Right now, one of the most controversial cosmetic surgery procedures is also one of the most popular trends. More women than ever before are opting to treat “down there” with labiaplasty.
In 2016, there were more than 12,000 labiaplasty procedures performed, resulting in an increase of 39%. And the trend isn’t just reserved to the US. Worldwide, the popularity of this surgery is increasing. Labiaplasty in Melbourne is reaching new heights and a three-fold increase is seen Australia wide. In the UK, labiaplasty is now considered one of the fastest growing cosmetic procedures.
It may be a delicate topic, but statistics show more women around the world are openly talking about their desire for a “designer vagina”. So, what really is labiaplasty and why is it becoming the new talking point?
What exactly is the Labiaplasty surgical procedure?
Labiaplasty is a cosmetic surgical procedure that removes or reduces the size of the women’s labia. These are the folds of skin or the lips that surround the vagina. Typically, the labiaplasty surgery involves cutting back the labia minora so that it is concealed and no longer sits past the outer folds of the vagina.
What does the labia actually do?
Women have two sets of labia. There’s the large labia (labia majora) which is the outer skin the pubic hair grows over. Then there’s the inner, smaller labia (labia minora). The natural function of the labia is to provide protection to the vagina. The labia minora covers and protects the vagina and urethra from infection. It also provides lubrication and enhances the pleasure of sex.
Why the rise in the procedures popularity?
There are a number of reasons women are opting to undergo the labiaplasty procedure.
Most women consider the surgery because they simply don’t like the look of their labia and want to correct it. Others say the size of their labia is uncomfortable, especially during intercourse or wearing tightly fitted clothing like yoga pants. Some women have elected to have the labiaplasty surgery due to negative comments of former sexual partners about their genitals.
It has also been noted, the media has influenced the desire for the perfect looking labia as well as the trend of Brazilian waxes which reveals all.
What are the symptoms of having a larger labia?
Beyond aesthetics, some women believe the size of their labia attributes to painful sex or discomfort during physical activities such as bike riding. Other women suspect it is the source of their recurrent yeast infections like thrush, or general irritation due to the labia rubbing on their underwear.
In some cases, but not all, doctors do attribute these symptoms to the size of the labia minor.
Is Labiaplasty covered by Medicare and private health insurance?
In recent years how women can claim on labiaplasty surgery has changed in Australia. So, if you think you’ll automatically be able to claim on Medicare or are considering switching health insurance funds to cover the costs of the surgery you need to understand the new conditions.
For you to claim the Medicare rebate or to have private health insurance cover the costs of your hospital care, you’ll need a referral from your doctor. The current rules state your labia must be causing functional problems for the surgery to be required for health reasons, and not just because you want to improve its appearance.
If you’re simply looking for a “designer vagina” this will be considered a cosmetic procedure and you’ll need to pay for it out of your own pocket.
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