According to new reports, girls as young as nine years old desire vaginal surgery because they are unhappy with how their labia look.


The procedure is known as labiaplasty, and involves the alteration of the labia.


Experts from the NHS claim that over 200 girls under the age of 18 have undergone the operation in 2015 and 2016; 60 per cent of these girls were under the age of 15.


A leading adolescent gynaecologist, Dr Naomi Crouch, appeared on BBC One’s The Victoria Derbyshire Show to voice her concern.


"Girls will sometimes come out with comments like, 'I just hate it, I just want it removed,' and for a girl to feel that way about any part of her body - especially a part that's intimate - is very upsetting."


She said that labiaplasty should only be given to those who have a medical abnormality and not for the sake of “beauty”.



Doctor Paquita de Zulueta, from the Board Member Clinical Ethics Committee, told the BBC that she sees “young girls around 11, 12, 13 thinking there's something wrong with their vulva - that they're the wrong shape, the wrong size, and really expressing almost disgust".


"Their perception is that the inner lips should be invisible, almost like a Barbie, but the reality is that there is a huge variation. It's very normal for the lips to protrude."


Some girls come into clinics and claim to have a vaginal condition, and hyperbolise their symptoms in order to get a labiaplasty.


"There is awareness that they're more likely to get the operation if they say it's interfering with sex, with sport, they feel that will tick that box."


Dr de Zulueta says the porn industry and social media project unrealistic images of women and are to blame for adolescents’ insecurities.  




"There isn't enough education, and it should start really quite young, explaining that there is a range and that - just as we all look different in our faces - we all look different down there, and that's OK."


The doctor also pointed out that there are disconcerting parallels between labiaplasty and female genital mutilation (FGM), which is illegal in the UK and Ireland.


"The law says we shouldn't perform these operations on developing bodies for cultural reasons. Current Western culture is to have very small lips, tucked inside. I see this as the same thing," she says.


Most surgeons agree that the procedure should not be undertaken on women until they are at least 18 years of age.


The beauty industry has received heavy criticism for this latest trend.



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