Vaginoplasty is an umbrella term encompassing many different treatments that are performed to improve the appearance and functioning of the vagina. During labiaplasty, the labia minora and the labia majora can be minimized and refined to achieve a more compact and neat-looking appearance. This treatment is often pursued by women who are tired of experiencing the physical discomfort and the embarrassment of having enlarged inner or outer vaginal lips. It can be safely and easily performed in conjunction with other vaginoplasty procedures including hymen repair, clitoridectomy, and vaginal tightening among many others.
One of the primary prerequisites for qualifying as a candidate for most vaginoplasty treatment is simply not intending to have additional children. Given the extraordinary amount of stress and the excess wear that both pregnancy and childbirth place on the vagina, optimum results for any vaginoplasty procedure are generally easiest to achieve and maintain when women are done having babies.
Why Do Women Undergo Labiaplasty?
There are many different reasons why women might undergo this particular vaginal rejuvenation procedure. In some instances, patients are simply seeking to correct imbalances in the outward appearances of their vaginas such as disproportionately large or long vaginal lips. These might be people who find it uncomfortable to wear certain types of garments, as well as people who feel embarrassed and emotionally uncomfortable when undressing in front of their intimate partners.
Undergoing a treatment that streamlines and refines the outer appearance of the vagina can actually have a very positive impact on many patients’ romantic relationships. After all, when women feel confident about their bodies, they tend to be more relaxed and physically engaged during their intimate encounters. Once the labia minora have been reduced, panties and swimsuits will fit better and feel more comfortable, and ladies will not have to worry about having embarrassing bulges when sporting these and other close-fitted garments.
How Is Labiaplasty Performed?
To fully understand the benefits and limitations of this manner of vaginoplasty, it is important to know how labiaplasty is performed. More often than not, these procedures largely target the labia minora or the inner vaginal lips. In instances in which stretching or wear on the outer lips have caused cosmetic concern, the labia majora can be trimmed, tightened, and refined as well. Small amounts of tissue are surgically removed to create concise and even lines, and to reduce the overall appearance of the inner lips so that these become noticeably less conspicuous.
One very common goal with this treatment is to create inner lips or labia minora that do not extend beyond the outer lips. This gives the vagina a refreshed and significantly more youthful appearance. It is an excellent standalone procedure for creating higher levels of comfort, improving patient confidence, and ensuring stress-free intimate encounters. Labiaplasty can also be safely paired with many other vaginoplasty procedures.
When Is the Best Time to Have Labiaplasty Performed?
Contrary to popular belief, it is generally advisable for patients to seek treatment whenever any significant problem is identified. Some women naturally have over-sized labia that make wearing undergarments, swimsuits, and other close-fitting clothes uncomfortable. They certainly don’t have to wait until they’ve given birth to all of the children that they want to have before pursuing a surgical solution. Given that the labia will not assume any significant amount of pressure or stress as the result of future pregnancies, it is perfectly fine to treat this area as needed even when intending to experience natural childbirth later on.
The primary limitation of surgical treatment in this area is the amount of tissue that can ultimately be excised during any secondary procedure. When labiaplasty is initially performed, excess tissues are carefully removed to produce a more comfortable-feeling and better-looking outer vagina while still preserving the basic functions of the inner and outer lips. When women have children following their labia reduction procedures, the worst possible outcome is that they may need to have additional labiaplasty in order to regain the desired improvements. Excess weight, normal wear, and the act of giving birth may cause the newly refined vaginal lips to again become stretched and elongated. All future labiaplasty treatments will entail additional tissue removal. As such, there are only so many times that this solution can be offered before further tissue removal is no longer a viable or safe option.
What You Need to Know about the Pregnancy-Related Regrowth of Labia Tissues
The act of childbirth isn’t the only pregnancy-related event that can have an impact on the size and appearance of the labia. During the final stages of gestation, women’s bodies are flooded with hormones that can actually cause significant labial growth. This remains true even for women who have had much of the labia minora surgically excised. For this reason alone, many women who’ve received labiaplasty in the past are inclined to seek further treatment after any additional pregnancies. Fortunately, it is often possible to continue refining this area as needed, so long as adequate tissues for both refinement and good vaginal health remain. In this case, a post-pregnancy procedure can be performed to merely trim away the extra tissues that this natural influx of hormones has produced.
