Although a labiaplasty is one of the most common vaginal rejuvenation procedures, it is not always very well understood. Oftentimes teens request the procedure without being fully aware of what they are asking for. This could be due to the fact that over the past couple of years this procedure has become enormously popular. There was a 45% rise in requests for this procedure between 2015 and 2016 alone, but is this procedure really for you? What is involved and how will it improve your personal appearance? Below are a few key features of the procedure as well as reasons why women might choose to have this procedure done for themselves. Your surgeon can discuss all concerns you may have about such an intimate area and can reassure you if this procedure is beneficial for your situation.
Why would someone need a labiaplasty?
Although a labiaplasty is a cosmetic procedure, it also has a very important functional aspect that improves women’s lives. For some women, the labia minora, the smaller folds of the vulva that are inside the labia majora, are a source of pain and frustration due to constant chafing and sores that can result from anything that requires movement of the legs, like riding a bicycle or even going for a walk. This discomfort happens when the labia minora are longer than normal and sit outside of the labia majora, exposing the sensitive skin to chafing and excess friction.
Larger than normal labia minora can also affect a woman’s self-esteem because this is a very intimate area and when it becomes chafed or inflamed, some women are embarrassed to let their partners see this part of their body. In some cases, the chafing can cause one side to look larger than the other, which is an additional source of insecurity for many women. How old should I be for this procedure?
Anyone can request a labiaplasty, but your surgeon will help decide if it is the right time for you and if there is anything that needs correcting when looking at your labia minora. Although requests from teenagers are on the rise regarding labiaplasties, most teenagers are requesting the procedure because they feel insecure about their bodies as a whole and they think that this procedure is the answer. It is important to consider if your labia minora are truly causing discomfort or if you are simply adjusting to your changing body.
However, some women are born with longer or asymmetrical labia minora and know from a young age that they want the procedure to be done so that they can resume enjoying physical activities without having to worry about sores, chafing or potential embarrassment when they become sexually active. It is always best to wait until a woman is fully developed before undergoing surgery on the labia minora since some problems will resolve over the course of puberty but talking to a surgeon can help a teenager feel better about themselves if this area is a significant concern for them. As far as a maximum age goes, a woman is never too old to have this procedure done as long as she is healthy.
How does the procedure work?
The procedure is relatively simple and involves shortening the length of the labia minora so that the folds of skin do not sit past the labia majora, which will stop the risk of chafing and sores caused by the skin rubbing on fabric. There are two surgical methods for this procedure, one which simply cuts away the excess length and sews the tissue back up and a second method that is called the wedge method. The wedge method involves removing a triangular section of excess skin but leaves the edges of the labia minora intact. The downside of this method is that any discoloration of the labia minora from chafing will not be corrected, whereas the trimming method tends to remove all discoloured tissue but will also have a more visible scar.
The time to recover after this procedure is relatively short since patients can return to work in as little as 5 days. However, sexual activity cannot be resumed until after 6 weeks because the tissue needs time to heal without being disturbed.
A labiaplasty is a great solution for women who experience discomfort or pain on a daily basis due to excessively long or misshapen labia minora, whether they are born with this problem or if it is an unwanted effect of childbirth. The procedure is not as complicated as breast implants or some other female cosmetic surgeries, but recovery time is still important and necessary for best results.
Discussing all possible options with your surgeon is the best way to move forward!