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Demand for ‘designer Vaginas’ Sky-rocketing, Say Researchers

Posted on the 25 August 2011 by Periscope @periscopepost

Demand for ‘designer vaginas’ sky-rocketing, say researchers

Cosmetic surgery artwork. Photo credit: eworm

The quest for so-called “designer vaginas” is surging upwards according to new research undertaken by University College London’s (UCL) Women’s Health Institute. Interest in genital cosmetic surgery is being driven by media images of “perfect looking” sexual organs. The upsurge in demand for cosmetic procedures has led some medical experts to urge GPs to no longer refer women who are healthy but worried about the appearance of their genitalia.

At present, over 2,000 cosmetic genital procedures, including labial reductions, are paid for by the National Health Service a year, revealed the researchers in a report published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. The BBCquoted Dr. Sarah Creighton, UCL lead investigator, “that’s probably just the tip of the iceberg. It’s a massive boom industry in the private sector.”

The research team interviewed over 30 women referred for procedures and founds that most of the women were seeking help because they were concerned about appearance. Only a fifth wanted the surgery to reduce discomfort. Upon examination, all of the women were deemed to have “normal” genitalia by the doctors.

“It’s shocking, particularly because we are seeing girls who are really young. They are asking for surgery that is irreversible and we do not know what the long-term risks of the procedure might be,” said Dr. Creighton.

  • Demand is driven by porn. “The rise in women seeking the operation, which involves reducing the size of the labia at the entrance to the vagina, is being driven by pornographic images of women on the internet and TV programmes about cosmetic surgery, which have increased awareness of the genital area among women,” said The Independent’s Health Editor Jeremy Laurence, who suggested that cosmetic surgery could have damaging long-term health ramifications: “Some studies have suggested that surgery may reduce sensitivity, which could affect sexual function. Oestrogen receptors have recently been discovered at the edge of the labia which would be removed by surgery.”
  • GPs need guidance. “Experts say doctors need clear guidance on how best to care for women who mistakenly believe they need surgery,” reported The BBC,which noted that the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons says medics need to determine whether a problem exists or whether an alternative solution may be preferable, but offers no advice on how to judge the problem, according to the researchers.
  • NHS shouldn’t foot bill. Commenters at AOL Lifestyle UK insisted that the NHS shouldn’t pay for cosmetic procedures: “The NHS was brought into being to treat genuinely sick people evenly across the social spectrum. It is a crying shame that people who are not sick, but who just want to look and feel better about themselves, should be taking up valuable NHS revenue resources in cosmetic operations. In my humble opinion, if they want these operations then they should be made to have them privately and pay for them!,” insisted one. “Heard it all know (sic) if they want desginer (sic) muffs let them pay for it them selves nhs have enought (sic) to cope with then they give druggies and drinkers a had (sic) time for wasteing (sic) nhs money just another example of world gone mad,” opined another less eloquent commenter.

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