“Demand for ‘designer genitalia’ growing in Canada as women seek porn-star ‘perfection,’ doctors warn” by Sharon Kirkey

Female genital surgery is becoming an increasing prevalent practice, and many doctors are concerned about the implications. This is an excerpt from a recent article published by The National Post. The source of this excerpt is http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/05/08/demand-for-designer-genitalia-growing-in-canada-as-women-seek-porn-star-perfection-doctors-warn/

Canada’s gynecologists are set to debate next month the growing demand for “designer genitalia” surgeries that purport to enhance a woman’s self-image and sexual satisfaction.

Female genital surgery has become so popular it is now one of the most Google-searched forms of cosmetic surgery.

“Certainly our members are getting questions about it,” said Dr. Jennifer Blake, CEO of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada.

image courtesy of The National Post

image courtesy of The National Post

The controversial issue will be discussed at the organization’s 70th annual meeting in Niagara Falls in June during a session titled, “The Ideal of Perfect — Genital Cosmetic Surgery.”

Procedures such as “labiaplasty” and “G-spot augmentation” are being widely promoted by private cosmetic surgery clinics on the Internet as ways to “beautify” female genitalia and give them a more “aesthetically pleasing look.”

It’s a commercialization of the female body Blake finds disturbing and a phenomenon she and others say is being driven by false ideas of what “normal” genitalia should look like.

Part of it is coming from pornography that makes women feel their labia are somehow abnormal or unattractive, Blake said. “And it’s a really vicious circle, because this is one of the operations women who are actually in the pornographic film industry are now expected to have,” she said.

“What bothers me most is that women are being made to feel insecure and unhappy about a perfectly normal, healthy part of their body and will submit themselves to costly surgery when we just don’t know what the long-term impact is going to be,” Blake said.

[…]

The procedures involve labiaplasty, where the labia minora, the small inner folds of the vulva, are trimmed and made more symmetrical, as well as laser procedures for “vaginal relaxation syndrome.” Labiaplasty costs about $4,500, and vaginal tightening up to $5,500.

image courtesy of The National Post

image courtesy of The National Post

According to recently published guidelines from the Canadian society of gynecologists, no available long-term data exists on the safety and efficacy of the procedures. The doctors’ body also says there is little evidence to support claims the surgeries improve sexual satisfaction or self-image.

Risks can include bleeding, infections and scarring.

[…]

“When a girl is undergoing a procedure to modify her genitals in one country, it’s as motivated by a societal view of culture as is our view when a woman opts for a medical procedure to change her genitals in order to conform to a certain view of what is considered to be beautiful,” Spring said in an interview.

This is a significantly shortened excerpt. To read the full article, please visit the The National Post website http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/05/08/demand-for-designer-genitalia-growing-in-canada-as-women-seek-porn-star-perfection-doctors-warn/

Sharon Kirkey is a journalist for The National Post.