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Mon Apr 21 09:28:06 SAST 2014

Women seeking 'vagina lifts' warned of misinformation

AFP Relaxnews | 26 November, 2012 09:07

Women considering going under the knife for a ‘vagina lift’ are being warned that the Internet is rife with misinformation and inaccuracies in a new study.

In recent years, genital plastic surgery has become increasingly popular among women looking for ‘vaginal rejuvenation’, ‘G-spot amplification’, and other procedures that reshape the external lips or labia of the vagina.

But in a paper published online in Obstetrics & Gynaecology, researchers this past week called for guidelines in genital cosmetic surgery to be drawn up after finding major gaps in the breadth, accuracy, and quality of the clinical information provided among the first five British and American websites which popped up on Google for the procedure.

Among the most disturbing findings was the absence of setting age limits, authors note. Sixteen is the age of legal consent for surgery.

Risks were also downplayed, the study says, with four of the 10 sites failing to mention exactly what they were.

Clinics offering the procedure also preyed on unnecessary and oftentimes unfounded fears about appearance of female genitals researchers said, reinforcing negative feelings towards the vagina also known as ‘pudendal disgust’.

For example, three websites claimed that labial surgery would improve odour, irritation, and curb the risk of infections, while all the sites played up concerns on the appearance of a woman’s genitals including the visibility of the vaginal labia through tight clothing and a larger than normal labia, a concern often brought up through a partner or magazine pictures, the study said.

Other sites recommended labial reduction to promote a “youthful vulval appearance,” and promises of reshaping the labia to make it “sleeker,” and “more appealing”.

Another site offered the reparation of the hymen – which denotes virginity – as a way of ensuring the patient would bleed on her wedding night and be able to “keep her head high”.

Half of the sites also promised increased sexual pleasure.

Meanwhile, another study published in the International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology found that of 33 women seeking labial reduction procedures in the UK, all of them had normal-sized labia minora, with an average width of 27 mm on the right, and 25 mm on the left.

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