A Patient’s Votiva Review:
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 a real issue.
Here’s what Mrs. Lucy reported:
“I began experiencing issues after childbirth and I wasn’t expecting it. After the birth of my second child, it got worse and I thought I just had to live with it. After the birth of my 3rd child, 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. When I brought up the issue to my ob-gyn, she said that most women live with this issue and simply won’t talk about it, and the only solution was surgery. So here I was, doing kegel exercises while going about my day… and saw very little improvement, considering the countless times I “worked out”.
We called Mrs. Lucy in to try this device before bringing it into our practice. We had never heard of Votiva but I knew Dr. Cimikoski would never introduce anything into his practice that he doesn’t strongly believe in. After reviewing clinical studies and doing much-needed research, he was ready to have her try it.
But before I tell you about her experience, let’s start with the basics…
What is Votiva?
Votiva is the latest FDA-approved non-invasive device designed for women’s intimate health. It uses radiofrequency 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 the laxity of internal and external vaginal tissue using gentle thermal tissue remodeling. FractoraV is designed for external areas only such as the major labia and can address laxity and skin texture. Each uses a different handheld 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, sensual dysfunction, and constipation. The formal treatment also helps to shrink and remodel the external vaginal tissue for a more rejuvenated appearance. The formal 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 radiofrequency 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.
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 format 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. 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.
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 bear 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 careers to helping us resolve personal issues.
Were there any negative side effects after the treatment?
Not at all. I was expecting more tightness during the intimate time, but I wasn’t too impressed. My husband swears it’s tighter, and I don’t know if that’s a plus, BCS intimate activity became an 8 min ritual – max! –Hope he’s not reading this!
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 an additional tightening of the outer skin, and overall leakage continued to improve. 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.
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.
Take your time, shave properly, and don’t try and make it perfect and make sure you’re not pregnant and pee before you start your treatment! 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.
So far, I’m very pleased with the results and even if it only lasted 1 year it would have been worth every dime! Dr. C. just brought in this device and needs testimonials… This is a great time to get a great deal if you promise him you’ll share the results on google or yelp – nope, no pictures! Keep that in mind and thanks for reading! Bye for now!
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