In this week's Practitioner Spotlight, I was really pleased to chat with Katie Alex, owner of Katie Alex Aesthetics. Katie specialises in vaginal rejuvenation - a treatment that’s still relatively taboo, despite its ability to provide amazing results and transform women’s lives. So I wanted to find out more about what made her decide on this particular specialisation, what she loves about it and why she aims to break down the taboo surrounding it.
Practitioner Spotlight: Katie Alex
Hi Katie! It’s great to chat with you today. I’m dying to know how you got started in aesthetics - specifically in the vaginal rejuvenation side of things.
Before having my own daughter, I was a health visitor and used to go and see expectant mothers and mums with children up to the age of four to five years old. I’d also do developmental checks on babies, so I’d meet a lot of women and I built up good relationships with many of them.
Quite frequently, a key issue of postnatal mental health was a change of body image - especially if a mother had given birth to a big baby or had a traumatic birth, and I’d have really lengthy chats in which they’d often disclose that things weren’t the same down there. For example, jumping on a trampoline with their older child or going to the gym would result in leaks, intimacy wasn’t the same, or in some cases their partner had mentioned something.
When I was pregnant with my little girl, I was fully accepting that things might not be the same below, but there didn’t seem to be any non-surgical treatments out there that would have helped. For issues like stress urinary incontinence, there was physio, pelvic floor exercises and kegels, but, externally, there was nothing, and there wasn’t anything to tighten up the vaginal canal.
After a few life changes, working an hour away was no longer feasible, so I started looking at different options. I’d always had the odd bit of treatment done - I love aesthetics and anything girly - so, because I had an interest in the industry, I decided to do some aesthetics training in anti-wrinkle injections and fillers, but my heart just wasn’t in injectables.
I did some investigating and training into radiofrequency and ultrasound technology, and it was just by chance that I’d had a treatment with a local practitioner and I’d experienced some really good skin tightening from it. So, I did some more research and got in touch with the manufacturer of that particular machine for some more information and to find out what other machines they made. They explained what it could do and it sounded amazing.
It had just been released in the US and the Americans were raving about it, so I decided to go along to the training to give it a try. A friend of mine came with me as my model, and we treated her vagina externally and internally using the device - and everything changed in front of my eyes. We were both amazed and I decided to invest in it there and then.
For a few months after, I continued to do my other aesthetic treatments but my heart just really wasn’t in it, so I decided to become a specialist in vaginal rejuvenation. I’m so glad I made that decision.
Is vaginal rejuvenation a treatment that’s still a bit taboo for a lot of people?
There’s a massive taboo around it and I don’t think there should be. We’re all happy to say we’ve had anti-wrinkle injections, fillers or veneers, but we all have a vagina, and 50% of women over 50 have stress urinary incontinence, Why aren’t we talking about it? My aim is to promote it and educate about it - and break down the taboo, as issues like vaginal laxity affect so many areas of a woman’s life.
Definitely agree with that sentiment! Lockdown’s been tough, hasn’t it?! What’s it been like for you and your business?
It’s been frustrating. I’m a sole practitioner, so luckily, I haven’t had to worry about staff, but the most frustrating part was not being able to help every woman who got in touch over that period. I was only able to treat those with a medical issue, i.e. stress urinary incontinence. So it’s great to now be able to get back to treating women for all those different issues too - medical or aesthetic.
It has given me a bit of time to work on social media though, and do some educating. Women have also been asking me if I offer finance options so I’ve been looking into that, and my patients should soon be able to spread the cost of their treatments. This will make it more accessible to women who are not having the treatment purely for financial reasons.
That sounds good! What’s the best thing about your job, Katie?
Changing women’s lives and making them feel good about themselves again - sexually, physically and holistically.