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Vaginal Rejuvenation: who, what and why

We speak to gynaecologist Dr Asel Usupbaeva at EF MEDISPA to find out more about the non-invasive intimate health treatment, FemiLift, why more women are turning to it and the future of vaginal care

From the individuals extracting earwax from your eardrum to the quiet crusaders shaving skin off your feet, in our monthly series The Professionals we meet the people taking pride in the nitty gritty side of beauty.

There’s no such thing as a perfect vagina but, whether because of urinary incontinence, laxity caused by childbirth or hormone changes, there might be a moment where you feel like tightening those vaginal muscles, and, let’s be honest, there are only so many Kegels you can do. Yet when it comes to effective, non-invasive vagina rejuvenation there’s not a lot of choices out there and it can be daunting scouring through unnecessary and dangerous designer vagina type procedures that come with endless horror stories.

Invented by Alma Laser, FemiLift is a non-surgical solution to problems you may be having down there. Minimally invasive, it helps to tone and tighten the muscles of the vagina in only 30 minutes. It’s important to note, that isn’t about going under the knife to totally redesign your vagina according to existing beauty ideals (although, no judgement if that’s your bag) or to please a lover with the promise of "re-virginisation”, it’s a restorative procedure that allows women to feel more comfortable with and confident in themselves. Below, we chat with leading female gynaecologist Dr Asel Usupbaeva at EF MEDISPA to find out more.

What causes muscles in the vagina to loosen?
Dr Asel Usupbaeva: The main reasons for muscles loosening in the vagina are ageing and childbirth. Women who have children in their thirties and forties are more likely to be affected compared to younger women in their twenties. During pregnancy, the vaginal muscles are bombarded with hormones which cause them to stretch and loosen in time for the birth.

How does the FemiLift actually work?
Dr Asel Usupbaeva: We use a breakthrough CO2 laser which carefully heats the tissue to contract existing fibres and help stimulate the formation of new collagen. This also encourages normal blood flow to restore the strength and elasticity of the vaginal tissue as well as improving incontinence problems.

Why do you think it has grown in popularity?
Dr Asel Usupbaeva: Women are increasingly looking for a safe, non-surgical, quick fix treatment to tackle their feminine health issues, particularly those that promise minimal downtime, which is exactly what FemiLift offers.

How did you get into it, professionally?
Dr Asel Usupbaeva:  I’ve always been interested in minimally invasive and innovative approaches for treating my clients. I was really intrigued by FemiLift and after having done considerable research, I decided it was something I wanted to do and I’ve now been at it for more than two years.

"There’s no such thing as a perfect vagina. Everyone’s is different and varies in size, shape and colour – if it’s healthy that’s all that matters" – Dr Asel Usupbaeva

What’s your background prior to this?
Dr Asel Usupbaeva: I was an Ops and Gynaecologist doctor prior to achieving my Master's Degree in Medical Science at the Imperial College. I’ve also trained and practised Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy. My main aim as a health medical professional is to find solutions to intimate health problems, giving my patients confidence and increasing their self-esteem.

What qualifications does one need to carry out this procedure?
Dr Asel Usupbaeva: In addition to qualifying as a doctor you will need to undergo extensive FemiLift training alongside special laser training. EF MEDISPA have a solid policy where you’re required to train on volunteers first until you’re completely comfortable, confident and happy with the results – only then can you perform the procedure on clients.

Can you remember the first time you did it? What was that like?
Dr Asel Usupbaeva: The first time I performed it, it was amazing to see how effective the treatment was – it’s fascinating and such a quick solution to various female health issues.

It’s an incredibly intimate treatment, how do you cope with that? Do you feel desensitized looking at people’s intimate areas now?
Dr Asel Usupbaeva: I realise it’s an intimate area and treatment, however, it’s my career therefore I find it completely normal and it’s my job as a doctor to be professional.

How do you make the customer feel less awkward?
Dr Asel Usupbaeva: It’s very important to be professional and friendly to ensure the client feels at ease. Ahead of the treatment, I will run through each step to ensure the client is aware of the procedure and they feel comfortable.  

"I think in the future people will become more open about discussing vaginal health and hopefully, there will be less of a stigma attached to seeking treatment" – Dr Asel Usupbaeva

What does a healthy vagina look like?
Dr Asel Usupbaeva:  A healthy vagina will have clear or white vaginal discharge which will be viscous or almost paste-like in texture.

Do you worry that by offering a service that restores a vagina to peak condition, it adds to the stigma surrounding non-perfect vaginas?
Dr Asel Usupbaeva: Not at all, there’s no such thing as a perfect vagina. Everyone’s is different and varies in size, shape and colour – if it’s healthy that’s all that matters.

What are the biggest misconceptions about the FemiLift?
Dr Asel Usupbaeva: I think because FemiLift is an intimate procedure, the biggest misconceptions are that the treatment is painful and very invasive when in fact it’s a very quick procedure which is completely pain-free and safe.

What are the most rewarding parts? What is it you enjoy about doing it?
Dr Asel Usupbaeva: Definitely client satisfaction and to know I’ve improved someone’s health, wellbeing and happiness - it’s the sole reason I do my job!

Where do you see vaginal care going? What does the future look like?
Dr Asel Usupbaeva: There can be a stigma attached to intimate rejuvenation treatments and women can feel embarrassed or ashamed to discuss their issues or avoid them completely. I think people will become more open about discussing vaginal health and hopefully, there will be less of a stigma attached to seeking treatment.