New warning on ‘perfect vaginas’
Women are undergoing surgery to create perfect genitalia amid a “shocking” lack of information on the potential risks of the procedure, a report says.
Research published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology also questions the very notion of aesthetically pleasing genitals.
Operations to improve the appearance of the sex organs for both psychological and physical reasons are on the rise.
But surgeons said the report overplayed the risks of an established procedure.
Researchers from University College London reviewed all the existing studies on cosmetic labial surgery – which generally involves reducing the amount of tissue that protrudes from the lips which cover the vagina. They found there had been little work to document any longer-term side effects.
Labioplasty, as it is known, costs about Â£3,000 privately and is offered for a variety of reasons: some women complain that wearing tight clothes or riding a bike is uncomfortable, while others say they are embarrassed in front of a sexual partner.
In studies dating back to 1950, examined by the researchers, dissatisfaction with the way the vagina looked was the primary reason for surgery, with patients also speaking of low self-esteem and sexual difficulties.
n studies dating back to 1950, examined by the researchers, dissatisfaction with the way the vagina looked was the primary reason for surgery, with patients also speaking of low self-esteem and sexual difficulties.
She also suggests that women who undergo this procedure might experience similar problems in childbirth as those who have experienced female genital mutilation, in which parts of the vagina are ritualistically removed.
Douglas McGeorge, past president of the the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, rejected the comparison with female circumcision, arguing it was a relatively minor operation with few possible complications.
“They’ve gone a bit over the top. Essentially this is just about removing a bit of loose flesh, leaving behind an elegant-looking labia with minimum scarring. The procedure won’t interfere with sexual function.
It would have to be really, really bad for me to even consider such a procedure. The idea of going through a labioplasty for nothing more than aesthetics is beyond my comprehension. I would also bet that these same women would be horrified at the idea that women in certain
African countries are mutilated as a matter of course.