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The BTL Protégé Intima is part of a range of radiofrequency (RF) based devices offered by BTL Aesthetics, which is marketed for non-invasive labial remodelling, a non-surgical form of labiaplasty. It was launched in the UK in 2014 and is called the Exilis Protégé in the USA.
The treatment is also referred to as vaginal contouring or vontouring in the media.
The Protégé Intima uses radiofrequency and ultrasound energy to heat up and cause contraction in the collagen within the outer labial tissue of the vagina, thus causing tissue tightening and stimulating the production of new collagen in the area.
A waterbased gel is first applied to the skin of the outer labia and the RF energy is delivered in pulses as the handpiece is moved across the area. Treatment time is short and some improvement is noted immediately post treatment, with additional tightening over time as the collagen remodels over 3 to 6 months.
Approved in Europe via a European CE Mark. FDA approved.
Trained medical professionals only, ideally with gynaecological knowledge and experience.
Remodelling or rejuvenation of the outer labia (lips) of the vagina – vaginal contouring. Aimed at targeting labial deflation (volume loss) or laxity, treating larger outer labia and hypertrophy of the labia minora (abnormal size of the inner lips pushing through the outer lips). Can also be used for perineal loosening caused by episiotomy during childbirth.
Vaginal contouring is not targeted at increasing the tightness of the vaginal canal nor improving sexual function.
Results take up to 6 months to develop fully. The longevity of those results will depend on the inpidual and the specific labial concern treated. Maintenance treatments are likely to be recommended periodically to maintain a good result.
It is possible that future childbirth may affect the result achieved with the Protégé Intima treatment, by causing the labia to stretch.
Treatment is promoted as pain-free with patients just feeling a warming sensation during treatment.
As long as you are generally healthy and don’t have any chronic illnesses, skin diseases or infections in the area treated, there are few medical reasons why you should not undergo this treatment.
It is advised not to have the procedure done whilst you have having your monthly period (menstruation).
If you are concerned that you have a sexually transmitted disease (STD) then this should be checked, diagnosed and treated, if required, before having a BTL Protégé Intima treatment.
You may well be asked to provide results from a PAP smear test that you have had within the last 12 months, or have a smear test before treatment, if it has been several years since you were last tested. The results of this will be used to evaluate suitability for treatment in case of any abnormal results.
Pregnant women are advised to wait to until after the birth of their child before having treatment. Breast feeding women are also not suitable for treatment.
A treatment programme of four to six sessions, spaces a week to two weeks apart, is usually recommended for BTL Protégé Intima, in order to achieve the best results. Maintenance treatments may be recommended annually.
The cost of BTL Protégé Intima treatment depends on the practitioner treating and the number of treatment sessions required. On average a course of four treatments will cost around £1,000 - £1,200. Top-up or maintenance treatments will cost £150+.
According to trial results from the manufacturers, 80% of tested subjects noted an improvement in appearance of the area as moderate or excellent; the remaining 20% noted only a mild or no improvement. 60% reported an improvement in sexual satisfaction of moderate or excellent and the remaining 40% mild improvement.