Skip to main content

An assessment of the safety and efficacy of a fractional CO2 laser system for the treatment of vulvovaginal atrophy

Buy Article:

$57.00 + tax (Refund Policy)


The aim of the study was to assess the safety and efficacy of a novel fractional CO2 laser for the treatment of genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM).Methods:

Women presenting with GSM and meeting study criteria were enrolled. Examinations at baseline and follow-up (3 mo after final treatment) evaluated dilator tolerance and vaginal pH. Visual analog scales were used to assess pain, vaginal burning, vaginal itching, vaginal dryness, dyspareunia, and dysuria; Vaginal Health Index scores were completed before each treatment and at follow-up; Female Sexual Function Index and Short Form 12 questionnaires were also completed. Participant satisfaction was measured on a 5-point Likert scale (1 = very dissatisfied, 5 = very satisfied). Women received three laser treatments, 6 weeks apart.

Thirty women participated (mean age 58.6 ± 8.8 y). None withdrew or were discontinued due to an adverse event; three were lost to follow-up. Average improvement in visual analog scale scoring was 1.7 ± 3.2 for pain, 1.4 ± 2.9 for burning, 1.4 ± 1.9 for itching, 6.1 ± 2.7 for dryness, 5.1 ± 3.0 for dyspareunia, and 1.0 ± 2.4 for dysuria; improvement in average Vaginal Health Index and Female Sexual Function Index scores were statistically significant (P < 0.001). Twenty-five of 30 participants (83%) showed increase in comfortable dilator size at 3-month follow up. Before the second and third treatments, 86.6% (26 of 30) of women reported they were better or much better than at the previous treatment; 26 of 27 women (96%) were reportedly satisfied or extremely satisfied at follow-up.

In this sample, the data suggest that the fractional CO2 laser is effective and safe for treatment of the symptoms associated with GSM.

Keywords: Dyspareunia; Fractional CO2 laser; Genitourinary syndrome of menopause; Menopause; Vaginal dryness; Vulvovaginal atrophy

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Division of Urogynecology and Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 2: Advanced Urogynecology and Pelvic Surgery, The Christ Hospital, Cincinnati, OH.

Publication date: October 1, 2016

  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content