LONDON - Rising numbers of women are asking the National Health Service to
provide cosmetic surgery on their genitals, doctors said on Friday.
Writing in the British Medical
Journal, they said the number of "labial reductions" carried out in NHS
hospitals had doubled to 800 a year over five years.
Surgeons discuss details of a surgery at a hospital in Berlin
in this May 12, 2007 file photo. [Reuters]
"More and more women are said to be troubled by the shape, size or
proportions of their vulvas", wrote Lih Mei Liao and Sarah Creighton from
London's UCL Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Institute for Women's Health.
Articles in women's magazines about "designer vaginas", the rising popularity
of cosmetic surgery and Internet promotion by private health clinics were all
The authors said women seeking surgery were being influenced by idealised
images of genitalia shown in pornography and on private genitoplasty Web sites.
Liao said research was needed into whether surgery was bringing long-term
benefits to patients, before the NHS started routinely offering the cosmetic