OB-GYN-Approved Vaginal Mask for Menopausal Symptoms
rē•thinking Self-Care (Down There)
Working a mask into your skincare regimen is old news. But would you try a vaginal mask to help address symptoms of peri- and menopause? When Lana Kerr, founder and CEO of CO2Lift, experienced a loss of sexual enjoyment in her forties, she spoke with her OB-GYN about the reasons why and was recommended an in-office energy treatment. This experience spurred her journey into understanding the sexual effects of perimenopause and finding a less invasive way to address these symptoms more gently at-home.
Board-certified OBGYN Jenn Owen explains that the average age for the technical diagnosis of menopause — the absence of menstruation for twelve months — falls right at 51. However, the fluctuating symptoms of perimenopause begin impacting women much earlier. “Ultimately, approximately 1% of women experience premature ovarian failure much earlier, sometimes as early as the 20s and 30s.”
She notes that by the time patients schedule their appointments for hormone replacement therapy at her practice, Owen Health Group, they are often already miserable from the fluctuating symptoms. “The most common [overall] symptoms are hot flashes, fatigue, insomnia, mental fogginess, mood swings, and weight gain,” she begins. But just as common and concerning are their vaginal symptoms, including “dryness, pain with intercourse, and decreased libido.”
This is the point at which she typically recommends CO2Lift V Vulve and Vaginal Treatment, which clinicals reveal alleviates the symptoms of perimenopause and menopause. Keep reading to learn more about the vaginal mask that can rē-vamp your sex life and improve your vaginal health from home.
Your Perimenopausal/Menopausal Sex Life
In addition to thinner skin and declines in elasticity that naturally occur with age, double board-certified integrative aesthetics physician Rahi Sarbaziha explains that vaginal symptoms of perimenopause and menopause come down to the drop in estrogen levels. “This is what leads to vaginal dryness, painful sexual intercourse, and changes in the elasticity of vaginal tissue,” she says. Combined with decreased libido, this can put a major damper on your sex life for obvious reasons.
The problem is there is a window in the time frame between perimenopause and menopause — when it is too soon to consider hormone replacement therapy to raise estrogen levels, but the symptoms are already impacting the patient’s quality of life. Dr. Owen explains that because perimenopausal women are still experiencing menstruation, adding back estrogen too soon can exacerbate bleeding and period irregularity.
“[While] we usually wait to start hormones until they are closer to menopause, we always recommend addressing vaginal health sooner rather than later,” Dr. Owen says. This is when she tells patients about CO2LiftV, if not sooner. “Very often, even our younger patients will begin treatments with CO2LiftV,” she says. “We are huge believers in preventative treatments.”
So, What is CO2LiftV?
In-office treatments exist to address issues like thinner skin, tissue laxity, and reduced lubrication. However, they are often energy-based and work invasively — instigating controlled damage that cues the wound-healing mechanism, the same way lasers work for the face. Furthermore, issues like a loss of sensitivity and a decline in sexual enjoyment go unaddressed. This is why Kerr developed a gel that could yield similar results non-invasively and by harnessing the body’s innate ability to regenerate from within.
But how? The CO2 Lift technology is based on carboxy therapy, a medical technique that harnesses the effects of carbon dioxide to flush areas of the body with oxygen via the Bohr effect. Instead of injecting CO2, however, Luminisque found a way to encapsulate CO2 in a cooling, healing jelly mask inserted into the vagina and works on its tissues from within with the encouragement of one of their GYN surgeon medical advisors. It was formulated at the ideal pH for the vagina, helping to maintain balance and prevent infections.
“The CO2 Lift V formula operates by releasing carbon dioxide into the vaginal region, boosting blood flow to the vagina and its surrounding tissue,” says Dr. Sarbaziha. She explains that the primary benefits are a tightening and rejuvenation of the vaginal tissue, making intercourse less painful, promoting natural lubrication, and increasing overall pleasure. “Additionally, it helps enhance vaginal health, providing relief from discomfort like burning, dryness, itching, post-coital bleeding, and urinary incontinence.”
How to Use CO2Lift V
The preparatory steps for the CO2Lift V are unlike how you would prepare a two-step skincare mask. Each treatment contains two packets: a larger packet containing a water-based gel and a smaller packet containing gluconolactone, a gentle polyhydroxy acid frequently used in skincare. After you combine each packet in a small bowl, mix them for one minute to get the mask activated.
“The CO2 gas is created when the gluconolactone in the small packet combines with the water in the large packet,” Kerr begins. “This forms a mild acid that mixes with magnesium carbonate to form CO2.” Next, add the mixture into a syringe, which is then inserted a third of the way into the vagina. The leftovers can be applied to the external skin of the vaginal area and left on for 45-minutes or even overnight. You rinse it out by adding water to the syringe and flushing it to remove it.
“[Upon entry], the CO2 forces the body to rush oxygen-rich blood to the area. The result is high concentrations of oxygen, increased circulation, [and cleansing] the extracellular matrix,” Kerr explains. “The therapeutic usage of CO2 in the body is not new; what is new is the delivery system. With the gel, it makes it painless, more versatile, and easily applied from home.”
In addition to the CO2, other ingredients are beneficial to the skin barrier of the area, which, as mentioned, begins to suffer from thinning and a loss of elasticity due to declines in collagen and elastin. Among them, squalane and ceramides are particularly beneficial to the protective skin barrier, while Japanese mugwort relays anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits, and passiflora edulis fruit extract works on skin appearance.
Would You Try a Research-Backed Vaginal Mask?
Before investing in a treatment like this — even when recommended by doctors — it is important to note what the studies show. The double-blind study used questionnaires regarding sexual function, and biopsies were performed to record the physiological effects between women given the treatment and a control group. After ten treatments, compared to the control group, “women that used the CO2Lift V gel showed significant improvements in all categories while the placebo showed no changes.” Because the testimonials of participants also reported improvements in stress incontinence, an additional double-blind study is underway to better understand these results.
If you decide to give the mask a try, they recommend a series of ten performed within a two-week period. If you are happy with your results, a monthly mask will suffice to maintain your results. Even better, if you decide to use it in combination with an in-office energy treatment, it can not only enhance your results but also help expedite healing. To do so, Kerr recommends using three treatments following the procedure before maintaining them monthly.