Women seeking a "designer vagina" are increasingly misled and misinformed.
Every girl has that time in her life when, either out of boredom, curiosity, or something more deeply rooted in bodily dissatisfaction, she Googles her options for "altering her vulval morphology."
A new study in BMJ Open looks at how providers are responding to women's curiosity -- or playing off their insecurities -- by advertising the medical procedure online. Mimicking what someone familiar with these procedures from pop culture might do, the researchers entered the search term "designer vagina" into Google and studied the first ten U.S. and U.K. providers to pop up.
The types of -- medically unnecessary -- procedures falling under the category of female genital cosmetic surgery (FGCS) included hymenoplasty, labiaplasty, "G-spot" amplication, and vaginal "rejuvenation" (the study's authors chose to put those certain words in quotations).
Unfortunately, like Pete Well's review of Guy Fieri's new Times Square restaurant, the researchers rated the information provided by clinicians offering such services as being overwhelmingly "poor."
The justifications offered to potential patients range from promises of "revirgination" to a multi-faceted "Mommy Makeover." They appeal to a larger
culture of rejuvenation, with one site explaining: "A woman might have a face lift and look really young until she goes to bed and a partner can see the
evidence of ageing there."