While discussing the topic with her mom, Adrienne Banfield-Jones, on an episode of her Red Table Talk series on Facebook Watch, the actress, 46, revealed she had a treatment done called the BTL Ultra Femme 360 to fix her bladder issues — which completely went away after three sessions.
Pinkett Smith visited the Vitality Institute of Agoura in Los Angeles, where the operation was performed by the owner Kelly Rainey. Although Rainey could not be reached for comment, the institute’s website says board certified emergency medicine doctors perform the procedure.
According to Pinkett Smith, Rainey told her that the non-surgical process, which uses a wand that moves in and out of the vagina, “introduces heat which stimulates cellular turnover.”
“[It] makes you feel younger again and it gets tighter and nicer and functions like it did when we were back in our 20s,” she added.
The clinic’s site says “you might feel a comfortable, tolerable, and mild heat during the procedure while the device delivers the energy.”
According to PEOPLE Health Squad member Dr. Mary Jane Minkin, MD, this type of procedure — which has also been praised by Real Housewives Kelly Dodd and Brandi Glanville — is mostly geared toward postmenopausal women and is still being researched.
“I won’t say there’s no data on it but the problem is there’s really no prospective randomized double-blind trials on any of this so a lot of it is anecdotal,” says Dr. Minkin, a board-certified OB/GYN and clinical professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at the Yale University School of Medicine.
As of now the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the North American Menopause Society are awaiting more comprehensive data before endorsing the procedure, Minkin says, noting that there is very little regulation. If you’re considering vaginal rejuvenation, she suggests thoroughly researching the facility and the doctor.
According to the Women’s Wellness Institute of Dallas, the cost of vaginal rejuvenation can range from $8,000 to $10,000.
Minkin says to the best of her knowledge it is not typically covered by insurance, and the in-office procedure may require several visits and touch-ups. She also notes the existence of alternative cheap or free solutions and preventive measures.
“I would strongly suggest familiarizing yourself with Kegel exercises — the vaginal squeezers,” she says. “They’re great and they’re free. And they have no downside potential. I’m always concerned about something like a laser burning somebody or hurting somebody whereas a Kegel exercise will never hurt you. It will help tighten everything, help your muscles and help you control your urine better.”
Minkin says research also shows that women who have leakage problems can reduce the issue by 50 percent if she loses 5 percent of her body weight.
“The literature is very clear on that,” she says. “Five percent translates to 50 percent.”