By Carlos Eduardo Ramírez, MD, Gynecology –
Women living with symptoms of vaginal discomfort, irritation, appearance and others are not alone. In fact, these are extremely common. However, due to the sensitive personal issues usually involved women stay silent about the disruption to their quality of life. There are solutions to these issues that may be, not only simple, but readily available to you.
Vaginal Reconstruction and Labiaplasty are terms that refer to surgical procedures performed to the vagina and labia to help tighten and support its structures. Vaginal Reconstruction may be also referred to as vaginoplasty. I use the term reconstruction as it is reflective of repairing a functional symptom.
Childbirth and the natural aging process cause the vagina not to function the same in terms of lubrication, feelings, sensation and support. Also, disruption of the female perineum (posterior part of the vagina) is not uncommon. Women are at risk during childbirth; additionally, their increasing participation in sports activities increases the incidence of injury to this area. These conditions may cause vaginal dryness, pain during intercourse, bleeding, mass like sensation and loss of urine. Vaginal Reconstruction and Labiaplasty may be a solution to relieve these symptoms as well as improve lubrication and sexual function.
Women having local irritation of the vaginal area because of dryness are an example of the patients considered for these procedures. They may have problems with personal hygiene when going to the bathroom or during their menstrual cycle, interference with sex, and discomfort during cycling, sitting, or walking or with tight jeans or yoga pants. Anatomically the inner labia (labia minora) are housed within the outer labia (labia majora) because the outer labia have a different quality to the skin and are designed to protect the inner labia. When the inner labia protrude outside of the outer labia, this part of the female anatomy is not protected, and it can be very irritating. Therefore, one of the main benefits of Vaginal Reconstruction and Labiaplasty is an improvement of discomfort.
Management includes the use of exercises, medications, minimal surgery or a combination according to the individual patients’ symptoms and findings. Treatment is designed to enhance lubrication and pelvic support. Procedures are tailored to tighten the inside of the vaginal canal and the vaginal opening.
Kegel exercises can be done to help increase the tone and strength of the urogenital muscles. Topic and oral medications can be prescribed to improve the lubrication and sensitivity of vaginal tissues. Various surgical procedures are available to improve the anatomical function of the vagina and vulva. They consist of elective minimally invasive surgeries, such as vaginoplasty (vaginal tightening techniques), perineoplasty for vaginal tightening, labia minora plasty for hypertrophic or irregularly shaped labia minora, labia majora plasty for enlarged or lax labia majora. Clinical studies have observed great benefits with very low risks for complications in patients undergoing properly done surgeries.
Vaginal Reconstruction and Labiaplasty are functional procedures that enhance the quality of life in women. It is done to alleviate certain symptoms in women and to make them feel better about themselves. If you have symptoms, concerns or question about your vaginal health, consult your gynecologist and discuss your options.
VAGINAL SURGERY QUESTIONNAIRE
1) Has your sensation and stimulation diminished during intercourse?
2) Do you sense your vagina loose with minimum muscle tone?
3) Is there tissue extending beyond your vagina?
4) Do you have a gaping vaginal opening?
5) Does your partner slip out during intercourse?
6) Are you unable to use tampons because they fall out?
7) Does your vagina create gas like sounds during intercourse or while walking?
8) Are you unhappy with the appearance of your labia due to length, pigmentation, size or asymmetry?
9) Do your labia get in the way with activities like intercourse, cycling, horseback riding or tampon placement?
10) Do you find yourself frequently having to re-adjust your labia to feel comfortable in your clothes?
11) Do you notice a bulge in certain clothes such as bathing suits, jeans or yoga pants?
12) Do your labia interrupt urine flow, make cleanliness difficult or sometimes cause a foul odor?
If you answered yes to two (2) or more of the above questions, you are likely a candidate for vaginal surgery, and may call 561.270.3164 to schedule a consultation to learn more.
Women’s Wellness Institute . Gynecology . 561-270-3164 . www.WomensWellnessInstitute.org