It is a strange irony that in 2018, women have more choices than ever when it comes to plastic surgery — yet in some circles, so many of those choices come with stigmas attached. Vaginal rejuvenation procedures are misunderstood, principally because the general public is not yet aware of the real reasons women choose these procedures. Here is an open discussion of why women seek out vaginal rejuvenation, and why the process shouldn’t be stigmatized.
What Is Vaginal Rejuvenation?
“Vaginal rejuvenation” actually refers to several different plastic surgeries that take place below the belt on women. But despite what you may have heard, these procedures are not merely aesthetic; they are often chosen for medical reasons.
Vaginal rejuvenation is increasingly popular, with the American Society of Plastic Surgery (ASPS) reporting a49% increase in the number of rejuvenation procedures performed between 2013 and 2014. As of 2017, the ASPS reports that 26.3% of plastic surgeons currently perform vaginal procedures (both nonsurgical and surgical). Labiaplasty alone has increased by a whopping 217.3% over the past five years.
The phrase “vaginal rejuvenation” refers to a range of procedures, including:
- Clitoral unhooding: the removal of excess tissue surrounding and obscuring the clitoris
- G-spot amplification: the nonsurgical injection of collagen into the front wall of the vagina to enhance sexual pleasure
- Labiaplasty: the decreasing in size or reshaping of the labia
- Vaginoplasty: the tightening of the vaginal canal
Of those procedures, the labiaplasty is the most common.
Reasons for Choosing Vaginal Rejuvenation
Although some women may choose vaginal rejuvenation for purely aesthetic reasons, many more opt for one or more of the vaginal rejuvenation procedures for medical reasons. There are many ways to damage the pelvic region, and surgical repair is often necessary. Some ways to cause this kind of damage include:
- bowel issues such as constipation
- chronic respiratory problems such as persistent coughing
- labor/delivery of children
- pelvic cancers
- pelvic surgeries including hysterectomies
And of course, each person’s genetics play a huge role in whether pelvic damage happens, and how serious it is.
When damage happens, women experience a host of problems, including discomfort when exercising, embarrassing sounds and pain during intimacy, and urinary problems. More specifically, these are some of the common medical problems that patients who seek out vaginal rejuvenation procedures often experience:
Bladder prolapse, also called cystocele, happens when the bladder descends into the vagina as the vaginal muscles atrophy and weaken. The more pronounced the prolapse, the more likely it is that vaginoplasty is the right solution.
Rectal prolapse, also called rectocele, happens much like bladder prolapse; as the vaginal and pelvic muscles weaken, the rectum can slip and invade these other areas. The tightening action from vaginoplasty can keep the rectum in place.
Perineal tears from childbirth can range from tiny nicks to serious lacerations from the vaginal area all the way back to the muscles of the anus. Each body heals differently, and depending on your own healing process, these kinds of tears might need attention.
Urinary incontinence happens when aging, childbirth, menopause, or something else causes the muscles of the pelvic floor to weaken. Many women have had the experience of sneezing and losing urine after having a baby, for example. For some women, Kegels might be enough, but for many others, vaginoplasty is a more appealing option.
Excess tissue of the labia minora and/or labia majora is a major problem for some women. This may sound like a concern that’s wholly aesthetic, but this isn’t true. In fact, excessive labia can interfere with daily activities, causing pain and emotional distress. For example, women who enjoy sports like cycling and yoga, excessive labia can cause pain, swelling, and even bleeding. For these active women, labiaplasty is a way to keep moving without pain and embarrassment.
Too much labia tissue can also make intimacy difficult or painful. Excessive labia minora can even make it impossible to urinate straight and without making a mess! For women in this position, labiaplasty, alone or as part of a vaginal rejuvenation process, can be a game changer.
A Matter of Choice
Life has changed so much for women in the past 100 years or so. However, we still seem to attract a great deal of scrutiny when it comes to the decisions we make about plastic surgery. This may be one reason why vaginal rejuvenation has received such an unusual stigma.
Any kind of elective surgery merits a great deal of careful consideration. There’s no question that getting the facts and an informed perspective before making your decision to go ahead is essential. However, whether vaginal rejuvenation is the “right” thing to do or not is really a matter of personal choice.
The fact is that many women have elected to undergo vaginal rejuvenation procedures — some for medical reasons, and all for their own reasons. For these women, the procedure has had an overwhelmingly positive effect and improved their lives. That alone should be enough to relieve vaginal rejuvenation of its stigma.