The term vaginal rejuvenation refers to elective cosmetic procedures that are intended to enhance a woman’s genital appearance and sexual experiences.
Some women seek to achieve a neat and tidy genital look, feeling that a looser vagina or larger labia are unattractive. Research suggests that internet pornography, trends in pubic hair removal, and images in popular culture have fueled genital dissatisfaction.
Vaginal rejuvenation procedures are controversial and are not considered routine. In 2017, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists stated that “no adequate studies have been published assessing the long-term satisfaction, safety, and complication rates for these procedures.”
Examples of vaginal rejuvenation procedures include the following:
- Labiaplasty. Women may feel that their labia are too large and uncomfortable. Labiaplasty reduces the size.
- Vaginoplasty. At times, the vagina may feel loose, especially after childbirth. Vaginoplasty (sometimes called designer vaginoplasty) aims to tighten it.
- Revirginization. For many women, the hymen breaks when they have their first penetrative intercourse. Revirginization involves repairing the hymen as a way to “restore” virginity. (Note: Sometimes, a woman’s hymen breaks before she has intercourse, so an intact hymen is not always a reliable sign of virginity.)
- Clitoral hood reduction. The clitoral hood is a flap of skin that protects the clitoris, which for many women is a key to orgasm. This procedure exposes more of the clitoris.
- G-spot amplification. Collagen is injected into the front vaginal wall in an effort to enhance the G-spot, an area that, when stimulated, is thought to give women great sexual pleasure.
- Monsplasty. Monsplasty reduces bulging in the mons pubis, the hairy area above the vulva.
Vaginal rejuvenation procedures can have serious complications, such as:
- Painful sex
- Changes in genital sensation
Before undergoing vaginal rejuvenation, women should take stock of their expectations and reasons for wanting the procedures. There may be underlying physical or psychological reasons for their problem, and surgery may not be appropriate. Such reasons should be addressed first.
If genital appearance is a concern, women should understand that genital appearance varies greatly from woman to woman and one “look” is not necessarily more attractive than another.
Women who seek vaginal rejuvenation for enhanced sexual pleasure may consider other ways to increase their satisfaction, such as sharing sexual likes and dislikes with a partner, experimenting with different sexual activities, and attending sex therapy.