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Why Do Some Vagina Owners Get Labiaplasties?

by | Aug 9, 2022 | MENTAL HEALTH, SEXUALITY, WOMENS HEALTH

Woman talking to surgeon about labiaplasties

With numerous cosmetic surgeries all promising a more beautiful and happier you, how does one decide to get labiaplasty? What is labiaplasty and why do some vagina owners decide to get it? How does labiaplasty changes one’s view of themselves and their sexual activity? Finally, what is the post-operative procedures and are there any mental health risks related to getting labiaplasty? Read on for answers and to learn more about labiaplasties.

 

What is a Labiaplasty Procedure?

 

According to the National Health Services (NHS), labiaplasty is a surgical procedure aimed at reducing the size of the labia minora or the skin flaps on either side of the vaginal opening. The NHS does not recommend the surgery for anyone under the age of 18 as the labia minora continues to develop beyond puberty and into adulthood. The procedure is done by a board certified surgeon, under general anesthetic or local anastatic with sedation, and takes between one and two hours to complete.

 

During the procedure, vaginal lips are shortened or reshaped, and the unwanted tissue is cut away with a scalpel or laser. Once the excess tissue is removed the edge may be stitched if necessary. Several differed techniques are used used to reshape the labia during a labiaplasty. De-epithelialization involves removing a small amount of labial tissue while maintaining the contour of the labia.

 

Direct excision aims to reduce volume; however, the aesthetic outcome is often poor. Wedge resection also reduces volume, like direct excision, but aims to maintain the labia contour. Composite reduction attempts to make changes to clitoral protrusion and hooding in addition to labial reduction.

 

Composite reduction results in reoperation and complications at higher rates than the other techniques. Some common complications include improper wound healing, severe bruising, scarring, reduced sensitivity, and infection. In some cases, reconstructive surgery or a second surgery is necessary to obtain the desired results.

 

However, most vagina owners who decide to get labiaplasty are very satisfied with their results. When choosing a plastic surgeon, it is important to seek medical advice from a doctor you trust. A good place to start your research may be at the American Society of Plastic Surgeons website.

 

What are Common Reasons Vagina Owners Choose to Have a Labiaplasty?

 

Vagina owners who decide to get a labiaplasty often do so to reduce pain during physical activity due to excess tissue on the vaginal lips. Individuals may experience difficulties running, hiking, or biking. Some vagina owners can only wear loose clothes as more tight fitting clothing such a bathing suits, can cause discomfort. A protruding labia minora may also cause pain during intercourse or sexual activity or affect one’s ability to reach orgasm.

 

Vagina owners may also seek labiaplasty to reduce psychological symptoms of anxiety and shame. Some vagina owners may feel self-conscious about excess edges of labia or clitoral hood and as a result, avoid intimacy or sex altogether. Social expectations to have a vagina that looks like those depicted in porn, can cause some vagina owners to experience decreased self-confidence and lower self-esteem. Avoidance of intimacy due to shame or embarrassment can also cause significant concerns in romantic relationships.

 

Are There Any Mental Health Risks?

 

Some vagina owners obtain a labiaplasty to reduce mental health concerns secondary to their self-perceptions and the perceptions of others as it relates to the physical appearance of their vagina. Having the surgery does not always make those feelings vanish. Concerns surrounding intimacy may still be present long after the surgery and healing process have completed. One may continue to feel uncomfortable with their changed body. They may feel uncomfortable allowing previous partners to see their changed body as they may anticipate further shame and questioning.

 

Individuals may also be unhappy with the results of their labiaplasty which can result in anxiety related to a need for additional corrective surgery or regret for obtaining the surgery in the first place. Individuals may also experience financial regret if they are unhappy with their results or experience one or more financial side effects of the procedure.

 

As previously mentioned, most vagina owners who decide to obtain labiaplasty are often satisfied with the outcome. After the trim procedure, one may feel freer to participate in activities, wear certain clothes, and have experiences that they could not or did not do previously.

 

Labiaplasty is becoming a more popular cosmetic surgery that has provided many vagina owners with renewed freedom and confidence. However, it is important to understand why and who you are getting the procedure for. Make sure you have a full understanding of the risks and possible complications and most importantly, be sure the procedure is for YOU! All vulvas are beautiful. Always consult with a trusted healthcare provider before making any kind of medical decision.

Modern Intimacy is a group therapy practice, founded by renowned Psychologist and Sex Therapist, Dr. Kate Balestrieri. This inclusive blog is designed to provide a wealth of information and resources for mental health, relationships, and sexuality. Subscribe today to get the latest information from our expert contributors from all around the world.

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Author Bio

Theresa Gallagher, Psy.D. is a Licensed Psychologist in the state of New York and a Clinical Associate at Modern Intimacy. Theresa is passionate about helping her patients find strength within themselves. Theresa works with both couples and individuals to heal from trauma, improve relationships, build resiliency, and more.

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