Girls as young as nine in the UK are shockingly seeking surgery on their vagina because they are unhappy with its appearance and feel that something is wrong with their private part even when there’s nothing to worry about at all.
The operation is known as labiaplasty which involves the lips of the vagina being shortened or reshaped. Leading adolescent gynecologist Dr. Naomi Crouch said she was getting concerned that GPS was referring increasing numbers of young girls who wanted surgery on their private part.
As far as NHS is concerned, the surgery should not be performed on girls below 18. But data show that in 2015-16, more than 200 girls under 18 had undergone labiaplasty on the NHS. More than 150 of those girls were alarmingly under 15.
Dr. Crouch said that based on her experience and observation with those girls seeking operation with their private part, none of them really need to be said surgery at such a young age.
The comments she gets from the girls why they wanted to have labiaplasty are disturbing. Dr. Crouch said: “Girls will sometimes come out with comments like ‘I just hate it, I just want it removed’, and for a girl to feel that way about any part of her body-especially a part that’s intimate -is very upsetting.”
Girls who are seeking such an operation on their sensitive body part are often affected by their exposure to pornography, peer pressure, and social media. One girl admitted she once wanted an operation because she felt that “it wasn’t neat enough or tidy enough” and that she wanted it “smaller.”
30-year GP veteran Paquita de Zulueta said that she girls only started coming to her with concerns about the appearance of their labia in the past recent years. She is just as alarmed about the phenomenon, and said: “I’m seeing young girls around 11, 12, 13 thinking there’s something wrong with their vulva-that they’re the wrong shape, the wrong size, and really expressing almost disgust. Their perception is that the inner lips should be invisible, almost like a Barbie, but the reality is that there is a huge variation. It’s very normal for the lips to protrude.”
Dr. Crouch says labiaplasty should be given only to girls who have a medical abnormality, and not for cosmetic reasons alone. Most of the labiaplasties are performed by private cosmetic surgeons on women over 18. The industry has been criticized, however, for normalizing the procedure.
One plastic surgeon, Miles Berry, a male, defends the surgery claiming it could “improve women’s lives” by boosting their self-confidence and self-esteem.The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, however, said the operation should not be performed until the girls are over 18.