London, November 11 (ANI): Women going under the knife to get the perfect vagina maybe putting themselves at health risks, researchers have warned.
Experts from University College London found those undergoing labioplasty were doing so amid a "shocking" lack of information on the potential risks.
Boffins looked at various psychological and physical reasons as to why women resorted to the procedure, including the notion of acquiring aesthetically pleasing genitals, reports The BBC.
Consultant gynaecologist Sarah Creighton and psychologist Lih-Mei Liao expressed their doubts over women addressing their insecurities with surgery, saying counselling and support could work better in some cases.
Dr Creighton said instead of putting an end to sexual problems, surgery may aggravate tensions by damaging the nerve supply to the area, impairing sexual sensitivity and satisfaction.
She further suggested that those undertaking the process may also experience problems in childbirth.
She said: "Quality research is needed to improve our understanding of the psychological drivers behind women's decision to sacrifice sexually sensitive tissue that contributes to erotic experiences, for a certain genital appearance that used to be an obligation only for some glamour models."
But Douglas McGeorge, past president of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, argued too much was being made out of a relatively minor operation.
He said: "They've gone a bit over the top. Essentially this is just about removing a bit of loose flesh, leaving behind an elegant-looking labia with minimum scarring. The procedure won't interfere with sexual function.
"Women want this for a number of reasons - some find it uncomfortable to ride a bike for instance, but for the majority it is aesthetic, that's true."
Angelica Kavouni, a plastic surgeon who carries out labioplasty, also said "terrorising patients" with suggestions of long-term consequences was misleading.
She said: "I have seen women who I have sent away because I don't think they have a problem, but for women with serious hypertrophy - when the tissue is dark and hangs down - there is a simple way to deal with it. The feedback I receive is very positive indeed."
The research was published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. (ANI)