A decade ago, female genital cosmetic surgery in India was restricted to hymenoplasty or hymen reconstruction. The membrane has been long associated with virginity, and hymenoplasty was mainly performed on young women with ruptured hymens, especially if they were about to be married.

But over the last few years, there has been a growing tribe of doctors in India practising gynaecology, plastic surgery, and uro-gynaecology, offering women the option of “improving their genitals aesthetically.”

The rising popularity of genital cosmetic surgery is evident from a simple internet search. There has been a sudden mushrooming of aesthetic genital surgery clinics around the country. Some doctors have even uploaded rate cards for package deals of procedures that fall under the umbrella of “vaginal rejuvenation.”

This has raised several questions. Though these surgeries are routinely performed in developed countries, several doctors’ bodies have said that there is a need for better medical evidence before they are offered to clients. In addition, critics contend that it is wrong for doctors to assign beauty standards to parts of the body.