizona and I will share my experience with you. Votiva is a non-invasive device designed for women’s intimate health and it was FDA approved in June 2016. It uses radio frequency energy to remodel tissue and can help resolve stress incontinence. It also offers other positive side effects for women and I’ll get to those shortly. I have so much to tell you!
According to American Family Physician, 47% of women between the ages of 20 to 49 experience urinary incontinence. The percentage is even higher for post menopausal women. Stress incontinence is an issue I began experiencing after child birth and I wasn’t expecting it. After the birth of my second child, it got really bad and I thought I just had to live with it. I developed stress incontinence and had to be on high alert when I sneezed or coughed. In speaking with other women I am close to, a majority of my friends and family experience the same issue.
It’s important for women to hear about the Votiva treatment option from a woman and one who is a real patient having undergone the procedure. There are plenty of videos and FAQs you can find from doctors but first-hand detailed experiences from patients are lacking. it’s time to change that and have a conversation about it! I have undergone Votiva for internal and external vaginal rejuvenation and I will share the details of my experience.
When I realized I had a problem
I’m dropping the medical terminology now. I mean, we are getting personal here, right? Here’s the bottom line…if I run, cough, sneeze, jump, or laugh, I pee in my pants. Sometimes it’s just a little but there have been really bad moments too. This has been going on for years. I’m so sick of it! I knew it was a major problem when I was playing a neighborhood game with one of my kids. You know that game, You’ve Been Booed? During Halloween, we played and made cute little bags of goodies for my son’s neighborhood friends. We got to the first house, rang the doorbell, dropped the bag of goodies, and ran like hell. While we were running and laughing, I peed in my pants. I completely unloaded on that jaunt. My son and I were hiding behind a bush and I was horrified it happened. Usually, I just leak a little, but this was a big one! And we still had two houses to go. Like a trooper, I persevered, as any devoted mother would, trying my best to hide the fact that my pants were wet. Thankfully, it was dark outside and I always wear black.
Guess what? I did nothing after the Halloween incident. About six months later, I was walking my dog and my precious little princess wanted to run. So, I started to run with her and my bladder gave out on me again. Another complete blow out. The walk was over and there was certainly no more running. I came home, found my husband, and insisted on immediate surgery. My husband is the type that wouldn’t buy a box of tampons if his life depended on it. Like someone is going to think he’s buying tampons for himself? (Whatever!) Anyhow, he’ll have no part in any discussion related to feminine health. He’s just not going there so he told me to do whatever I needed to do and don’t talk to him about it. And that was my plan until I heard about Votiva and thankfully I heard about it just in the nick of time.
A week later, I was on Instagram and Shapiro Plastic Surgery announced they just introduced Votiva into the practice! My second home is Dr. Shapiro’s office! I’m always stopping in for my skin care products, Botox, fillers, facials, and laser treatments. Dr. Shapiro performed my nose job (which I love), tummy tuck (also love), and several other procedures over the years. I adore him and his entire staff! And the office is tranquil, elegantly appointment, and his staff are so caring and professional. If you are in the greater Phoenix area and come to Dr. Shapiro’s office for any aesthetic needs, he and his staff will make you feel very comfortable and welcomed.
I had never heard of Votiva but I knew Dr. Shapiro would never introduce anything into his practice that he doesn’t strongly believe in. It was an easy decision for me to undergo this treatment in hopes of avoiding surgery. So, let’s talk a little more about what this treatment consists of and if you already know, you can jump down to My Votiva Experience where I’ve answered the most common questions people ask me.
What is Votiva by Inmode?
Votiva is the latest FDA approved non-invasive device designed for women’s intimate health. It uses radio frequency energy to tighten the tissue responsible for embarrassing leaks. It works in a similar way to other radio frequency devices that tighten tissues. Votiva FormaV addresses laxity of internal and external vaginal tissue using gentle thermal tissue remodeling. FractoraV is designed for external areas only such as the majoria labia and can address laxity and skin texture. Each uses a different hand held device.
Votiva FormaV is very gentle and no topical anesthetic is needed. It can address the following issues: Looseness, dryness, decreased sensation, stress urinary incontinence, sexual dysfunction, and constipation. The FormaV treatment also helps to shrink and remodel the external vaginal tissue for a more rejuvenated appearance. The FormaV process promotes new collagen and elastin in the areas treated, which also includes increased blood flow to improve sensation. Plus it stimulates tightening of the vaginal canal (a real bonus if you have passed a few babies through)!
Votiva FractoraV is designed for remodeling the external vaginal area only. It requires a topical anesthetic and uses more aggressive radio frequency technology to contract and tighten external vaginal tissue and correct labial hypertrophy. It may also be used to treat superficial issues such as texture and wrinkles.
It is typically recommended to have three treatments, a few weeks apart for the best results. Changes can be seen and felt immediately by many women. In the first few weeks following the treatment, collagen and elastin grow and the skin and inside tissues continue to tighten over time. If changes weren’t noticed after the first treatment, most women notice changes with the second treatment.
