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When I was initially asked to review the Aurora Plus by Lowe (1.280,00 €), I was excited. This laser device is said to improve vaginal lubrication while firming and slowing the aging of tissue, addressing issues such as dryness and pain during intercourse. Since a total hysterectomy at age 44, I’ve suffered from a gradual and, more recently, significant worsening of vaginal, vulvar (the vulva is the entire external female genitalia) and labial (the labia majora and minora are respectively the outer and inner folds of the vulva — the areas most accessible to the exterior of the female genitalia) atrophy and thinning. With these anatomic changes, I’ve also experienced increasing pain and decreased natural lubrication with intercourse. These are topics that many women — and not infrequently their physicians — have great difficulty initiating and handling in frank and descriptive terms.
I am a board-certified anesthesiologist with several sub-specialties, one of which is in pain management. Since I am a woman who has experienced both pelvic pain and later the above-described vaginal and vulvar problems, women seem to feel more open in discussing these very private and sensitive matters with me. It is not unusual for women to feel awkward about or simply not communicate these feelings to their sexual partners, preferring to suffer in silence. If you have any of the problems I’ve mentioned above, I am hopeful that just knowing a bit about your anatomy, that you are not alone in your discomfort, whether physical or psychological (anxiety), and that there are treatments available from your physician will prompt you to speak up!
The Aurora Plus is manufactured in Italy. When you open the box, inside you will find two compartments: One is a lovely velvet bag containing the delicate (meaning: try not to drop it!) treatment tool with a laser at one end and a metal ring and covering on the other. It was my experience that, once I was ready to use the device, knowing by touch where the “program”, “stimulation” and “aesthetic” buttons were located, could be quite helpful. Overall, the presentation of the entire unit was quite elegant.
The other compartment contains an instruction pamphlet, which is extremely important to read before using the device. It should also be noted that since the Aurora Plus is made in Italy, the plug included with the device is not compatible with US plugs. However, the end of the extension cord is the “male” portion of a USB unit that you can plug right into a USB port on your computer. The manual states that the first full charge takes approximately two and a half hours, but it took my unit closer to three and a half. I found that subsequent recharges took approximately 40 to 45 minutes.
So how did the unit work for me? After using it for approximately eight to ten times a month for about three months, I found no subjective external aesthetic improvement upon using the “aesthetic” function. After the suggested unit laser “test,” a full charge consistently gave me 10 to 11 minutes tops on either the “aesthetic” or “stimulation” settings. To my chagrin, I had to recharge the unit after just those few minutes of use, making it a personal time shortfall for me. Others may not have the same experience.Though every woman has very individualized times it takes to respond to external genital stimulation, I found that the one-charge time was just not enough for me using the “stimulation” function as a segue to sex with my partner. Lastly, I did not have the long hoped for increase in lubrication on either setting. I am an ardent consumer of Replens (single-use units).
In terms of ease in use, once I had mastered the tactile use of the operating “buttons,” I was able to go directly from test to use very quickly. The sensation was very pleasant and not at all painful or uncomfortable. I had to be extremely careful not to look into the laser, as it ultimately faces up towards your eyes during use. For cleansing the unit, I used a very soft, lint-free cloth with Come Clean by Pure Romance, a cleanser sold on a website by the same company’s name. Interestingly, my strait-laced OB-Gyn recommended the site to me when I initiated my first frank discussion with him about my post-hysterectomy issues. I must add that my impression was that it was not a conversation he was altogether comfortable in having with me. However, as I am a physician, I think that he felt a professional obligation to help me as quickly and completely as possible. He had a large stack of folders from Pure Romance, one of which he was more than happy to give to me.
Will I continue to use the unit? Perhaps the biggest plus was the “stimulation” mode. I do think that it did “warm things up” a bit for me; however, my partner and I still enjoy what I’d hoped the Aurora Plus might give us more of in the way of pre-coital assistance. If the charge lasted longer, I know that I’d continue using the Aurora Plus on a regular basis.