Labiaplasty procedures on the rise, according to research

4 May 2016

Labiaplasty procedures on the rise, according to research

An increasing number of women are undergoing Cosmetic Gynaecology procedures according to a survey of 443 General Practitioners in Australia.

Of those who responded, a third said prospective patients were under the age of 18, while nearly all of survey participants had seen women of all ages on account of their ‘concerns about the appearance of their genitalia’.

Head Researcher Dr Magdalena Simonis reported that many of the women booking consultations for such procedures had ‘some degree of genital anatomy anxiety’ due to their ‘perception of normality [being] based on images seen online’.

The rise of online porn, as well as photoshopped images of women’s genitalia and the increase in women removing their pubic hair have all been cited as reasons contributing to the rise in requests for Labiaplasty – which grew by 80 per cent in 2014 in the US, and experienced a 500 per cent growth rate in the UK over the last 10 years.

Sydney-based Cosmetic Surgeon, Dr Laith Barnouti explained that the majority of his Labiaplasty patients are aged between 15 and 30 years old. He stressed that his clinic is quite strict on who is a good candidate for the procedure.

“We will not do this on someone with a normal labia, only those with very prominent labia. Many of these women are embarrassed about it and they avoid intimate situations”, he said.

Professor Steve Robson, President of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, shares this view.

He explained: “With the fad of removing a lot of pubic hair, women and their partners can see the labia in more detail. Lots of women don’t think they’re normal because they compare themselves to unrealistic models.”

He suggested that women should be reassured that no two labia will ever look the same but that doesn’t mean one is better than the other, adding “if your genitalia look and function normally, you do not require an operation”.

“I would do a labiaplasty if there was really a great degree of asymmetry, or someone had big labia which become inflamed when they ride a bike or do other forms of exercise. Often women just want to please their partners. I’ve said to them: The problem is with your partner, not your vagina”.

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Image credit: Sergey Mironov/