Genital Plastic Surgery On The Rise In Britain; Labial Reduction's A Favorite Among Women
The desire for cosmetic genital surgery among women in Britain has increased five-fold in the last 10 years. A study undertaken by the UCL Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Institute of Women's Health, questioned 33 British women who wanted labiaplasty surgery, reduction of the labia minora. I think you'll find the motives for electing this procedure surprising.
Granted, some women have legitimate health reasons for wanting labiaplasty, because large labia minora can be very uncomfortable, especially when they interfere with everyday movement and exercise. It can also be embarrassing if labia protrude from a woman's underwear or bathing suit.
Many women experience growth in their labia minora after childbirth as the labia are stretched through vaginal birth. But the group interviewed for this study, referred by their gynecologists and not selected by age, averaged 23 years of age, and each one of the 33 women had normal size labia minora.
Anyone heard of BDD? (body dysmorphic disorder)
Twenty women wanted labiaplasty to improve appearance of the labia. Other women said they wanted to improve confidence, improve sexual intercourse, or reduce discomfort. In fact, three women were offered surgery to correct significant asymmetries. Dissatisfaction with the labial area of the genitals stemmed from an increasing awareness of the area, physical discomfort, comments from a partner, and seeing programs on TV about genital surgery.
Of the 27 women who remembered at what age they became dissatisfied with their labia minora, five women reported they were under the age of 10. Another ten women remembered being between the ages of 11 and 15, five were between 16 and 20, four women were in their 20's and three women were in their 30's. Six women did not remember when they became dissatisfied.
Thirty of the women were refused surgery by the British National Health Service, but 12 were determined to pursue surgery through other avenues. Another 12 women accepted referrals to psychology or other mental health services.
Sarah Creighton, lead author of the study, published August 24, 20011 in BJOG An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology commented:
"It is surprising that all of the study participants had normal sized labia minora and despite this nearly half were still keen to pursue surgery as an option.... Development of the external genitalia continues throughout adolescence and in particular the labia minora may develop asymmetrically initially and become more symmetrical in time."
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