The designer vagina, vaginal lips, and labiaplasty treatment don’t exactly qualify as dinner table conversation but the need to speak about these things is more essential now than ever before. The demand for labiaplasty treatment has seen a rapid increase in several parts of the world prompting even young, teenage women into the quest for the perfect vagina. Is this a passing phase or a pressing societal concern? To start with, let’s find out more about what a labiaplasty entails.
A labiaplasty is a surgical procedure which is conducted to alter the appearance of the vaginal lips. The vaginal lips comprise of an outer set (labia majora) and an inner set (labia minora). A labiaplasty is usually performed to decrease the size of the inner labia which may protrude as a result of hanging too low or being a little long. There is also the option of building up the outer lips by inserting fat deposits and covering the minora in the process. A labiaplasty is often viewed as a corrective procedure which is conducted to achieve the patient’s idea of what a vagina should look like. The problem with this narrative is that it implies that a ‘normal’ vagina should look a certain way. The reality is that A LOT of variation exists in the pool of normal vaginas and 9.9 out of 10 times the patient is battling a superficial demon that shouldn’t actually exist.
Labiaplasty treatment is conducted under general or local anaesthetic and will depend on the patient’s comfort and the complexity of the task at hand. The procedure usually takes between 1 and 2 hours though this will vary from case to case. You can generally go home a few hours after the procedure though you will need to be wary of any signs of infection or extreme discomfort. Slight pain and some bleeding are normal so don’t be startled if you need to reach for the maxi pad. It’s likely that you will experience some irritation and swelling as well which can be managed by soaking in a warm bath and avoiding being seated for too long. It is also essential to avoid tight clothing and stick to granny-like cotton undies for a good while after. You’re also off the sex radar for a whopping 6 weeks to ensure the area is fully healed before any foreign (or local!) invasion.
Now that we are up to speed on what a labiaplasty is and how it’s done, it’s time to think about why women undergo the procedure at all. In some cases, the labiaplasty is a need rather than a want. The existence of a melanoma on the labia is a serious issue that may be treated by a labiaplasty procedure. Sometimes, the reason is still medical but not as serious as a cancer-related growth. The decision to seek a labiaplasty could stem from recurrent UTI’s, bacterial infections as well as Dyspareunia which is an external vaginal health issue that can cause discomfort during sex. Some women experience pain when cycling, riding a horse or even participating in an activity that would require tight clothing. An enlarged labia, though normal, is increasingly seen as aesthetically dysfunctional, a direct result of the depictions of sexuality our society is faced with on a daily basis. This issue is far deeper than it seems and many are of the view that permitting purely cosmetic labiaplasty treatment will only further this mindset. The reality is, however, that a huge percentage of women are facing extremely low levels of self-esteem as a result of feeling inadequate, impacting their ability to have a normal, sexual relationship. In such cases, it may be worth undergoing the procedure to give women an opportunity to achieve the sexual confidence that they so severely lacking.
The most important thing is to ensure you know why you want a labiaplasty and that you are fully aware of the effects of the procedure. It is also essential that you seek an experienced health practitioner who can assist you in making the right decision around your intimate surgery. Most medical experts will have a clear idea of who is eligible for surgery so be sure to take heed of the advice and recommendations they provide you with.