Pap testing detects vaginal tissue health

Before MonaLisa Touch Treatment Testing Can Help Direct Therapy

Vaginal maturation index on a pap test judges vaginal sexual health. It determines scientifically the estrogen status of the lining tissue of the vagina.

Treat Vaginal Dryness and Painful Sex Scientifically

Vaginal health improvement for those with vaginal dryness means creating well estrogenized tissue, a balanced pH, a healthy mix of bacteria, and normal vaginal discharge. Once those factors are balanced, painful sex can abate. Traditional pap tests can also do PCR swabs for STDs, yeast and bacterial infections.

Maturation Index swab can be taken from any part of the vagina, but it is recommended as analysis of the vaginal wall cells from the upper third of the vagina.

When women have hormonal deficiencies, hormonal transition, perimenopause, and menopause the lining tissue tends to thin and dry. This condition is called vaginal atrophy, or VVA. VVA is the main symptom of GSM, or the Genitourinary Syndrome of menopause. The cells thin, dry, have no glycogen, and secrete little moisture. This type of cell can be detected by a slide pap test.

The Maturation Index is a listing of the three layers of vaginal cells. About 100 cells are evaluated, further more the cells are divided into their subtypes and a score is obtained. The proportion of the parabasal cells (the lower most layer that sits on the top of what is called the basement membrane), the intermediate and the superficial cells. Prior to menopause women have 40-70/100 intermediate cells and 40-60/100 superficial cells, and no parabasal cells. Perimenopausal vaginas lack estrogen and begin to show parabasal cells in the maturation index. Once fully menopausal, the vaginal walls become atrophic, then they may have as many as 65/100 cells as parapaasal cells, and only 5/100 superficial cells.

When lubricants are not enough to make sex less painful

Nonhormonal lubricants can help with pain at the time of sex, but cannot heal the tissues like treatments or hormones, and we don’t have a good test for lubricant allergies.

Hormone blood testing can help figure out why sex is painful, and may be indicated in some cases.

Women who are responding well to estrogen therapy for vaginal problems in menopause should have the healthy maturation index of a young women. If your maturation index has not improved, then the estrogen therapy designed for you is not working well,. Furthermore your estrogen therapy may have to be redesigned for maximum effectiveness. Vaginal treatments using energy based treatments such as MonaLisa Touch CO2 non-ablative fractional laser or ThermiVa radiofrequency RF treatments can heal the tissue and improve the Maturation Index. 

For therapy of vaginal atrophy, come for consultation regarding MonaLisa Touch or ThermiVa, come to Women’s Health Practice.

To read more about this in our Kindle book Menopause, Make Peace With Change