Plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery procedures have been on the rise for a while, including a variety of new procedures introduced all across the world. One of the more surprising rises in plastic surgery procedures is with those relating to women’s genitals. A recent study showed startling data that suggests a considerable increase in labiaplasties and other procedures performed on the female genitalia, and researchers suggest it being tied to how women look in pornography. What is perhaps even more shocking is that young teenage girls are included in the data.
This study on the increase of genital procedures performed on teenage girls and women was conducted by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (RCOG), showing an increase in genitalia procedures, particularly with labiaplasties. Experts and researchers believe the increase to be largely due to pornography and the increase of the availability and popularity of pornography with women. Thomas Baldwin, who belongs to the ethics committee at RCOG, told reporters that he believes women see the labia and other parts of the women genitalia looking one way, and assume this is how all genitalia must look.
According to the study, 2,000 labiaplasties were performed in 2010, just in Britain alone. However, researchers believe the numbers to be even higher because of the privacy factor. They feel many women choosing to get the genital plastic surgeries do not admit it to others and therefore are not included in the statistics. It is also growing in the United States, even though there was a report in 2007 published by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists indicating the lack of medical validity and safety.
One of the biggest concerns with these statistics is that the majority of the procedures are unnecessary and the long-term risks or side effects are unknown. One thing doctors do know is that the younger the girl is getting the labiaplasty, the more likely she will get multiple procedures throughout her lifetime and the higher the risk for loss of sensitivity and increased risk of scarring. This is why plastic surgeons do not encourage the procedure to be done on teenagers under the age of 18, since their vaginas are not sufficiently developed to this point. The only other risks doctors are aware of for labiaplasties, and other genital surgeries is a danger of infection and bleeding, but long-term risks are not known, nor are long-term sexual dysfunction.
Another thing for surgeons to consider is the psychological status of patients before and after getting the genital plastic surgery procedures. Even more so than other types of operations, young women must get a proper psychological evaluation to determine their reasoning for the operation and the validity of the procedure.