Could the rising trend towards Brazilian waxing be one of the reasons for more attention being placed on the appearance of women’s genitals?
Or is it because there is an association between sexual satisfaction and body image that has led to a rise in the marketing of various FGCS procedures?
FGCS is the acronym for Female Genital Cosmetic Surgery. FGCS now occupies as much a place in mainstream cosmetic plastic surgery as it does with other more common forms of enhancements such as breast augmentation, rhinoplasty and eyelid surgery, just to name a few.
Self-perceived unattractiveness in the genital area such as extremes of sizes and dissymmetry adversely affect many women. Embarrassment caused by the inability to wear certain type of undergarments, hygienic challenges (urinary incontinence), discomfort during physical activity (e.g. cycling, sexual intercourse) are some of the functional and cosmetic factors that provide motivation for women seeking FGCS.
There are a number of procedures that fall under the general group of female genital cosmetic surgery including labiaplasty, vaginoplasty and clitoroplasty.
The labia come in many different shapes and sizes. Standing, the labia is tucked away and not visible from above. However, with the thighs abducted, it is often the cause of dissatisfaction and is among one of the cosmetic reasons for which women seek alteration.
Labiaplasty is the most common FGCS procedure and involves reduction of the labia. The main reason women seek labiaplasty is to reduce the size of the inner lips (labia minora) so that they do not protrude below the outer lips (labia majora). Correcting asymmetry of the labia minora (where one lip is significantly different in size to the other) is also performed. Some women request labiaplasty because of rubbing or pain during exercise (e.g. cycling, walking), sex or when wearing certain tight fitting clothes.
Vaginoplasty is also referred to as vaginal rejuvenation. It involves tightening of the vaginal muscles and removal of excess vaginal lining. Wear and tear and/or childbirth are reasons for anatomical changes in this area.
Vaginoplasty is often promoted as the solution for women who have experience loss in vaginal ‘quality’ due to childbirth. Some request vaginoplasty to increase friction and sexual satisfaction, and occasionally for aesthetic reasons.
Clitoroplasty is a procedure where the appearance of the clitoris is being surgically altered with the aim to improve a woman’s sexual gratification. There are other forms of FCGS such as re-virgination and G-spot amplification.
It appears that FGCS procedures fulfil the majority of women's desires for cosmetic and functional improvement, as well as enhancement of their sexual experience. The International Society for Sexual Medicine reported beneficial results with overall sexual satisfaction over 80-85% after vaginal aesthetic and functional cosmetic plastic procedures. While there are many cosmetic plastic surgeons offering cosmetic and reconstructive vaginal surgery, it is imperative to know the experience and qualifications of the operating surgeon and to understand how the surgery is performed.
It is also important to have a clear idea of issues and concerns and how you envision the final outcome. Realistic expectations are vital to avoid disappointment.
Where to go for FGCS?
On the whole, Asia is frontal in the development of latest medical advancements in cosmetic plastic surgery. But here’s a point to note – South Korea has taken a step further amongst the Asian countries by integrating cosmetic surgery into their tourism drive. There is such a diversity of expertise and experience with top plastic surgery clinics in Korea.
Not only have they gained respect as the destination for renowned cosmetic surgery, other factors such as patient after care service, world class facilities, ease of travel passage, government stability, modern infrastructure and favourable exchange rates are reasons many choose South Korea above others.