Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Labiaplasty But Were Too Afraid to Ask

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Labiaplasty But Were Too Afraid to Ask

What is labiaplasty, anyway?

It’s a plastic surgery procedure by which the labia minora and labia majora are reduced.

Why would you want one?

If you have physical discomfort resulting from the size of your labia, or if you don’t like the appearance of your labia.

And people are getting them?

More and more all the time. In 2015, labiaplasty increased 16% from the previous year, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. As The New York Times points out, the data probably under-represents the actual numbers because it excludes procedures performed by gynecologists.

Wow! Why the increased interest?

Well, increased access to porn has given us more vaginal close-ups than any other point in history, and those close-ups are of a pretty homogenous sampling of vaginas. And 84% of women groom their pubic hair, which makes the shape of her genitalia much clearer. So we’re seeing our junk better than ever before, and also seeing more porn star vaginas than ever before. If you ask me, that’s a pretty killer combination for feeling insecure about your labia.

Are there potential complications?

Yep! This 2007 A.C.O.G. report, which was reaffirmed in 2014, states the following: “These procedures are not medically indicated, and the safety and effectiveness of these procedures have not been documented…Women should be informed about the lack of data supporting the efficacy of these procedures and their potential complications, including infection, altered sensation, dyspareunia, adhesions, and scarring.”

So you’re saying labiaplasty is bad?

It’s complicated. On the one hand, teenage girls are seeking it out before their bodies are even done growing. It’s one more way for women to spend money on changing their physical appearance. It’s risking a loss of physical sensation in the name of aesthetics.

On the other hand, women should be able to do whatever they want with their bodies. And some women do seek the procedure in order to relieve physical discomfort. More data on/oversight of the procedure would be fantastic. Seeing more naked bodies/vaginas of ALL kinds would be fantastic. Shaming women for doing what they want with their vaginas? Not so fantastic!

What happens when I Google ‘labiaplasty’ at work?

Just don’t. Trust me. Just don’t.

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