With the standards of beauty and perfection constantly being raised, a growing number of women are now choosing to rejuvenate their vaginas to enhance both form and function.
Never before has a woman's privates generated so much hype, at least, not in the open.
What has typically been the subject of hushed conversation between close girlfriends and one's gynaecologist is now coming out in the open.
Not only are women openly discussing vaginas these days, but there is also a new fad that has hit today's Malaysian women and generated quite a number of raised eyebrows - designer vaginas.
As women's awareness of their bodies start to increase, more and more women are resorting to vaginal rejuvenation to restore the youthful form and function of their genitalia.
Just like a facelift or breast augmentation, women can now also have more attractive and functional genitalia through vaginal rejuvenation.
In the past, this type of operation was only performed for cases of serious diseases or injuries, but today, more women are requesting for more aesthetically-pleasing genitals to improve the quality of their lives and relationships.
While many may never openly admit to having undergone this procedure, or any aesthetic procedure for that matter - Malaysian women are still conservative that way - I have seen countless women of all ages and races walk through my doors in recent years.
But what is an attractive vagina in the first place?
An attractive or "perfect" vagina can be described as tight, light-skinned with symmetrical inner labia sheared to tiny strips of skin that cannot be seen when you stand.
Sadly, the relentless passing of time, as well as changes to hormonal levels, can cause significant functional and structural changes to a woman's genitals.
Pregnancy, menopause and an active sexual lifestyle can lead to the loosening of the vaginal muscles and soft tissues over time, causing laxity and loss of contraction during intimacy.
When a woman goes through hormonal shifts, which can occur during pregnancy or menopause, her body undergoes changes as well. This can affect both the vagina and vulva.
Examples of changes that can occur to the vaginal area are:
·Thinning of vaginal walls
·Lack of folds
·Dryness or less lubrication
·Loss of elasticity or flexibility
The external area of the genitalia, or vulvo, can also experience scarring, abnormal tearing, darkening, wrinkling and lengthening of the labia majora during the course of a woman's lifetime.
All this can adversely affect a woman's general well-being, as well as sexual satisfaction of herself and her partner.
It can also severely affect her self-esteem and confidence, which in turn can cause her relationships or marriage to suffer.
Unfortunately, the body is not able to naturally repair the looseness of the vagina - hence why many women have started resorting to cosmetically rejuvenating their genitalia in recent years.
In fact, vaginal rejuvenation has become a multi-million ringgit industry in Malaysia in the last five years, with the emergence of non-surgical procedures like Fractional CO2 laser, surgical threads and dermal fillers.
Essentially, vaginal rejuvenation includes designer vaginoplasty (plumping the labia majora or outer lips, and trimming the labia minora or inner lips), vaginal tightening (strengthening vaginal tissue), clitoralplasty (snipping off excess skin from the clitoris), hymenoplasty (restoring the hymen), and G-spot rejuvenation (making the G-spot more prominent).
Many natural and non-invasive treatments are being developed in vaginal rejuvenation, making it relatively painless, safer and more affordable.
As a result, more and more women have started to opt for these procedures.
There are also treatments such as the MonaLisa Touch, which effectively marks a new frontier in vulvo-vaginal procedures.
It regenerates the fibres weakened by age, while inducing the production of new collagen to restore the ideal conditions of the vagina.
Arguably, there is a grey area here, and I understand that many women might be up in arms after reading this article.
After all, in a world where women are constantly being held up to unrealistic beauty standards, the emergence of vaginal rejuvenation means that now a woman's privates could become an additional feature by which they are scrutinised and judged.
But while having a "perfect vagina" may not necessarily be a goal for all women, in the many cases I have witnessed and worked on firsthand, vaginal rejuvenation does go a long way in helping a woman regain her self-confidence, enhance her general well-being and improve the quality of her sexual relationship.
Dr Karen Po is a consultant aesthetic physician. Her interest in aesthetic medicine started when her eldest daughter was born with a café-au-lait birthmark on her face. In the process of finding the best treatment for her daughter, she developed a passion for aesthetic medicine and has been in the aesthetic field ever since.
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