Number of vaginal lactobacilli in postmenopausal women with vaginal atrophy before and after treatment with erbium-YAG laser: a randomized sham-controlled trialPanyawongudom, N., Panyakhamlerd, K. & Suwan, A.
BMC women’s health, 23(1), p.513.
To evaluate the effect of erbium-YAG laser on the number of vaginal lactobacilli in postmenopausal women. Secondary objectives: To evaluate the effect of erbium-YAG laser on vaginal atrophy symptoms and vaginal pH in postmenopausal women.
Materials and methods:
A total of 44 postmenopausal women who met the inclusion criteria were randomized in the laser group (n = 22) and sham group (n = 22). Vaginal lactobacilli grading, vaginal pH, vaginal atrophy score, and vaginal atrophy symptoms were assessed before and after treatment with erbium-YAG laser for two consecutive times, with a four-week interval; the results were compared with the effects of the sham procedure. Any adverse events after the treatment were recorded.
A total of 44 women were included, and five were lost to follow-up. Compared with sham procedure, vaginal lactobacilli grading improved in the laser group (5/20 in the laser group and 1/19 in the sham group). However, the improvement did not reach statistical significance (adjusted odds ratio = 5.32, 95% CI = 0.5-56.21). Vaginal atrophy symptoms measured by the visual analog scale (VAS) and vaginal pH were improved in both groups without a statistically significant difference between the two groups. Vaginal "dryness" VAS and vaginal atrophy score after treatment were significantly lowered in the laser group compared with the sham group.
This study showed an improvement in vaginal lactobacilli grading after vaginal laser treatment. However, the difference in vaginal lactobacilli grading after treatment in both groups was not statistically significant. Keywords: Erbium–YAG laser; Menopause; Randomized sham-controlled trial; Vaginal atrophy; Vaginal lactobacilli; Vaginal pH.