New Way to 'Rejuvenate' Your Vagina is the Scariest Yet

In my rounds around the internet, I came upon this site for a Toronto cosmetic surgery clinic that focuses on female genital cosmetic surgeries. I got there because I read about yet another procedure that some doctors are flogging, trying to tell women it will improve their sex lives. I've read a lot about this types of surgeries but this one was so scary and so ridiculous, I could not believe it could be true. But google led me to this site, and alas, it's true.

The procedure is called Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation. The clinic describes it thusly "Sexual gratification has been scientifically proven to be intimately linked to the level of friction created. But with vaginal relaxation (caused by pregnancy, age or other factors), the ability to create friction is dramatically reduced, thereby adversely affecting sexual gratification. ... LVR® is a proprietary surgical procedure that corrects "looseness" to enhance sexual performance. It is a modification of an existing surgical procedure that treats vaginal relaxation and its primary symptom, stress urinary incontinence. Only select physicians can perform LVR®." In case the pseudo-medical explanation is throwing you off, as it's clearly intended to do, let me put it into plain language. Your vagina is loose and doesn't feel good to your partner so we're going to stick a laser in there and scar it all up to create some texture and make it feel like it's tighter.

Yes, this is really what this is. They scar the vagina with a laser to make it feel bumpier and tighter. How in the world could this ever be medically necessary? When I hear this, the term female genital mutilation comes to mind.

They claim that, in addition to improving your 'sexual performance' it helps control stress incontinence but I cannot imagine how this would work. This laser procedure is not targeting the muscles involved in bladder control - it is just modifying the inside of the vagina.

I love this part of the site "Full recovery from Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation® surgery is generally within 6 weeks, depending on the individual. Common side effects, such as pain, discomfort, bleeding and swelling, may be less pronounced compared to the traditional method of vaginal tightening." First of all, I'd like to know what traditional methods they are referring to. If they are referring to surgeries for prolapse and/or incontinence - yes there are side-effects and recovery time because those are real surgeries to address real, not perceived, issues involving the pelvic floor muscle. This is just a laser treatment. And for it, it sounds like you will go at least 6 weeks without being able to put anything in your vagina comfortably. For something that's supposed to improve my sex life, it sure sounds like it will ruin it, at least in the short term. But it makes perfect sense, if you stick something in your vagina and scar it up, it's bound to be painful, uncomfortable, and to swell and bleed for some time.

Why, why, why would these doctors do this?

Admittedly, I haven't delved very deeply into this particular surgery. I don't know much about whether this one is actually approved by any regulatory board or if there are any long-term studies on the effects of it. However I have looked into some of the other ones like labiaplasty and the G-shot (in which either collagen, botox, or your own blood are injected into the area where the g-spot is supposed to be). None of those procedures has ever been studied for efficacy and safety. None of them have been formally approved by any medical regulatory body. And the doctor who spearheaded the g-shot procedure, patented it, and taught a lot of other doctors how to do it has been in extremely hot water with the medical revue board and may have had his license revoked. So forgive me if I'm skeptical about this one.

I do believe that women have the right to choose to do whatever they want to their bodies. But I think that they also have the right to complete and full information about the options they are contemplating. This is why I think these procedures are just plain wrong.

First, they are not medically necessary. Now it's fine to have a medical procedure for cosmetic reasons if you choose but the rhetoric around this stuff really verges on telling women that these things are medically necessary - or at least necessary if you ever hope to have a satisfying sex life.

Second, there is no reliable information as to whether they are effective or not. There are no studies showing that they actually work.

Third, there is the risk of very serious complication and no information on exactly what those risks are and how often complications may occur. When these procedures are described, they sound like simple, painless little day procedures. But this one involves cutting inside the vagina. There has to be a risk of cutting in the wrong place or too deep, of tissue or nerve damage, or of creating scar tissue that does become problematic. In fact many women suffer from scar tissue inside the vagina as a result of surgeries or medical treatments - should we really be engaging in a procedure that seems to do exactly that - cause scars in the vagina?

The fact is that vaginas do get a little looser as we age and they certainly do tend to get a little looser with every child we deliver. This is natural. For most, it is not a medical problem. It can be easily addressed by doing your kegel exercises, and being creative about how you have sex. It really is not something that needs to be medically fixed. These 'doctors' who specialize in this stuff are really just out to make us feel as if there is something seriously wrong with us in order to make some money. To me, the risks far outweigh the benefits.