Intimacy for women is highly connected to comfort and confidence when it comes to pleasure. There are a number of factors that can make intimacy uncomfortable for women, including memories of negative experiences, being raised to associate sex with shame, poor self-image, being afraid to ask for what they want, and physical pain during foreplay or penetration. This is such an important topic that we were fortunate to cover in a recent episode of Let’s Chat live with Dr. Bitner. Many assume that decreased pleasure is an inevitable part of aging as a woman, but that doesn’t have to be the case!
Pain with sex
Pain during intercourse is one of the most prevalent issues we see women coming to us with. The majority (about 80 percent!) of women develop issues with pain after going through menopause. However, there are many options available to these women so they don’t have to suffer through it. It’s important to first identify the source of the problem – lichen sclerosis or low lubrication – and to overcome any shame by being willing to talk about it.
The MonaLisa Touch laser is a CO2 fractional laser that is free of hormones and chemicals and can provide women with relief without surgical intervention. It’s been proven safe and effective by the FDA! Sounds pretty magical, so how does it work? The laser uses light energy that is focused on soft tissue, and it’s also been used by dermatologists for aesthetic facial treatments. This type of laser allows for quick healing because the tissue quickly regenerates, so the treatment has little downtime. Some women have said it also helps with their bladder urgency.
It was developed in Italy and has come to more than 60 countries. Treatment plans are split into three treatments in the first year, and then upkeep treatments typically involve an annual appointment. It’s an excellent option for women who don’t want to undergo vaginal estrogen treatments or who can’t due to a history of cancer. Both Susanne and Dr. Bitner are extensively trained on the use of the laser and you can feel confident in their expertise.
Sexual Health Is Health
Dr. Bitner has some takeaway tips for us. The first thing she wants to let us know is that sexual health is important, and it’s about more than just pleasure. It’s about wellness, it’s about feeling like yourself, and painful intercourse can cause a disconnect among partners. Another tip, the MonaLisa is a safe treatment option for common causes of vaginal discomfort. Women should also know that the reason this is a difficult topic is that sexual discomfort and dissatisfaction can often become a blame game, or women internalize their shame and feel undesirable because of it. true.’s Sex Deck was invented to help people talk about sex in their relationships and initiate important conversations. Lastly, using “I” statements in regards to sex is very powerful and allows us to take ownership of our bodies. Once the conversation is started, it can become a bonding experience.
As always, Dr. Bitner leaves us with five questions to ask your primary care provider. We should normalize having conversations with our doctors about our sex lives, as it’s a vital facet of our health!
- What is my phase of ovarian function?
- Why am I experiencing pain? (and if they don’t know, find a provider who will)
- Is this pain treatable?
- What are the treatment options?
- Who is the closest MonaLisa provider?
Take charge of your pleasure & comfort
With the way our culture is structured around sexuality, and how little women are taught about their bodies, it is vitally important to us that women take charge of their pleasure! Please don’t hesitate to come to us with any questions regarding your sex life at true. We operate as a safe place for women to divulge their problems. It can be hard to initiate the conversation, but it’s more than worth it. true. is full of resources to make talking about intimacy more comfortable. Begin your journey to feminine confidence with the MonaLisa Touch®!