Designer vaginas

In this article, about female genital cosmetic surgeries that have been available for some years in the US now becoming available in South Africa, I found the following two quotes to be of interest:

“Sex has become a medical issue,” Wasserman said. “Is it a right of patients to request these operations as a form of healthcare, just because they have now become fashionable items?”

Well, is it a patient’s right? What about nose and breast cosmetic surgery? Where does one draw the line? What is a patient’s right to request and what is not? And the second quote:

She believes plastic surgery to the labia can damage sensitivity and cause problems with arousal. “It is like elective genital mutilation and women who opt for the procedure without having a legitimate health reasons for doing so should seek counselling. Often these women have eating disorders, depression or anxiety.”

Well, technically we don’t know if there is any association between the desire for labiaplasty and eating disorders, depression or anxiety. Why don’t we know whether this is true or not? Because there has still not been a scientific research study on the topic. Hopefully there will be more research on this topics soon so that women can make informed decisions about their health and well-being.

About Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick is a sex researcher at Indiana University, sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, columnist, and author of five books about sex and love. Learn more about her work at