Plastic surgeon, Dr Goda Astrauskaite, sheds light on the medical aspects of vaginal rejuvenation, and dismisses common preconceptions.
According to reports, vaginal rejuvenation procedures have been on the rise, with the global market set to reach $11.8BN by 2026, and the vaginoplasty segment growing at 36.2%. Several factors, including marketing, media representation, and heightened awareness regarding vaginal health have influenced the women’s interest in vaginal rejuvenation. However, some medical professionals, like Goda Astrauskaite, MD, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon at Nordesthetics Clinic, a medical tourism clinic in Europe, acknowledge that its rising popularity also prompts several myths and preconceived notions that the procedures are chosen for aesthetic rather than medical reasons.
For instance, the assumption that the procedures are performed primarily for improving sexual pleasure stems from the “tightening” aspect of both non-invasive and surgical vaginal rejuvenation procedures. Tighter vaginal muscles may typically result from non-surgical laser and radiofrequency treatments, aimed at stimulating collagen production and improving vaginal elasticity. Whereas the surgical vaginal tightening, vaginoplasty, involves a full-length tightening of the vagina, and labiaplasty reduces labia minora.
However, according to Astrauskaite, in many cases women forgo all the aesthetic aspects and seek surgical vaginal tightening to alleviate both naturally-occurring and medical conditions.
“Women typically choose to go the surgical route after childbirth when they notice vaginal laxity,” said Astrauskaite. “Another common cause is the aging process, especially for post-menopausal women, when vaginal tightness is not what it used to be due to natural causes. Of course, the two reasons may be triggered by other underlying conditions such as urinary incontinence, sexual dysfunction, postmenopausal vaginal discomfort, or pelvic floor disorders. Although postoperative results do indicate improved sexual function, among other favorable outcomes are urinary continence and overall comfort.”
Another myth surrounding vaginal rejuvenation is the relative ease of the surgery. In reality, for example, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration advises against non-invasive treatments performed with devices such as lasers, because they have yet to be properly assessed. Astrauskaite also contradicts the myth by pointing out that even if vaginal rejuvenation sounds more like a spa treatment, the surgery is actually not.
“However aesthetically-pleasing the end-result might be, women prepared to undergo the procedure should take into consideration that it is, nevertheless, an invasive surgery. Medical procedures carry some risks, although low, and that is especially relevant in the context of COVID-19. Women should also expect post-operative stages of healing—pain, itchiness, scarring—which might delay the desired results to an extent,” she added.
Aside from vaginoplasty and labiaplasty, Nordesthetics Clinic also performs hymenoplasty, hoodectomy, and other intimate surgeries for women, aimed at improving intimate health. According to Astrauskaite, up to 20 women from foreign countries, ages 30 to 45, select intimate surgeries at the clinic each month with as many as four of five patients choosing to combine the procedures with other plastic surgeries.
Since intimate procedures are performed only when medical professionals deem them necessary and safe for the patients’ health, under 15% of them are rejected following examinations and consultations.