The Rising Popularity of the ‘Designer Vagina’
13 April 2017
In recent years, the popularity of ‘vaginal rejuvenation’ surgeries, which includes vaginal tightening (vaginoplasty) and labial reduction or reconstruction (labiaplasty), have seen a significant increase. This is unsurprising, since mainstream media and culture constantly drills the notion into women that they can always look better, right down to their genitals. Moreover, several notable celebrities, such as Sharon Osbourne and TOWIE’s Gemma Collins, have openly talked about undergoing such procedures to achieve what has been dubbed the ‘designer vagina’.
According to a study by the International Society of Sexual Medicine in 2011, 87% of women who underwent vaginal rejuvenation surgery did so for purely cosmetic reasons. However, it is important to point out that this type of surgery is not just about cosmetics. There is no such thing as a ‘perfect vagina’, as labia comes in all different sizes and shapes and as such, medical professional carrying out these surgeries should be cautious when promising to give women a beautiful-looking vagina.
Cosmetic motives aside, there are a number of functional and medical reasons as to why women may want to undergo vaginal rejuvenation surgery. Giving birth or ageing can result in a lax vagina, making a woman feel self-conscious, or causing physical problems like incontinence and lack of sexual gratification. An enlarged or distorted labia can also create a genuine physical problem for many women, with discomfort occurring during sex, exercise or simply through catching on clothes.
In these cases, where the genitals are causing a woman significant problems in her day-to-day life, labial and vaginal reconstructive surgery is often recommended. Women are fed unrealistic representations of what they should look like on a daily basis and it is for this reason that any good gynaecologist will discourage women from undergoing vaginal reconstructive procedures based on superficial reasons alone.