Growing number of young women seeking vaginal rejuvenation

Rise of the designer vagina: Experts concerned as growing number of young women seek genital surgeryDoctors report children as young as 11 seeking surgery
'The concept of beauty has
extended from having the right looking cheeks to the right looking
genitals,' says Dr Sachin Dhawan

By
Sadie Whitelocks

PUBLISHED:

21:12 GMT, 29 August 2012

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UPDATED:

21:12 GMT, 29 August 2012

A growing number of young women are seeking vaginal rejuvenation according to experts.

The hour-long procedure which was originally popular with patients suffering from incontinence or a sagging of the vaginal canal following childbirth, is now more widely used for cosmetic purposes to either to enhance the appearance of the genitalia or boost sexual satisfaction.

While the average age of those requesting the surgery is between 30-45 some doctors are concerned the trend is causing teenagers to become increasingly 'misled or confused' about what is normal.

Media influence: This June Jessica Canseco, one of the stars of a reality show on VH1 called Hollywood Exes, underwent vaginal laser rejuvenation while the cameras rolled

Media influence: This June Jessica Canseco, one of the stars of a reality show on VH1 called Hollywood Exes, underwent vaginal laser rejuvenation while the cameras rolled

'It's really concerning, because [the trend] is really reaching younger ages, in their teens.

'I heard of a mother taking in a 16-year-old and 11-year-old wanting to get it done. It's just not right,' Dr Iglesia, a Washington, D.C., gynecologist, noted in an editorial in the June issue of the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Critics believe it is yet another
service aimed at women pursuing an impossible ideal of physical
perfection, and surgeons say the majority of patients have been influenced by internet pornography and the media industry.

One patient said she looked at 'a few Playboys here and there' before opting for labiaplasty

One patient said she looked at 'a few Playboys here and there' before opting for labiaplasty

Dr. John Miklos who trained as a gynecologist and
reconstructive surgeon, and now calls himself a 'medical
tailor,' specializes in surgery to reshape a woman's private parts.

On average he performs as many as 180 labiaplasties a year to cut back the skin flaps surrounding the vaginal opening.

WHAT IS VAGINAL REJUVENATION

There are two main types of procedure available:

Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation

For women who want to enhance or improve sexual gratificationMost patients are women who have had children and experience vaginal relaxationThe procedure enhances vaginal muscle tone, strength, and controlEffectively decreases the internal and external vaginal diametersBuilds up and strengthens the perineal body

Designer Laser Vaginoplasty

Aesthetic laser enhancement for women who are concerned with appearanceSculpts and reduces the inner and outer labiaReduces excess skinReduces thickness of the labia minoraPigmentation treatment to create uniform colourationRejuvenates the relaxed parts of the vaginaAugment any areas that are 'flat' with transfer of fat from other areasRemoves fatty bulges of pubic area

By all measures, Miklos has thrived on
his expertise and along with his partner Dr. Robert Moore, now has practices
in Atlanta, Georgia and Beverly Hills.

In 2011 more than 2,140 U.S. women underwent vaginal rejuvenation, according to the American Society for
Aesthetic Plastic Surgery while the International Society of Aesthetic
Plastic Surgeons put the total at almost 5,200 in 2010.

Experts
note such figures do not include the many procedures done by
gynecologists.

And last year, according to NHS figures the demand for genital cosmetic surgery in the UK rose five-fold over the course of a decade.

'More women today are concerned about
the aesthetics of their private parts.

'The concept of beauty has
extended from having the right looking cheeks to the right looking
genitals,' Dr Sachin Dhawan told India Today.

The growth comes despite a warning from
the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) in
2007 that strongly questioned the medical
validity and safety of female genital cosmetic surgery which can cost between $2,500 and $12,000.

One of the major concerns is that many surgeons fail to explain risks, such as infections, scarring, pain
and the loss of the very sensations some patients seek to enhance.

'None of these procedures have proven effectiveness, and there is potential for harm,' Dr Iglesia added.

However many patients are more than happy to proceed with surgery, even when warned of the dangers, as they are sold on the idea of having a 'designer vagina'.

'Even when women are told of potential
complications, like insensitivity of the clitoris … they still may be
unstoppable if they have the notion that they need a younger-looking or
more perfect or more desirable vulva,' said Harriet Lerner, a
psychologist specialising in women's issues.

Kari, 36, who did not want to use her last name, said she was unhappy with the way her genitalia looked and opted for labiaplasty.

'One side was longer than the other
side. … It was something that bothered me.'

She said her boyfriend was not involved in her decision, but she did 'look at a few Playboys here and there.'