Female intimate surgery: labiaplasty to improve self-esteem

Vaginal labiaplasty was described as such in 1984 by Hodgkinson and Hait, although female circumcision has been described much earlier in many cultures. In fact, the demand for this technique has increased by more than 70% in the USA and Australia in recent years, and several studies have pointed out the benefits of this technique for the patient’s well-being, increasing her self-esteem and her ability to enjoy sex.

There are several motivations that lead a woman to undergo an intervention in her intimate area:

  • Sexual security
  • Low self-esteem
  • Stress in the form of depression and/or anxiety
  • Dissatisfaction with their genital appearance

In fact, most of the women who have undergone this procedure were satisfied with the appearance of their vulva six months after the procedure.

  • “I feel more confident and sexy than before.”
  • “I feel more comfortable during my relationships”
  • “I am more comfortable when playing sports”
  • “Overall comfort has improved when wearing tight-fitting clothes.”

Female intimate surgery, a treatment on the rise.

In this way, the intimate hair removal of Brazilian women and the easy access to pornography on the Internet have promoted a large number of women to desire a more youthful vulva, with the labia minora hidden and the labia majora with greater volume. However, there are also opposing voices and movements that oppose this, publishing for example in 2010 an article in Cosmopolitan magazine entitled “Vaginas are under attack. Don’t let a greedy gynecologist tell you about it.”

Among the population there is a perception that it is the professionals themselves who encourage these procedures, although it is really the patients who are interested in these surgeries. The most common procedures performed are:

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  • Reduction of the labia majora and labia minora: the function of the labia is to protect the vagina and guide the outflow of urine during urination. Their minimum size is one centimeter, and they are considered larger than normal if the distance from the base to the edge is greater than 4 cm, with the labia minora protruding from the labia majora.
  • Filling of the labia majora with fat: a small liposuction is performed to obtain fat, and once this is obtained, it is introduced through cannulas on both sides. It is usual that a second process is required after six or eight months.
  • Reduction of the clitoral hood: in this case the flaccid skin that has occurred as a result of aging is removed. The skin is usually resected and sutured.
  • Liposuction of the mons pubis: in very bulky pubis fat is removed with liposuction, achieving very good results. In cases of extreme weight loss, a pubic lift can also be performed.

For more information about labiaplasty or female intimate surgery, consult Dr. Cristian Almeda.