Lasers for pelvic floor dysfunctions: is there evidence?

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Abstract

Purpose of review

The purpose of this review is to discuss the available energy sources used in the vaginal canal that are currently being promoted for certain pelvic floor conditions and explore the body of peer-reviewed literature supporting their use.

Recent findings

The majority of research has focused on the use of fractional CO2 laser treatment for genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM). Most of these studies are nonrandomized prospective studies, but their data consistently shows an improvement in symptoms without significant side effects.

Summary

Vaginal laser treatment for GSM is of particular interest to gynecologists as it provides patients with a history of estrogen receptor positive breast cancer, thromboembolic event, or other contraindication to hormone therapy, an effective treatment option. Currently, we are in the early stages of scientific investigation into the use of lasers in the treatment of pelvic floor dysfunction, but the emerging data is encouraging. The existing data is limited to mostly observational studies with additional quality randomized controlled trials and sham studies needed to ensure that physicians are providing the optimum evidence-based treatments to their patients. At the present time there is insufficient data to promote these therapies for stress incontinence, vaginal tightening, or other pelvic floor abnormalities.

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