Over time, age and events such as pregnancy and birth can affect the internal and external structure of the vagina, causing changes in both its appearance and physical response to stimulus. Cosmetic gynecology aims to make improvements to either the physical appearance or function of the vagina and labia; in many cases, both goals are accomplished simultaneously. The results of cosmetic gynecology can improve the enjoyment of sexual activities, while also rejuvenating the genitals to make the body appear younger or more aesthetically-pleasing.
A vaginoplasty procedure focuses on reducing the width of the vagina. Although naturally designed to stretch during sex and childbirth, the tissues of the vagina can lose elasticity over time, particularly following multiple childbirths. This permanent stretching can sometimes affect a woman’s enjoyment during sex. During a vaginoplasty, a cosmetic surgeon may use techniques such as tightening the perineal muscles or making repairs to the rear vaginal wall, reducing the overall width of the vagina and “tightening” the tissues. While vaginoplasty is typically sought as a cosmetic procedure, it can also be used as a reconstructive procedure to address birth defects or tissue injuries that may have occurred during childbirth.
Labiaplasty addresses the size and shape of the labia, or the folds of skin that frame the opening of the vagina. There is naturally a significant amount of variation in the appearance of the labia from woman to woman, and normal asymmetries often occur. Many women seek this procedure because they have a natural excess of skin that may either cause discomfort when wearing tight-fitting clothing or make sex and intimacy difficult. Thus, a labiaplasty procedure may remove excess skin from both sides of the labia to reduce overall size, or from only one side to correct an asymmetry.