Is my vulva normal? Not all genitalia look the same, and we’re trying to teach teenagers that

Is my vulva normal? Not all genitalia look the same, and we're trying to teach teenagers that
Credit: Sharon McCutcheon/Unsplash

Cosmetic genital procedures are becoming increasingly popular in women. The most common is labiaplasty, which involves the surgical reduction of the inner lips of the vulva—the labia minora.

Most women who undergo labiaplasty in Australia do so through the private sector, which does not require reporting of statistics. But in the United States procedure numbers have increased 30% in the past five years alone.

Of the labiaplasty procedures performed in 2018 in the United States, 4% were on girls aged under 18. At this age, genital development is not yet complete and there is significant risk of harm such as scarring, loss of sensation and painful sexual intercourse.

We showed teenage girls an educational video on genital self-image. After the video, girls felt better about their genital appearance and could more accurately name anatomical structures than before.

Genital concerns start early

To have a

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