My Votiva Experience
You are probably here because you’re wondering what this procedure is like. I couldn’t find patients talking about it in detail so I will share my experience and am happy to answer any questions you may have. I’ll start with the most common questions I’ve had from friends and family and you can email me or leave me a comment and I’ll answer additional questions you have. *Please see my medical disclaimer at the bottom of this page.
Was Votiva painful?
Of course, it’s the most popular question! NO, it didn’t hurt. I found the FormaV was so gentle, I wondered if was doing anything. On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the most intense pain, I would give it a 0. It’s more comfortable than a vaginal ultrasound. If you experience vaginal dryness, I have read the insertion may cause mild discomfort. The only sensation I noticed was warmth. FractoraV is a bit more intense and a topical anesthetic is used prior to treatment. However, this did not hurt me either. On a scale of 1-10, I’d give it a 1. And the only reason I felt anything was because a small area didn’t get any topical anesthetic applied. In that area, I felt the sensation of a rubber band snap.
Was Votiva embarrassing?
Considering nearly 50% of women age 20 and older experience stress urinary incontinence, the topic shouldn’t be and I wasn’t embarrassed at all. It might seem a little weird at first having someone in that zone. I’ve given birth to children and did that in front of a team of people. I’ve tried waxing and that’s not done by a medical professional. I’ve been intimate with men. Taking all that into consideration, I wasn’t embarrassed to bare it all. Social norms have cultivated feelings of embarrassment for most people when it comes to feminine health. Just keep in mind you are dealing with medical professionals who have dedicated their career to helping us resolve personal issues.
Were there any negative side effects after the treatment?
After the first treatment, which included FormaV and FractoraV, I noticed sensitivity when I wiped myself after going to the bathroom. This was from the FractoraV treatment. The sensitivity lasted about 2 days but it was not painful. I got my period five days later and wasn’t tracking my cycle well. I freaked out for a minute and then I realized it was just my time of the month. With FractoraV, I was also instructed to apply Aquaphor for the first few days after the treatment. That is just something to keep in mind. Don’t plan on wearing fancy underwear right away and it is advised you refrain from having sex for a week following the treatment. Your partner will find it worth the wait because there were be noticeable vaginal tightening.
What changes did you notice after the Votiva treatment?
I immediately noticed less leakage if I sneezed or coughed. But, if I wasn’t on alert during those moments, leakage would still happen but it was definitely improved. My labia was drawn in much tighter to my body. The shrinkage of tissue was noticeable immediately following the treatment. After the second treatment which included FormaV only, I noticed additional tightening of the outer skin and overall leakage continued to improve. The best way to describe the outer changes is the labia would spring back better if I lightly tugged it. (TMI, I know, but you came for the details, right?) I also noticed I had more control when I laughed, coughed, or sneezed. I haven’t tried to run with the dog yet! I will do that a week or two after the final treatment.
Also, you know that feeling of no return when you are getting ready to go the bathroom? Like if someone whipped a toilet out from under you, it wouldn’t matter? You’d go anyway? The ability to wait a moment to ensure none of my kids took all the toilet paper was improved. I can’t tell you how many times I discover that a second too late. It’s even worse in a public restroom! Once you mind accepts it’s time to go, there no stopping it Now, I feel like I have control and I can wait, pause and stop!
Are you having additional treatments?
I’m having a final treatment about three weeks after my second one. During the final treatment, I will be having both FormaV and FractoraV. Following that, I plan to continue treatments once or twice a year for maintenance. Whether you do both FormaV and FractoraV depends on what you are looking to accomplish and that is something you should discuss with your provider.
What advice would you give in preparation for Votiva?
Be cautious when you shave prior to the treatment! You will need to completely shave. Don’t do what I did trying to make everything look perfect. I got really bad razor burn from shaving and going over the same area multiple times. That was not a good situation. It itched so bad I had to put ice on it. Take your time, shave properly, and don’t try and make it perfect. Here are some good shaving tips for women to follow if you don’t normally groom down there.
Expect to take a urine pregnancy test prior to the treatment. Also, during the treatment the machine beeps providing feedback to the operator. This is nothing but I’m just trying to think of every detail to share with you.
Other than that, I can’t think of anything else. I’d tell you not to over-think it and to seriously considering trying this treatment before considering more invasive options. I believe this is the most progressive non-surgical FDA approved treatment that is currently available. There is more information about the Votiva treatment on Dr. Shapiro’s website.
I hope you found this information helpful if Votiva is something you are thinking about for yourself. If you have had the procedure, I would love to hear about your experience. I’m sure others who are reading this would also find your comments helpful.
Thank you for stopping in! I should be running with my Yorkie in no time and I’ll post a follow-up a few weeks after my final treatment. So far, I’m very pleased with the results and I can’t wait to hear your thoughts and share my final results with you. Bye for now!
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