Who Gets Labiaplasty & Vaginoplasty . . . Who Wants It . . . And Why
Social And Cultural Considerations For Sexual Enhancement
As previously mentioned, vaginoplasty is done by women who, in almost every case have finished having their children. Usually, these women are in their late thirties, or more likely, in their forties and fifties. This is in contrast to labiaplasty, where almost 75% of labiaplasties are done by women in their late teens to late thirties—in most cases. The remaining 25% of labiaplasties are usually done in combination with women who have vaginal tightening or vaginoplasty . . . this is the older demographic as discussed.
So the question becomes, ‘why, all of a sudden, since both of these conditions have existed well before the now-evident increase in both labiaplasty and vaginoplasty, have women chosen to have both these elective procedures?’ Basically, in females since medical science began recording disorders and medical conditions, these hypertrophies have existed. That much is widely accepted. Yes, there have been enlarged labia, congenitally and as a result of trauma. And, yes, women have been having children for millennia, and hypertrophy of the vagina (enlarged vaginal structures/mucosa) and torn external labia is nothing new. So what’s different?
One possible reason is the widely accessible repository of information populating the Internet today. True, much of it is generally a regurgitation of some well-informed, medically-trained author’s perspective (generally copyright infringed upon without his knowledge) about the traditionally discussed subject matter of the contemporary availability of both labiaplasty and vaginoplasty via social networking sites and other avenues of social interaction. This, many say, has contributed to the increase in both procedures. And, yes, also frequently discussed on other web sites, is the social acceptance and availability of more female sexual exposure via videos, magazines and other broadcast media. Both of these rationales, which are largely conjecture (no solid data links these assumptions to translatable surgical procedure increases . . . and they are merely assumed as being true) have been around for a decade and they are generally cited as the main source for increases in these surgical procedures.
Interestingly enough however, there is a factual, parallel comparison upon which to draw a conclusion. And, that is, that this trend—Sexual Enhancement, of which we are speaking—isn’t solely applicable to just women—men too have exhibited a dramatic increase in Sexual Enhancement procedures. In particular, the procedure known as Phalloplasty, or Penile Enlargement has shown dramatic increases (sometimes referred to as Male Enhancement) via surgery over the last decade—another example of changing sexual social trending. Phalloplasty, though in most cases kept very confidentially by men, (like female sexual enhancement procedures) has shown an equally dramatic increase in occurrence. All, men, and even some in particular groups are having these Phalloplasty procedures performed. And, it isn’t simply being done by men who are considered at the “smaller” end of what is deemed common anatomical proportions. Interestingly enough, since the myth—“size doesn’t matter”—propagated for decades mostly by women has been widely dispelled (scientific journals confirm that female stimulation occurs in both the clitoris and the walls of the vagina, so size DOES matter)——more men are exploring surgical increases in penis size to help them create greater pleasure in their partners. Another factor that is evident virtually every day, in news, advertising and even motion pictures, is the constant bombardment of male consumers by well-recognized pharmaceutical companies touting the benefits of other forms of “male enhancement”, some of it in poor taste (comically portrayed) much like the topic of female “sexual enhancement” as discussed earlier. So the trend for Sexual Enhancement, in both men and women is growing more in social acceptance and it’s not something that only women are experiencing. Perhaps that is why many men and women find that Sexual Enhancement is a topic for their investigation, and possible motivation.
But, another issue seemingly driving the movement for Sexual Enhancement, especially in labiaplasty, seems to be the depilation (shaving, waxing, laser hair removal) of the genital area by women. Younger women, versus older women, are generally more inclined to depilate their genital area. So, as one would expect, when the genital area isn’t covered or hidden, like before, it now is more visible to both women and their partners. Women who have larger labia, for instance, tend to be self-conscious of hypertrophy. Although not dysfunctional in the majority of cases—it is still something that bothers these women and affects their self-esteem. So, they begin to become informed, as a first step.
And, how do they begin this “informed” step? Generally, like most people globally now do, they turn to the largest, available informational library . . . the Internet. But, as well, women research labiaplasty differently than they do vaginoplasty and have different underlying rationales for determining if they will have the surgery done, or not. Keep in mind that both vaginoplasty and labiaplasty are affected by demographic beliefs in different geographic regions.
For labiaplasty, most women use the Internet and have read most available material and information on blogs citing actual experiences. These women are educated on the subject matter. When they then decide to schedule a consultation, they typically will have about a year of research conducted, from what’s been discovered. At this juncture, the majority of women will schedule the surgery as they’ve already picked out their surgeon, based largely upon pre and post-operative photos and/or if the surgeon has written a lot of clinical studies and papers on the surgery in question.
For vaginoplasty, the demographic is different hence the selection process varies as well. Unlike labiaplasty, which is an anatomical problem—either asymmetry, or hypertrophy—vaginoplasty is largely driven by what we’ll term, partner-issues. This is not always related to pelvic floor issues or repair, but can be driven by sociological and marital issues.
Mommy Makeovers & Vaginoplasty—
Your time has come. You’ve done everything that was expected. You’ve had the kids, raised the family and now the nest is empty. But, what about you? How is your personal life with your partner? Yes, you’ve heard about the Mommy Makeovers—breast lifts, abdominoplasty, breast enlargement . . . and, even vaginoplasty. Is such a thing for you? As well, as difficult as it is to deal with, divorce sometimes happens . . .
To begin, it goes without saying, that raising children is a massive task, both emotionally draining, and physiologically-altering for a woman. From the purely physiological perspective, it wreaks havoc with the body. The goal of these so-called mommy makeover packages is to retighten loose muscle tone, remove sagging skin from weight loss after prior pregnancies, fill up sagging breast tissue with implants, or lifts, and lastly, pelvic floor repairs, including vaginoplasty. We will only focus on vaginoplasty as other empirical data already exists on the other aforementioned procedures from medical associations. As well, scheduling and booking data of vaginoplasty procedures differs from one region of the country to another. Still, after interviewing numerous well-known FCGS surgeons in the largest US markets, we’ve found that roughly 50% of all women who inquire about vaginoplasty and schedule a consult, go on to have the procedure done. Most are driven to vaginoplasty because of current partner-related issues, or women who are in new relationships.
Reviewed by Michael Goodman, M.D., FACS and by Bernard Stern, M.D., FACS
November 18, 2016