When we think of a self-conscious 16-year old worrying about her appearance, we might expect to hear complaints about acne or perhaps a wish for a noticeable feature to be larger or smaller. What likely doesn’t come to mind is a desire to look different “down there.” But more and more teens and tweens are showing an interest in getting a Scottsdale labiaplasty.
So how do Arizona gynecologists approach this issue?
It’s common for teenagers to feel self-conscious about their appearance, given the rapid state of change they are experiencing in their bodies. It can be difficult for them to understand what is normal and what is not. A desire to fit in, combined with a powerful media presence that saturates their day-to-day lives with messages about what constitutes the “ideal” female body, can easily aggravate a young woman’s feelings of dissatisfaction.
The issue has extended to the vaginal area for a number of reasons. First off, trending options for rejuvenating vaginal tissues have made the appearance of the genital area a more prominent issue in women’s beauty media. While this is helpful for adult women who simply want to correct common post-childbirth issues or other uncomfortable abnormalities, the suggestion that one’s genital tissues may benefit from a cosmetic procedure may be confusing for adolescents.
Vaginal rejuvenation during the teen years is rarely a good idea. Adolescent patients are still developing physically and emotionally; many women do not reach full maturity until their early 20s. At best, undergoing this procedure could be altering the shape of normal tissues that a patient will not find bothersome in just another couple of years.
At worst, surgery on the labia while a young woman is still undergoing puberty could alter the natural growth of these tissues. This not only risks leaving her dissatisfied with the appearance of the area once she reaches adulthood, but also opens the door for other negative consequences, such as scarring, a loss of sensation in the vaginal tissues, discomfort wearing form-fitting clothing, or painful intercourse.
What to do if your teenager asks about Scottsdale labiaplasty.
Try not to be immediately dismissive of her concerns; you want to avoid creating the feeling that it is you against her, which may cause her to argue for the procedure out of defiance.
Instead, let her share with you her reasons for wanting this kind of surgery, what she knows about the procedure, and how she thinks to have it would help her. Allow her to research the procedure beyond what her friends or celebrity social media blurbs are saying. Being heard and learning more about the process may control her concerns and lessen interest in the procedure if it isn’t truly necessary.
Concerns over the appearance of the genitals is understandably a very sensitive, personal topic that merits serious conversations between the teen, her parents, and trusted healthcare providers.
If you are facing questions about a Scottsdale labiaplasty from your teenager, we encourage you to contact our office today to schedule a consultation so we can discuss the pros and cons with her.