This post is in partnership with Pacific Plastic Surgery Group.
When people ask me about my childbirth experiences, I tell them about how when I gave birth to my first baby it took a long time; it involved tearing, lots of blood, a traumatic first bowel movement, a week of packing ice into my undies, and two more of sitting on an inflatable donut. Then I joke that my second one, 19 months later, just slipped right out. Ba-dum-ching! It’s funny because it’s true and because it plays into my favorite form of humor: exaggerated self-deprecation. MY VAG IS A GAPING WIND TUNNEL, people! Eight-pound humans slide right on out! Post-baby sex is like throwing a tootsie roll into the Grand Canyon! Tampons cling for their lives, to no avail!
The truth, of course, is nowhere as extreme, but the killer combo of getting older and experiencing multiple vaginal births did leave me looser down there, compared to when I was in my prime (oh, my prime!). Sex, in particular, felt different for me after babies. Gone were the days of bountiful lubrication and that full-body exhilaration from feeling every sensitive touch, inside and out. Sure, part of that is because I’ve been a tired hag for five years now, but my physical changes were noticeable enough to me that I started researching my options. (My husband, bless him, maintains that he didn’t perceive a notable pre-/post-baby difference in my anatomy.) Kegels? Been doin’ them for decades. Weights that my cat mistook for a new toy mouse? Check. Results? Not noticeable, to me. I want to be able to crush a walnut with my lady bits!
Of course, there is the plastic surgery option, a vaginoplasty… but that’s real surgery, including anesthesia, high costs, cutting, stitches, pain, downtime, and possible complications. Not ideal. I wanted something quick, something painless, something with measurable, proven results.
Ask and ye shall receive, ladies. What a time to be alive! For there exists just such an option for women in my predicament: non-invasive vaginal tightening! This procedure, known to its friends as Geneveve™ by Viveve, is a single-session 30-60 minute treatment that promises excellent tightening results with virtually no pain or downtime. Using a wand inserted into the vagina, Geneveve™ administers radiofrequency energy into the 360° tissue of the vaginal walls to stimulate collagen production and permanently plump things up. At the same time, the wand cools the surface of your tissue to avoid discomfort. It’s currently being used in 71 different countries and is regarded by the medical community as basically risk-free.
It sounded too good to be true. So obviously, when I had the chance to give this a shot, I had to jump! Scheduling the appointment with the Pacific Plastic Surgery Group could not have been easier. They offer online booking and are super friendly on the phone. For this procedure, women call to schedule a consultation and the treatment can be administered on the same day (as long as they otherwise qualify and are not currently having their periods). The consultation consists of a 15-30 minute discussion with your practitioner (a trained MD, PA, or NP), followed by a short pelvic exam before the treatment begins. They answered all my questions, addressed my concerns, provided me with a bounty of literature about the procedure before I committed, and put me totally at ease when I arrived at the office. Then, before I knew it, I was sitting in a big comfy recliner, with my feet up in stirrups – ready to turn back the cruel hands of time.
The procedure itself involves a wand that is no bigger than a super absorbency tampon, and let’s be frank… clearly, if you’re in the stirrups, then bigger stuff has gone in and out of there in your life. I (sadly) barely felt the wand as the friendly nurse practitioner began the procedure. For just over thirty minutes, I sat comfortably while the NP administered the radiofrequency waves and adjusted the depth and direction of the wand. I am not exaggerating when I say that this process was painless. I was nervous about maybe feeling some zapping, but my fears were unfounded. I opted to have the treatment internally, to tighten my vaginal walls. The procedure can also be performed on outer vaginal tissues to tighten those tissues, help obtain greater symmetry, and improve coloring (from brown to pink). If you choose to do that, the practitioner will use a numbing gel to make sure everything is comfortable.
I left my appointment feeling like I’d just been at the spa. Maybe this says something about how chaotic my life normally is, but having my vagina zapped in a doctor’s office was nothing short of relaxing! I had no pain, no recovery time, and no restrictions after the procedure except that I was told to avoid sex for a day since I might find that uncomfortable (um, no prob). Results would begin appearing in 1-3 months.
Two months later, I hadn’t noticed much of a difference, and I was feeling a bit bummed. My nurse practitioner from PPSG advised as a follow-up that results could take a full 3-4 months to become apparent. And sure enough, 3.5 months in, I’m really feeling the results. I’ve noticed palpable vaginal tightening, greater sexual arousal, and increased friction during intercourse (hallelujah!). For women who experience it, this procedure is also helpful to improve stress incontinence (peeing when you sneeze, laugh, exercise, etc.). Results vary, as with any medical procedure, but the difference for me feels like something that I probably could only have otherwise had a chance of approximating with years of sustained kegel exercises. I am more than satisfied to have jumped ahead to the results, which have miraculously brought me back to my pre-baby laxity.
I have been singing the praises of this procedure, much to the chagrin of my much-more-private spouse.* While even a noninvasive procedure like this might seem scary and extreme, the results are truly amazing and I cannot emphasize more strongly how easy the whole process was. The cost of the procedure is unfortunately not covered by insurance (damn you, patriarchy!), and can run between $3-4K depending on the areas you choose to treat. However, if you mention this review when you book with the Pacific Plastic Surgery Group, you will receive a $500 discount on the Geneveve™ treatment. Ladies, it’s money well spent.
* Out of respect for my spouse’s wishes, I agreed to write anonymously about my vaginal rejuvenation experience. But if you have any questions and would like to reach me directly, you can email [email protected] They’ll get your question to me, and I’ll be more than happy to respond!