by Sheila Julson

As women experience childbirth, menopause, fluctuations in weight or hormonal changes, the vaginal walls can become loose and dry, causing a loss of sexual pleasure, urinary incontinence, tampons slipping out, and other issues. Viveve, a nonsurgical vaginal tightening treatment that has been used successfully in 22 other countries, is becoming more readily available in the United States.

Jacob Deakins, M.D., who, along with his brother, registered nurse Peter Deakins, offers Viveve at Inland Wellness & Vitality. Their Spokane-based practice specializes in sexual health and age management services for men and women. “Viveve is a very exciting therapy that differs from what has been available traditionally,” says Jacob. Viveve uses a cryogen-cooled monopolar radiofrequency (CMRF) that heats vaginal tissue while cooling the surface. The Viveve probe is directed intravaginally to stimulate the body’s own renewal response to slowly restore collagen. This increases vascularity and lubrication, thus reducing laxity in the vaginal canal. The treatment also increases blood flow and regenerates vaginal tissue.

Viveve is a one-time office-based procedure, and there’s no anesthesia required. Most women experience a sensation of heating and cooling during the treatment, but generally no pain or discomfort. The therapy takes less than 30 minutes, and patients can resume most regular activity afterward.

Viveve differs from other vaginal treatments, modalities and devices in that with its cooling technology, there’s deeper penetration of the device’s energy into the layers of the vaginal canal, which stimulates and gradually tightens the muscles—similar to Kegel exercises. Other treatments often have to be repeatedly inserted and withdrawn, which can be more uncomfortable and possibly cause tissue damage.

Jacob says Viveve therapy is also good for women who have stress or urinary incontinence while laughing, sneezing or during high levels of activity like exercising. “This therapy has shown to be very successful in eliminating that,” he notes.

Most women of all ages experiencing vaginal laxities are good candidates for Viveve therapy, except for those with pacemakers or defibrillators. Viveve Medical, Inc. has completed a randomized, blinded, multi-center clinical trial that has been published in peer-reviewed journals (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28161079) reporting the safety and efficacy of their CMRF device to treat vaginal laxity and improve sexual function.

Viveve can also be used in conjunction with other women’s sexual health treatments such as platelet rich plasma (PRP), in which a patient’s blood is drawn and then centrifuged to separate the platelets from the plasma portion, and then put into a concentrated preparation and injected. The PRP contains powerful growth factors that aid in the regeneration of tissues. PRP can be directed into the clitoris and vagina, increasing lubrication, sensitivity, blood flow and vaginal rejuvenation.

Inland Wellness & Vitality, located at 316 W. Boone Ave., Ste. 350, Rock Pointe Tower in Spokane, is one of the only medical clinics in the Inland Northwest to offer Viveve therapy. For more information, call 509-474-0145 or visit InlandWellnessAndVitality.com.

Sheila Julson is a freelance writer and contributor to Natural Awakenings magazines throughout the country.