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.