Cosmetic surgery for the vagina called 'Designer Vagina' plastic surgery is most common among women between the ages of 18 to 24. According to Transform Cosmetic Surgery, a cosmetic group in the United Kingdom, nearly 1,150 young women enquire about the labia reduction surgery, making requests for it to be done. The cosmetic group also said that the "designer vagina" trend began 4 years back, and since then more and more young women have gotten curious and are interested in getting the surgery done.
The cosmetic surgery for the vagina reduces the size of the woman's labia minora or the inner vaginal lip like structures. The women seek to make it more symmetrical and smaller than the labia majora which are the outer vaginal lips.
The cosmetic surgery group point out that these enquiries have increased due to the wrong perception women have about beauty standards. They say it is due to the "unrealistic representations of female genitalia in pornographic materials."
They are also not aware of the tremendous risks of the surgery; it is irrevocable and leaves the woman with long-term consequences, according to a report published in 2009.
Sarah Creighton, consultant gynaecologist at University College Hospital, said, "Labial surgery needs to be rigorously evaluated in future, and for longer term." She said that a further quality research is needed to improve one's understanding of the psychological drivers behind women's decision to sacrifice sexually sensitive tissue that contribute to erotic experiences, for a certain genital appearance that used to be an obligation only for some glamour models.
''Alternative solutions, such as counseling and support, should be developed for women and girls," she added. The National Health Service also confirmed that the number of labiaplasties has risen five-fold since 2001.
Recent research from the University of Queensland also revealed that many women do not even realise how much appearances can vary. They considered designer vagina's to be normal when compared to unaltered genetalia. Claire Moran, lead author of the study, said that the rise of this trend is very worrying because this surgery was not done for medical reasons, but women opted for the surgery to change the appearance of their vaginas, she added."There seems to be massive misconceptions around perceptions of normal genital appearance and I wanted to explore this further."
Young women are disillusioned of a normal, natural appearance of their vagina due to pornographic materials, airbrushing and waxing, Moran explained. "There seems to be massive misconceptions around perceptions of normal genital appearance".
Apart from labiaplasties, young women also enquire about breast implants, nose jobs, liposuction, tummy tucking and breast reduction, Transform Cosmetic Surgery stated. There were nearly 350,000 enquiries from across London.