Transvaginal laser therapies are being increasingly used for a variety of indications, particularly genitourinary syndrome of the menopause and stress urinary incontinence. This article reviews the current data pertaining to the place of these devices in current clinical practice. Whilst there has been a rapid increase in the number of publications over the last few years, many of the studies are of small numbers, short duration, and poor quality and are device-sponsored. The evidence suggests that vaginal laser therapy with either the erbium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet laser (FotonaSmooth) or the CO laser (MonaLisa Touch) is an effective intervention for the relief of symptoms of vulvovaginal atrophy in symptomatic women. The benefits of three laser treatments appear to last for at least 12 months and the procedure is generally well tolerated, with transient minor discomfort being the most common adverse event. Whilst the vaginal laser certainly has the potential to be an alternative treatment to vaginal estrogens for those groups of women, such as breast cancer patients, who cannot take them, there are still many unanswered questions about the role of vaginal laser therapy in clinical practice, particularly in relation to standard conservative management. The place of vaginal laser therapy in other conditions such as stress urinary incontinence is less clear. The outcomes from several ongoing randomized trials should help to answer some of these questions. In the meantime, the use of vaginal laser devices should be confined to clinical trials.

References

PubMed