Women warned about cosmetic vaginal surgery

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has warned women against cosmetic procedures advertised as "vaginal rejuvenation," "designer vaginoplasty", "revirgination" and "G-spot amplification".

The ACOG says such procedures are not medically necessary and are not guaranteed to be safe as there is little known about their potential complications, such as infection, altered sensation, dyspareunia (pain), adhesions, and scarring.

Women are being offered such procedures to improve their appearance or sexual life and are often requested because patients believe there is something wrong with the appearance of external genitalia.

The ACOG says to imply to women that any of these procedures are accepted or routine is a deception; the ACOG educates and accredits doctors who treat women and deliver babies.

The ACOG, says such procedures which include changing the shape or size of the labia, "restoring" the hymen, and tightening the vagina, can cause complications such as infection, altered sensation, pain and scarring.

Dr. Abbey Berenson, who helped write the guidelines, says many women fail to realize that the appearance of external genitals varies significantly from woman to woman, and some may be fooled by deceptive marketing practices into thinking they need the surgery because they are somehow abnormal.

ACOG says a growing number of doctors are offering the procedures which appear to be modifications of traditional vaginal surgical procedures for genuine medical conditions that merit the surgery.

These include pelvic prolapse, the reversal or repair of female genital cutting, sometimes known as female circumcision, and the reversal of abnormalities caused by hormone imbalances.

Berenson says there are always risks associated with a surgical procedure and it is important that women understand the potential risks of such surgery and that there is no scientific evidence regarding their benefits.

Dr. Berenson says it is imperative that studies on these procedures be conducted and published in peer-reviewed publications so that the evidence and clinical outcomes can be reviewed.

Dr. Berenson says until that happens the absence of data supporting the safety and efficacy of such procedures makes their recommendation untenable.

The guidance published in the September issue of its journal, Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Comments

  1. Pinklemouse Pinklemouse United Kingdom says:

    Having long labia can cause quite a lot of discomfort when doing a range of activities, contrary to perceived opinion it has ofttimes little to do with appearance.
    Unless you are working in the porn trade the requirement to have a vagina that fits a rigid range is pretty relaxed. Not many men are so critical of their partners equipment that they refuse to engage in relations unless she gets it gussied up!
    For most of us it has more to do with how we feel in all senses of the word than peer pressure or magazines images.
    Most of us have more brain than that but it is like a lot of these procedures, now we can actually do something about what we don't like rather than just putting up with it.
    In days of yore women had to suffer in silence, no doubt a lot of men did as well.  
    I ought to know what women's bits look like as I was a midwife so I can put my hand on my heart and say I have seen a lot of them and some are very pretty and some not so pretty but they were all pregnant. Ergo somebody didn't care!

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