Female genital cosmetic and plastic surgery: a review

J Sex Med. 2011 Jun;8(6):1813-25. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2011.02254.x. Epub 2011 Apr 14.


Introduction: This review studies rationale and outcome of vulvovaginal aesthetic surgery.

Aim: Discuss procedures designed to alter genital appearance and function; investigate sexual, philosophical, and ethical issues; examine outcomes.

Methods: (i) Medline search of the existing literature utilizing terms labiaplasty, clitoral hood reduction, hymenoplasty (HP), vaginoplasty (VP), perineoplasty (PP), female genital surgery, sexual satisfaction/body image, and anterior/posterior colporrhaphy; (ii) references from bibliographies of papers found through the literature search and in the author's reading of available literature.

Main outcome measures: (i) Demographics and psychosexual dynamics of women requesting female genital plastic/cosmetic surgery; (ii) overall and sexual satisfaction of subjects undergoing these procedures.

Results: The majority of studies regarding patient satisfaction and sexual function after vaginal aesthetic and functional plastic procedures report beneficial results, with overall patient satisfaction in the 90-95% range, sexual satisfaction over 80-85%. These data are supported by outcome data from nonelective vaginal support procedures. Complications appear minor and acceptable to patients. There are little data available regarding outcomes and satisfaction of HP, or function during the rigors of subsequent vaginal childbirth, although the literature contains no case reports of labiaplasty disruption during parturition.

Conclusion: Women requesting labiaplasty and reduction of their clitoral hoods do so for both cosmetic and functional (chafing, interference with coitus, interference with athletic activities, etc.) reasons, while patients requesting VP and/or PP do so in order to increase friction and sexual satisfaction, occasionally for aesthetic reasons. Patients appear generally happy with outcomes. The majority of patients undergoing genital plastic surgery report overall satisfaction and subjective enhancement of sexual function and body image, but the literature is retrospective. Female genital plastic surgery procedures appear to fulfill the majority of patient's desires for cosmetic and functional improvement, as well as enhancement of the sexual experience. Little information is available regarding HP outcomes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Image
  • Clitoris / surgery*
  • Ethics, Medical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Perineum / surgery*
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Reconstructive Surgical Procedures / ethics
  • Reconstructive Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Surgical Flaps
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vagina / surgery*
  • Vulva / surgery*