Female genital surgery or Labiaplasty – the medical term for this procedure – is an operation to reduced the size of various parts of the vagina.
This type of surgery has become increasingly popular. Some refer to it as having a ‘designer vagina’ however it is a little more complicated than the name suggests. This surgery can also be used to tone, reshape, reconstruct and even tighten the various muscles and the surrounding skin of the vagina. In total, there are four common kinds of female genital surgeries; Labiaplasty, Vaginoplasty, Hymenoplasty and Clitoropexy.
Why have Female Genital Surgery?
Women can be self-conscious about the appearance of their genitals, particularly as age sets in and the labia become stretched and saggy. The vaginal cavity can also be stretched due to the effects of child birth (and time), resulting in decreased sensation during sexual intercourse. For some women, female genital surgery is performed to improve their appearance (and there by confidence), for others, it is not so much the look of their genitals that they wish to improve, but the satisfaction that comes of their use.
Labiaplasty is for the women who feel a little self conscious and embarrassed about the size of their labia. The labia are the fatty lips, which hang in front of the vagina opening. The labia can hold a lot of fat and be quite prominent. However as age sets in, the labia becomes stretched and saggy, therefore making them larger.
This type of female genital surgery is used to tighten the vagina. The reason for women having this procedure is that as the effects of aging set in, the skin begins to loosen which means that penetration does not provide as much pleasure as it used to. In addition, women who have gone through childbirth can also have a slightly stretched vagina wall.
The ‘Hymen’ is a small flap of membranous tissue, which partially covers the opening of the vagina. There are no physical reasons why that piece of skin exists. The damage of this flap of skin can usually show the women or girls who are no longer virgins. If the hymen is still intact, then these girls are known as virgins. Some religions base their marriage on the virginity of women so the reconstruction of the hymen is a perfect procedure as some girls damage their hymen in simple sporting activities such as horse riding. There are a few more female genital procedures, which are less common these are: Clitoropexy, which is where the position of the clitoris can be reduced and repositioned. The penultimate surgery is known as a Hoodectomy, which is where the fold of skin, which acts like a hood, covering the clitoris, is reduced in size as some can have this part of the vagina slightly larger than it should be. The final surgery is known as ‘G spot augmentation’, which is where collagen is injected into the g-spot area. This is not a surgical procedure and can help increase the sensitivity in the area and increase the chances of reaching orgasm during penetrative sex.
There are two ways of completing this surgery. Firstly the surgeon can reduce the side of the labia by trimming along the edges of the labia along the inside. The second way is to cut a ‘V’ shaped bit of tissue from the underneath of the labia. The edges of the V shape can be sutured together which helps to reduce the prominence of the labia. As the incision is made on the inside, this means that there will be no visible sign from the outside that you have under gone any surgery at all. As the labia have such a high blood flow, surgeons sometimes use a laser instead of a scalpel as this reduces the bleeding.
This procedure is carried out by joining the sagging skin found at the back of the vagina this is done by using dissolvable stitches. The next step is to tighten the surrounding soft tissue. As the vaginal cavity has decreased in size, this creates more friction during sexual penetration.
Hymenoplasty is a very short surgical procedure, which can be completed via local anesthetic, meaning that you can go home a short while after having the surgery. The techniques used for a hymenoplasty depends on how much membranous tissue is left to repair. The simplest technique is piecing together the remnants of the hymen, closing together the tear and using dissolvable stitches to prevent pain and having the stitches removed. This kind of surgery has not been designed to last very long so this must be thought of prior to having the surgery. In addition there is little blood supply in that area so healing is not fast. In some cases the hymen does not heal at all so make sure you know all the complications and risks prior to having the surgery.
Risks & Complications
Generally, modern day surgery is considered safe.
As with all procedures there are a number of risks and complications associated with having surgery under general anesthetic. These risks will be discussed with you at your consultation as well as just before you go down to surgery. Approximately one-third of patients who receive an anaesthetic during surgery will experience “anaesthesia sickness” or post-operative nausea and vomiting (POVN).
The risks and complications associated with the female genital surgery itself can include; infection, this is one of the most common complications as the vagina holds a lot of bacteria.
Bleeding is another complication, which is quite common too as there is such a high blood supply to the area. Due to the moist area within the vagina, making it a difficult place to heal. This can result in movement of the scar and can even lead to the stitches splitting causing wound separation. This means that the wound would have to be re stitched.
Q. How soon after having female genital surgery can I resume regular intercourse?
A. Surgeons usually suggest waiting for 6 to 8 weeks before resuming regular intercourse. However people heal differently so usually you will know when you are ready.
Q. Which is better, the surgeon using a scalpel or a laser?
A. The answer to this question has to be the laser, as there is such a high blood supply in that area, that you can cause bleeding. Having a laser is great as you can cauterize the blood vessels to help stem the bleeding to that area.
Q. Can I have surgery on my vagina if I have my period?
A. Unfortunately, you cannot have surgery on your genital region if you are on your menstrual period. This should be considered when booking your procedure.