When are Vaginal Tightening or Labial Reconstruction Procedures Necessary?
06 June 2018 by - Dr Pandelis Athanasias
In recent years, vaginal rejuvenation surgery has seen a sharp increase in patients from all walks of life. With several high profile celebrities openly admitting to having undergone vaginal tightening procedures, it is no wonder so many women have started enquiring about this modern type of surgery.
While undoubtedly a large number of these seek vaginal rejuvenation surgery for purely cosmetic motives, there are in fact many reasons as to why a woman may need to seek medical help, including childbirth trauma, the ageing process or discomfort.
We explain each medical concern and outline the type of surgery recommended.
Pain and discomfort
Some women naturally have enlarged or distorted labia, which can cause significant physical discomfort, either due to catching on clothing, feeling uncomfortable when sitting or doing exercise, or making wearing tight clothing unbearable because of chaffing. Furthermore, an enlarged labia can make having sex or inserting tampons a painful experience, while others can suffer from frequent urinary tract infections (UTIs).
In these circumstances labiaplasty, (labial reduction) surgery might be the suggested treatment. This involves reshaping and reducing the size of the labia minor or labia major, also known as the inner and outer lips surrounding the vaginal opening. The surgery is carried out to remove the physical problem which exists and is causing discomfort, and to improve the overall appearance of the labia.
Physically, giving birth affects every woman in different ways; many will recover quickly, while others may encounter a problem which requires medical attention. Having a baby often leaves a woman with weak, loose vaginal muscles which can lead to specific issues, such as a decrease in sexual satisfaction, lack of sensation and enlarging or distortion of the labia.
Where any of the above issues are causing significant stress and anxiety, vaginal tightening and reshaping procedures, known as Vaginoplasty, may be recommended. The vaginal rejuvenation procedure helps to rebuild the pelvic floor muscles, which are stretched during birth, and the aim of surgery is to restore the strength, tone and control of the vaginal muscles to their pre-childbirth state.
In cases of damage to the labia, resulting in tearing, scarring, enlargement or stretching, a labiaplasty may be the best course of action. It is common for both procedures to be performed together where childbirth trauma is the cause.
As we age, the muscles in the pelvic area naturally lose tone, becoming more lax, while the labia can increase in size. Again, this can cause significant stress and discomfort, and a woman may experience physical problems such as incontinence or decreased sexual satisfaction.
It is for these reasons that an increasingly larger number of older women are choosing to undergo vaginal tightening or labial reconstructive procedures so that they can improve the look and feel of the area and in turn, feel more confident.
Cosmetic reasons for vaginal tightening
While we do not recommend undergoing this type of surgery for purely cosmetic reasons, there are, unfortunately, a large number of patients who seek vaginal and labial procedures, dubbed the designer vagina, in order to achieve what they feel is the ‘ideal vagina’.
Societal pressure and celebrity endorsements may be somewhat to blame for this, however, it is important to make clear that each woman is different and vaginas come in all shapes and sizes. Some people have naturally larger labia and extra tissue and unless this is causing physical problems or mental distress, surgical procedures are not advised.
That being said, an abnormally large or distorted labia may be diminishing confidence and causing significant mental distress, leading to problems such as low libido and problems forming intimate relationships. In such cases, surgery may be a valid measure.