Saturday, August 2, 2008

Blacklisted in Australia: Designer Vagina

The latest facet in cosmetic surgery - the 'Designer Vagina'is blacklisted in Australia. The Royal Ausralian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists labels it as dangerous, expensive and unwarranted.

Elective genitoplasty usually entails shortening or changing the shape of the labia but it may also include reduction in the hood of the skin covering the clitoris or shortening the vagina itself. The trend first started in Britain 4 years ago and eventually spread to the US. It has even reached South Africa where genital mutilation is an issue. Would you think of elective genitoplasty as a form of "elective" genital mutilation?

One medical journal stated about the lack of data about the "designer vagina" craze - if there were really legitimate reasons for the labial reduction or just for personal vanity of the female patients. Some female patients want to have a more youthful and aesthetically appealing private parts while some patients cited some restrictions such as wearing tight clothings, avoidance of some sexual practices, inability to ride the bike comfortably. Some women are hesitant to go to the beach and take communal showers because of protuberant labia.

Surgeons are divided on this issue. It is really controversial - both in the aspect of gynecologic practice and ethics.