Health fears over designer vaginas

Women who want a ‘designer vagina' are being warned there is a shocking lack of evidence the operation is safe...

Experts have warned of a shocking lack of evidence on the safety of ‘designer vagina’ surgery, and have called for more research into the effects of the cosmetic procedure known as labiaplasty.

While vaginal cosmetic surgery may enhance appearance, no studies have looked at long-term safety, experts said.

They say the operation – which can cost £3000 if carried out privately – can carry a risk of damaging the genital nerve supply and has been linked to impaired sensitivity and sexual function.

The scientists from University College London issued their warning after reviewing dozens of studies carried out between 1950 and April 2009. They compared reducing the size of the labia to genital mutilation, which is linked to problems in childbirth, including haemorrhage and the need for Caesarean sections.

Their report said increasing numbers of healthy women were asking for the surgery. ‘Medically non-essential surgery to the labia minora is being promoted as an effective treatment for women’s complaints but no data on clinical effectiveness exist,’ they warned.


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