Designer Vagina: What You Need to Know About Labiaplasty


If celebrities have taught us anything in recent years, it’s that the vulva and vagina are not off-limits for aesthetic procedures. From the Kardashian sisters’ candour about receiving laser vaginal rejuvenation to Sharon Osborne discussing her vaginal tightening surgery, it’s evident that under-the-belt beauty procedures are becoming more prevalent.

The habit is also spreading among non-celebrities. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, there was a 53 percent increase in labiaplasty (aka “designer vagina” surgery, which includes modifying the labia) procedures in the United States from 2013 to 2018.

According to Juliana Hansen, MD, professor of surgery and division chief of plastic and reconstructive surgery at Oregon Health and Science University School of Medicine, this rising tendency may be attributable to increased knowledge and debate regarding vaginal health. “For many centuries, vaginal health was considered taboo, and surgeries and choices for female genitalia care were unavailable,” explains Dr. Hansen.

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What is Labiaplasty?

Labiaplasty is mostly a cosmetic operation, but it may also have a practical purpose. Dr. Hansen notes that in most cases, the surgery affects the labia minora, or the inner lips of the vagina, but it may also be adjusted to alter the labia majora, or the outer lips.

The plastic surgeon basically shortens the labia to eliminate extra tissue that may be irritating the patient for cosmetic or practical reasons, such as getting in the way during sex or exercise.

Dr. Hansen distinguishes labiaplasty from vaginoplasty, which is a surgical surgery for vaginal tightness. According to her, some women may have this done because of pelvic-floor disorders, such as incontinence, after several childbirths.

However, it is also commonly used to assist improve vaginal tightness for sexual pleasure. “There isn’t a tonne of proof that [vaginoplasty] operations function well,” Dr. Hansen adds, “and there may be a risk of prolonged pain and injury.”

There are also treatments for vaginal rejuvenation that don’t involve surgery. These treatments are part of the “designer vagina” trend, but they are very different from labiaplasty. “These include lasers that stimulate the mucosa, or inner lining, of the vagina, and LED light treatments that are supposed to stimulate the vagina to make more tissue,” says Dr. Hansen.

She does warn, though, that most of these treatments are neither FDA-approved nor scientifically proven to make the vaginal area tighter or less dry.

Most of the time, surgeries for transgender women are completely different from labiaplasty surgeries and vaginal rejuvenation surgeries. Gender confirmation surgeries often involve making a vulva for a male-to-female transgender person.

However, Dr. Hansen says that the new vulva usually needs to be dilated and stretched to work properly, which is almost the opposite of many vaginoplasty or labiaplasty procedures.

What is the purpose of a Labiaplasty?

There are a few reasons for getting a labiaplasty treatment, however the majority of them are cosmetic rather than medicinal in nature:

  • Pain during sex While dissatisfaction with the look of the labia might influence a patient’s confidence in the bedroom, having bigger or longer labia can also get in the way during sex, perhaps resulting in a painful or at the very least uncomfortable encounter. “Sexual function may be enhanced simply by lowering the size of the labia,” Dr. Hansen explains.
  • Discomfort caused by lengthy labia: Some patients may experience functional issues as a result of having wider or longer labia. This might involve pain while riding a bike or wearing underwear or a thong, as well as extra vaginal dampness.
  • Dissatisfaction with the look of the labia This is the most common cause for women to have labiaplasty. They may feel embarrassed or insecure about how their labia seem, especially during intercourse. According to Dr. Hansen, many women’s labia minora droop lower, which is entirely natural, but does not correspond to the relatively restrictive beauty standards women perceive in the media.
  • Cancers or pre-cancerous conditions: One medical cause for a labia reconstruction might be that portion of the labia has cancer cells in the vaginal region. “Cancers or pre-cancerous diseases that might arise there may necessitate excisions,” adds Dr. Hansen.

What Ricks Involves of Labiaplasty?

Labiaplasty, like any medical operation, is not without danger. Wound separation and scarring are two potential consequences. Some researchers have expressed worry about probable loss of sexual feeling as a result of labiaplasty, as well as an increased risk of perineal damage after vaginal birth, however, all of these hazards need to be investigated further.

What is the cost of Labiaplasty?

Labiaplasty operations are not cheap. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the surgery costs around $2,800. According to Dr. Hansen, they are often considered elective cosmetic operations, making it difficult to obtain coverage from any insurance provider, even if the surgery may be medically helpful such as in the case of pain during sex or reconstruction after the removal of cancerous cells.

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