Recent findings in Canada have indirectly linked the rising demand for labiaplasty with spinning. Spinning is a popular high-intensity cardio class offered through many gyms and athletic clubs. Amidst the sweating and the spandex are the notably uncomfortable seats which, without padded shorts, may prove to be a cause of distress for a woman’s lady parts. While labiaplasty surgery is usually conducted for cosmetic purposes, functional reasons have popped up here and there to prove to the world that aesthetic gynaecology is not about attaining the perfect vagina.
A labiaplasty is an aesthetic procedure which essentially trims or reduces the length of the labia or vaginal lips. Although it is stressed that variations from what is presented as the norm are completely natural, many women with larger vaginal lips feel physical discomfort when wearing tight clothing, having sex and even sitting on the bicycle seat in a spinning class. During a labiaplsty, all excess tissue is trimmed to enable the inner laps to tuck against the outer. Recovery is not that long, with around a week’s worth of healing required. Active women are being put forth as the type of women who are more likely to seek a labiaplasty. Many can attest to the fact that cycling really does take a toll on one’s vagina. Labial pain is often experienced by female cyclists. This occurs due to the bunching up of the lips which then press into the saddle, sometimes causing bleeding and abrasions. Many women complain of vaginal swelling after cycling which can leave women in pain and lacking sexual confidence. It should come as no surprise then that some women are seeking the drastic route of vaginal surgery to cope with this.
South Africa’s first and currently its only aesthetic gynaecologist Dr Natalia Novikova says the labiaplasty procedure takes anything from 40 to 90 minutes and is usually conducted under local anaesthetic. Dr Novikova says many of her patients come to her with a variety of functional concerns including sexual discomfort, inability to wear tight clothing and even being unable to run or cycle. If appropriate, she suggests labiaplasty surgery to alleviate these concerns and regain comfort.
Post-operative care is essential when undergoing a labiaplasty. Sex should be avoided for 6 weeks and swelling in the area is expected. Your specialist will provide the necessary anti-inflammatory and pain medication to you for use over the first few days. You should be back on your feet within a week though, even able to perform light exercise after this period of time. If you are considering this procedure it is important to understand that it is a surgical procedure with a minimum recovery period and a level of care required post-op.
Spinning may have more women realising their need (or want!) for a snipped vagina but the reality is that there are numerous reasons that women are seeking cosmetic procedures for their intimate regions. Whether functional or purely superficial, women are looking to such procedures as empowering. At the end of the day, it’s your body and your comfort so do what makes you feel good without a thought for the sceptics.