September 26, 2016
1 min read

Comfort, self-esteem key reasons why women seek labiaplasty

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LOS ANGELES — Results from a recent survey indicated that the key reasons women seek labiaplasty are physical discomfort and psychological stress related to appearance, according to data presented at Plastic Surgery The Meeting.

Heather J. Furnas, MD, plastic surgeon at Plastic Surgery Associates in Santa Rosa, California, and colleagues created the survey in response to a formal position paper by the Committee on Gynecological Practice under the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The paper, published in Obstetrics & Gynecology, stated, “Absence of data supporting the safety and efficacy of [vaginal rejuvenation and cosmetic vaginal procedures] makes their recommendation untenable.”

Heather Furnas, MD

Heather Furnas

Fifty consecutive patients consulting about labiaplasty responded to the survey that asked women about their psychological and appearance-related symptoms. The mean age of the patients was 33.5 years, and 58% reported giving birth.

The responses indicated that 52% of the women noticed their labia had become elongated as they aged, with 93% of these patients reporting bilateral elongation. More than half of the patients described physical symptoms including tugging during intercourse, discomfort wearing tight pants, twisting of the labia and that their labia were visible in yoga pants. In addition, 40% said their labia could become exposed in bathing suits, and 48% experienced painful intercourse.

Ninety-four percent of respondents said they felt self-conscious about their appearance, and the majority responded that they felt less attractive to their partner, experienced restricted choice of clothing, and noted a negative impact on self-esteem and intimacy.

All of the participants experienced at least one symptom; 92% experienced four or more.

“The more physicians understand the symptomatology-associated elongated labia, the better supported patients will feel in their search for relief,” the researchers wrote. – by Talitha Bennett

Disclosure: was unable to confirm relevant financial disclosures at the time of publication.


American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Committee on Gynecological Practice. Obstet Gynecol. 2007;doi:10.1097/01.AOG.0000263927.82639.9b.

Sharp G, et al. Aesthet Surg J. 2016;doi:10.1093/asj/sjv270.

Sorice SC, et al. Why Women Request Labiaplasty. Presented at: Plastic Surgery The Meeting; Sept. 23-27, 2016; Los Angeles.