Cosmetic Gynecology, or Female Cosmetic Genital Surgery (fcgs), is the fastest growing subspecialty for women. It includes procedures to enhance the aesthetic appearance of the vulva/vaginal region; and vaginal repairs to enhance or restore sexual function that are degraded due to childbirth or aging. It is practiced by gynecologist, especially urogynecologist, and plastic surgeons. 

Cosmetic gynecology is not a medical requirement. It is a trend, driven by women themselves, and not by their sexual partners. Research has shown that the appearance of a woman’s genitalia affects her self-confidence and sexuality. 

The five main procedures of Cosmetic Gynecology are: 

  • Hymenoplasty: creating an intact hymen broken by cycling, horse riding or first intercourse. In most countries intact hymen denotes virginity
  • Vaginoplasty: tightening of vagina or vaginal rejuvenation, for sexual satisfaction.
  • Labiaplasty: improve the appearance of inner labia, and reduce the vaginal lip size.
  • Hoodectomy or Clitoral unhooding: remove the tissue that normally covers the clitoris.
  • Monsplasty: lift, tighten and shape-up the pubis, the “bikini bridge,” which may be prominent when wearing outfits. 

These are minor-surgical, day, procedures. The scar usually is imperceptible; but some amount of bruising, discomfort and swelling is common. 

Laser have recently been introduced for vaginal rejuvenation. Lasers have been in wide use for treatments in dermatology and aesthetic medicine. Laser’s introduction to cosmetic gynecology was therefore a natural progression of technology.  At present lasers in gynecology are being used for Condyloma, Cervical Dysplasia, Vaginal Tightening, Labial Trimming, Vulvar Melanosis, Liposuction of the Pubis Mound and Vulvar Hair Removal. But the safety and effectiveness of energy-based devices (Laser) for treatment of these conditions has not yet been established. 

There is a lack of consensus on technique and outcomes for cosmetic gynec procedures; and potential for damage due to scarring, altered sensation, or wound complications.  Coupled with unethical or false claims. Women should be informed about the lack of data supporting the efficacy of these procedures and their potential complications, including infection, altered sensation, dyspareunia, adhesions, and scarring. 

Therefore, women opting for cosmetic gynec procedures, beware! Make sure that the gynaecologist you go to is an experienced surgeon.

Author: article by Dr (Prof) Saadhana Kala from Apollo Cradle Royale Nehru enclave