Labiaplasty continues to be one of the most popular cosmetic gynaecology procedures in the UK. Given the amazing results it can produce, it’s not hard to see why. Labiaplasty can lead to improvement in several areas including the alleviation of pain and irritation and allowing women to regain their sexual confidence.
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As treatments for women’s sexual health issues become more commonplace, many women understandably have questions about what labiaplasty involves. We commonly get asked about labiaplasty and pregnancy. Do we recommend having a labiaplasty before or after pregnancy? Here, we outline the pros and cons of having a labiaplasty before and after pregnancy and the right choice for you depends on your own unique needs and preferences.
Labiaplasty before pregnancy
Choosing the right time to have a Labiaplasty is an important factor to consider as the procedure can have effects on the vagina. Labiaplasty surgery is an elective surgical procedure that is designed to address cosmetic appearance involving the labia minora. Labiaplasty can correct asymmetry, remove excess skin and labial tissue and relieve pain, discomfort and irritation. The aesthetics of the female genitalia means different things to different people and each procedure must be customised to the individual patient. Although labiaplasty is most commonly requested to improve cosmetic appearance, the procedure can also be carried out for medical reasons including for women who experience pain during sexual intercourse and are unable to wear tight-fitting items of clothing due to having large labia.
Whatever the reasons for seeking labiaplasty, the procedure results in permanent changes to the size and shape of the labia. Patients can be reassured that labioplasty does not increase the risk for women who wish to become pregnant in future. Having a labiaplasty does not prevent you from becoming pregnant nor does it lead to any problems during childbirth.
The vagina is a surprisingly adaptable component of the female reproductive system. Women who have labiaplasty will not cause any disruption to the function of the vagina. It is therefore completely safe to get a labiaplasty before pregnancy. In many cases, women can even benefit from having a procedure before pregnancy. The most common reason to seek a labiaplasty is because of labial hypertrophy or enlarged labia. Having labial hypertrophy can be a significant source of pain for many women who often suffer in silence as they are not aware of the potential treatment options for this common condition. Many women may experience discomfort during sexual intercourse and this can have an impact on self-confidence and emotional well-being. The appearance of the labia can also be a source of concern with many women being unable to expose their labia to their partner during acts of intimacy.
These are valid reasons to consider having labiaplasty before pregnancy. Some women may decide to wait until they have completed their family however having labiaplasty before pregnancy will not affect the ability to become pregnant or to give birth in the future.
Labiaplasty after pregnancy
In most cases, Dr Dimitriadi recommends her patients to get a labiaplasty after pregnancy for a number of reasons. Firstly the labia minora and labia majora often change in size and shape whilst pregnant. This is due to the increased blood supply to the area which may lead to elongation of the labia. Every woman responds differently to being pregnant however most women may experience a significant increase in the growth of the labia. This phenomenon mostly occurs during the latter stages of pregnancy when there is a surge of hormones including an increase in oestrogen. Whilst labial swelling may settle down after pregnancy, in some cases, it can be permanent.
If women decide to get a labiaplasty before pregnancy, labiaplasty results could be affected after they have given birth and this could adversely affect the results of the procedure. Another reason to get a Labiaplasty after pregnancy is that it can easily be combined with other vaginal rejuvenation procedures. Normal vaginal delivery may in some cases result in injury to the bladder or the rectum during the passage of the baby’s head. These issues can often be dealt with and effectively repaired at the same time as having a labiaplasty as part of a pelvic floor repair procedure.
Labiaplasty surgery can be easily combined with a perineoplasty. Perineoplasty surgery is able to correct any soft tissue tears that occur between the vagina and anus during childbirth. The procedure is designed to reconstruct the soft tissue anatomy and restore normal functioning. Perineoplasty can also improve the appearance of the opening of the vagina. Many women may notice a wide gaping vagina after childbirth and this shape can be restored to the pre-pregnancy condition. A perineoplasty can be combined with a vaginoplasty to tighten the vagina to improve sexual sensation during intercourse.
Dr Dimitriadi often combines labiaplasty with vaginal tightening. Vaginal tightening can be performed with non-invasive laser vaginal tightening or as part of a surgical vaginal tightening procedure with a vaginoplasty for more severe degrees of vaginal laxity. This is often known as a mummy makeover when combined with a tummy tuck and a breast lift.
The best time to perform labiaplasty after pregnancy will depend on a number of factors. In general, we would recommend that women wait at least 3 to 6 months after childbirth before considering labiaplasty or any other type of vaginal rejuvenation procedure.
When it comes to getting a labiaplasty before or after pregnancy, there is no right or wrong decision as the procedure does not affect a woman’s ability to get pregnant. For women who are experiencing significant distress and anxiety from excessively large labia which may be causing physical discomfort, it may be better to have labiaplasty surgery sooner rather than later.
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Labiaplasty specialists at Centre for Surgery
Centre for Surgery is a specialist cosmetic surgery clinic with expertise across the full range of cosmetic gynaecology procedures including Labiaplasty, vaginal tightening surgery or vaginoplasty and non-invasive treatment for vaginal rejuvenation. Dr Dimitriadi is an experienced cosmetic gynaecologist in London. Dr Dimitriadi is ready to listen to your concerns and discuss the potential treatment options which will help you to make the right decision tailored to your unique needs and preferences.
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