Vaginal “Rejuvenation” Not Safe or Necessary
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has issued a committee opinion [PDF] on vaginal “rejuvenation” and cosmetic vaginal procedures, stating:
Medically indicated surgical procedures may include reversal or repair of female genital cutting and treatment for labial hypertrophy or asymmetrical labial growth secondary to congenital conditions, chronic irritation, or excessive androgenic hormones. Other procedures, including vaginal rejuvenation, designer vaginoplasty, revirgination, and G-spot amplification, are not medically indicated, and the safety and effectiveness of these procedures have not been documented. No adequate studies have been published assessing the long-term satisfaction, safety, and complication rates for these procedures.
The ACOG statement also recommends not going to straight to surgery to address a patient’s perceived problems, suggesting discussion of normal genitalia and underlying issues:
A patient’s concern regarding the appearance of her genitalia may be alleviated by a frank discussion of the wide range of normal genitalia and reassurance that the appearance of the external genitalia varies significantly from woman to woman (1). Concerns regarding sexual gratification may be addressed by careful evaluation for any sexual dysfunction and an exploration of nonsurgical interventions, including counseling.
The Committee also makes a strong statement about the marketing of these procedures:
It is deceptive to give the impression that vaginal rejuvenation, designer vaginoplasty, revirgination, G-spot amplification, or any such procedures are accepted and routine surgical practices. Absence of data supporting the safety and efficacy of these procedures makes their recommendation untenable… Women should be informed about the lack of data supporting the efficacy of these procedures and their potential complications, including infection, altered sensation, dyspareunia, adhesions, and scarring.
You know what dyspareunia is? It’s pain while having sex. There’s nothing pretty about that.
In the Washington Post article on the ACOG statement, a former president of the Society for Gynecologic Surgeons is quoted as saying, “To do this for cosmetic reasons, and to say it will improve sexual fulfillment is totally absurd.”
The piece is mentioned on the WSJ blog, where an anonymous commenter observes, “Perhaps the only rejunvenation going on is the doctor’s wallet.” Jezebel also has commentary. Long-time readers pretty much know what I think about this, which is essentially that spending $3,500-$20,000 cutting up your hoo-ha isn’t going to fix what’s wrong with you.