Different Options in Vaginoplasty That May Negatively Impact Childbirth
While labiaplasty is focused on the outer appearance and features of the vagina, certain forms of vaginoplasty directly affect the birth canal. Whether these are performed as invasive or minimally invasive procedures, they are bound to have some impact on women’s future birthing experiences. As such, if you have had any form of vaginoplasty, particularly any combination vaginoplasty procedure involving surgical vaginal tightening, you should talk with your OB/GYN about these treatments before giving birth. Certain vaginal tightening techniques may not hold well when subjected to the pressure of additional body weight, the weight of the developing fetus, and the weight of all surrounding fluids. Moreover, vaginal tightening treatments are designed to narrow or constrict the vagina. Depending upon the individual, this may cause minor complications during natural childbirth. One way to reduce the risk of undoing vaginal tightening during post-treatment childbirth is by simply opting to undergo a cesarean delivery or C-section.
Be Clear about the Treatments You’ve Had Performed in the Past
Surprisingly, many women who’ve undergone combination vaginoplasty procedures are not fully aware of all that’s been performed. If you are unsure of exactly how a former surgeon has refined any aspect or area of your vagina, you may want to reach out and get this information. These are details that you should pass on to the doctor during your consultation appointment. They should also be shared with the OB/GYN in charge of your prenatal care and delivery. Although people are often advised to wait until after they are done having children before having vaginal tightening procedures performed, when the medical team is well-advised, there can be surprisingly few risks to mitigate or otherwise contend with.
Be Vocal about Your Concerns
If you have had labiaplasty in the past and are now pregnant or intend to become pregnant, get in touch with our office right away. Setting up a consultation appointment will allow you to get needs-specific guidance and information. It may be that you find yourself perfectly content with the appearance and feel of your post-pregnancy vagina. If significant stretching and lengthening of the labia occur as a result of childbearing, however, you can find out which treatment options remain available to you based upon your history of vaginoplasty, and the amount of viable tissue that still exists in the treatment area. If an inordinate amount of tissue has been trimmed away during any prior vaginoplasty procedures, other less invasive measures may provide an alternative way to further improve the look of the inner and outer labia.
With the careful application of vaginal refinement techniques, it is possible to streamline and sculpt the labia with very minimal removal of tissue. This allows for a considerably shorter recovery time, and the most natural overall look. It also ensures that sufficient tissue remains for women who may need additional refinement procedures due to future childbirth. It is important to note that neither labiaplasty nor any other vaginal rejuvenation or refinement procedure is capable of totally arresting the natural aging process, or preventing all forms of normal wear and tear. As such, it is not uncommon for women to undergo multiple labiaplasty procedures over the course of their lifetimes. When hormone-related new tissue growth is excessive, additional treatments can be key for restoring feminine confidence, and for enjoying high levels of personal comfort in intimate settings. Each patient is considered for treatment on a case by case basis and factors such as general health, family planning, and the condition of the treatment area will always play a role in determining candidacy.
Relax and Enjoy Your Pregnancy
Getting pregnancy after undergoing treatment to undo the ravages of gestation, childbirth, and breastfeeding can certainly raise a lot of questions. You might be wondering whether having another baby via natural childbirth is safe to do, and if your past procedures will somehow increase the wear that any new pregnancy creates. Fortunately, the risks of giving birth to children after a labiaplasty procedure are always minimal, if any at all. There is a slight risk of seeing new, hormone-related tissue growth, and of experiencing additional stretching and laxity in the remaining labial tissues.
Many women who have had vaginal rejuvenation procedures of any type do not intend to have additional children. If you are currently dealing with the pleasant surprise of a new family addition, your foremost concern should be to relax and enjoy your pregnancy. Once you and your OB/GYN have established a feasible and needs-specific birthing plan, you can start looking ahead to how you want to deal with vaginal aesthetics in the future. When you are ready to consider labiaplasty, consider us here at Wayzata Cosmetic Surgery & Spa in Wayzata, MN. Contact us today to schedule your consultation!