International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease Recommendations Regarding Female Cosmetic Genital Surgery

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Abstract

Female genital cosmetic surgeries (FGCSs) and procedures are increasingly being advertised as common, simple, and complication-free, capable of not only improving aesthetic appearance but also increasing self-esteem and sexual pleasure.

Guidelines for physicians and clear, scientifically correct information for patients must be made available, to minimize the number of ineffective or deleterious procedures.

The International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease positions/recommendations regarding FGCS are as follows:

1. There is a wide variation regarding genital normalcy; providers must be able to explain this to women.

2. There are no data supporting FGCS including, G-spot augmentation, hymenoplasty, vulvar and perianal bleaching/whitening, vaginal tightening procedures, and other procedures aimed at increasing sexual function.

3. Women should not be offered FGCS before the age of 18 years.

4. Women undergoing FGCS should be evaluated by a provider with expertise in vulvovaginal diseases, including attention to their psychological, social, and sexual context. Evaluation by an experienced mental health provider should be considered when the motivation for seeking surgery and/or expectations are not clear or realistic.

5. Female genital cosmetic surgery is not exempt from complications.

6. Informed consent must always be obtained.

7. Surgeons performing FGCS should refrain from solicitous advertising or promoting procedures without scientific basis, including on Web sites.

8. Surgeons should not perform surgery that they do not agree with and explain their rationale/position when pressured by patients.

9. The genital surgeon must be adequately trained in performing FGCS including knowledge of the anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology of the vulva, vagina and adjacent organs.

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