Female genital cosmetic surgery

Chapter 5

Adolescents and FGCS requests

According to the British Society for Paediatric and Adolescent Gynaecology (BritSPAG) position statement on adolescents and FGCS requests issued in 2013:46

There is no evidence that the incidence of labial pathology has changed. The increase in activities cannot be accounted for in medical terms. Labiaplasty does not tackle the cultural and economic factors that are giving rise to vulval appearance distress. There is no scientific evidence to support the practice of labiaplasty and, for girls under the age of 18 years, the risk of harm is even more significant.

Frontline and specialist clinicians should improve their skills and confidence in educating and supporting the girls and, where appropriate, their parents. Further development of age-appropriate resources for girls and their parents should be a priority for clinicians. Information on the following should be presented sensitively and clearly with opportunities for discussion:

  • labial anatomy and its development
  • diversity in vulval appearance
  • the distortions in popular culture
  • the unknowns about labiaplasty
  • the measures for managing labial discomfort and
  • where distress is significant, the importance of a psychological assessment.

Reproduced with permission from British Society of Paediatric and Adolescent Gynaecology (BritsPAG). Position statement: Labial reduction surgery (labiaplasty) on adolescents. London: BritsPAG; 2013.

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