This statement has been developed and reviewed by the Women’s Health Committee and approved by the RANZCOG Board and Council.
A list of Women’s Health Committee Members can be found in Appendix A.
Disclosure statements have been received from all members of this committee. Disclaimer This information is intended to provide general advice to practitioners. This information should not be relied on as a substitute for proper assessment with respect to the particular circumstances of each case and the needs of any patient. This document reflects emerging clinical and scientific advances as of the date issued and is subject to change. The document has been prepared having regard to general circumstances.
First endorsed by RANZCOG: July 2008
Current: March 2015
Review due: March 2018
Background: This statement was first developed by Women’s Health Committee in July 2008 and most recently reviewed in March 2015.
Funding: The development and review of this statement was funded by RANZCOG.
Surgical or laser techniques available which claim to improve the appearance of the female genitial tract and enhance sexual function such as “vaginal rejuvenation”, “revirgination”, “designer vaginoplasty”, “G spot amplification” are poorly understood and what is involved in these procedures is often unclear since recognised clinical nomenclature is not being used.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) Committee on Gynecologic Practice and the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada have produced documents discouraging the practice of female genital cosmetic surgeries which do not include medically-indicated reconstructions. 1, 2 Gynaecological conditions that merit surgery include genital prolapse, reconstructive surgery following female genital mutilation and labioplasties with clinical indications. Medical practitioners performing any vaginal surgery should be appropriately trained.
Recommendations by these bodies include that the obstetrician and gynaecologist should have a role in educating women that there is a large number of variations in the appearance of normal female external genitalia and that there are normal physiological changes over time, especially following childbirth and menopause. Patients requesting procedures other than for gynaecological conditions should be assessed thoroughly and the reasons for such a request assessed carefully. Sexual counselling is also recommended for patients requesting surgery that is purported to enhance gratification. The College is particularly concerned that such surgery may exploit vulnerable women. Doctors who perform these procedures should not promote or advertise that these surgeries enhance sexual function.
The College strongly discourages the performance of any surgical or laser procedure that lacks current peer reviewed scientific evidence other than in the context of an appropriately constructed clinical trial. At present, there is little high quality evidence, that these procedures are effective, enhance sexual function or improve self-image. The risks of potential complications such as scarring, adhesions, permanent disfigurement, infection, dyspareunia and altered sexual sensations should be discussed in detail with women seeking such treatments.³
- Vaginal “rejuvenation” and cosmetic vaginal procedures, ACOG Committee Opinion No. 376. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Obstet Gynecol 2007; 110: 737-738.
- Shaw D, Lefebvre G, Bouchard C etal. Female genital cosmetic surgery. J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2013;35:1108-14
- Singh A, Swift S, Khullar V, Digesu A. Laser vaginal rejuvenation: not ready for prime time. Int Urogynecol J. 2015;26:163-164.
Reproduced with permission from the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Vaginal ‘rejuvenation’ and cosmetic vaginal procedures C-Gyn 24. Melbourne: RANZCOG; 2008.