Vaginal rejuvenation is an umbrella of surgical procedures that can enhance, tighten and tone all things vagina. But these surgeries are not just for amplifying your confidence below the belt — sometimes they are necessary for medical reasons.
Well, no one actually wants to get vaginal rejuvenation, right?
In a post on Marie Claire, they note a survey from the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery that reported 53,332 vaginal rejuvenation procedures by U.S. doctors in 2009. But what’s more, they stated that “60 percent of all these procedures are performed on women 20 to 39.”
According to Express, a U.K. news site, the average age of patients is 28, “with more women now choosing to have surgery for aesthetic rather than medical reasons.” Thus, vaginal rejuvenation might be a misleading term, as numbers show it is not just for women in their golden years.
Types of procedures
Vaginal rejuvenation — also sometimes called “designer vagina” — covers a range of procedures, including:
- G-spot amplification: Injects collagen into the front wall to enhance pleasure
- Clitoral unhooding: Removes the tissue surrounding the clitoris
- Hymenoplasty (aka revirgination): Repairs the hymen back to its virgin-like state
- Vaginoplasty: Tightens the vaginal canal
- Labiaplasty: Reshapes and/or diminishes size of the labia
In fact, earlier this year, NBC News reported from Aesthetic Plastic Surgery that there was a 49 percent increase in labiaplasty procedures, from 5,070 in 2013 to 7,535 in 2014.
Causes of damage
However, despite this latest craze to run to the doctor to obtain the golden egg of all vaginas (more power to you!), there are actual medical reasons for undergoing such surgeries as well. According to WebMD, there are several situations that can cause damage to our pelvic regions, in which surgery may be required for repair, like:
- Childbirth (both pregnancy and/or labor)
- Chronic respiratory problems (long-term coughs)
- Bowel issues (constipation)
- Pelvic cancers
- Pelvic surgeries (hysterectomies)
Medical reasons for surgery
These situations can cause problems like pain during sex, discomfort when exercising, embarrassing noises and even urinary dysfunction. If you have any of the following conditions, your doctor may recommend certain vaginal rejuvenation procedures. Of course, it is always best to get a second opinion before undergoing any type of surgery.
1. Bladder prolapse (aka cystocele)
When the vaginal muscles weaken, the bladder can “sink” into the vagina. Depending on the grade of prolapse, there may be alternative solutions — like a pessary or hormone replacement therapy — before you opt for vaginoplasty.
2. Rectal prolapse (aka rectocele)
Similarly, weakened pelvic muscles can cause the rectum to slip. By restrengthening the vaginal muscles via vaginoplasty, the rectum can be pushed and held back into place.
3. Urinary incontinence
When the pelvic floor (a group of muscles that hold the bladder, uterus, vagina, lower bowel, etc.) weakens because of childbirth, old age or menopause, loss of bladder control can occur, especially when exercising or coughing and sneezing. When Kegels and other solutions can’t restrengthen the pelvic floor, vaginoplasty may be an option, according to Medic8.
4. Perineal tears from delivery
After childbirth, there are several degrees of perineal tears that can occur, from small nicks to ones that can lacerate vaginal tissue or even anal muscles. In a Canadian policy statement, Female Genital Cosmetic Surgery, the committee states that this is a condition that could qualify for medical correction.
5. Sexual satisfaction
Although claims that vaginal rejuvenation can increase pleasure are still highly disputed, a loosened or enlarged vagina can pinch or cause pain while having sex and can cause difficulty in using tampons. Surgery can restrengthen and tighten the vaginal walls, allowing for better friction and confidence during sex.
6. Excessive labia
In some cases, women opt for labiaplasty, or labia reduction, when it interferes with daily activities. Dr. Lee Gibstein, a plastic surgeon in Miami, tells Marie Claire of one of his patients, “After long hours of [cycling], the labia would be chafed and swollen, and sometimes they would bleed. Having the skin cut away made it possible for her to race comfortably.” And FYI, Women’s Health Magazine states the average sizes: 1.9 centimeters for the labia minora on the right and 2.1 centimeters for the left. Just thought you’d like to know…
7. Weak muscles
Sometimes the vaginal muscles can weaken to a point where surgery may be an option. After women undergo childbirth or menopause, the vagina can enlarge, and the muscles can wear out. If Kegel exercises don’t work and you’ve already tried alternative methods, vaginoplasty will tone and tighten the canal, relieving you of pain and discomfort.
Considering any surgery can be a big decision. Make sure you get a second opinion and research alternative methods first. The authors of Female Genital Cosmetic Surgery policy statement note, “Women considering these surgeries should be informed of the risks of the procedure, including bleeding, infection, scarring, dyspareunia, alteration in sensation, pain, wound dehiscence, decrease in sexual pleasure, and possible dissatisfaction with cosmetic or other results.”