Young girls are increasingly seeking out labiaplasty, new data from the U.K. shows.
The BBC reports that labiaplasty, a vaginal surgery that changes the appearance of the vulva, is increasingly being sought by girls under the age of 18. In 2015-2016, more than 200 girls under 18 had the procedure more than 150 of those girls were under the age of 15 according to the NHS.
The NHS also recommends that labiaplasty should not be carried out on women younger than 18.
While there are cases when the surgery is necessary due to physical irritation, Dr. Naomi Crouch of the British Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology says that many young girls are seeking the procedure for cosmetic reasons.
“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,” Dr. Crouch said.
According to the New York Times, the trend is also being seen in the United States. They noted that so many teen girls were seeking the procedure that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists urged doctors to suggest alternatives to patients and screen them for psychiatric disorders causing “obsession about perceived physical defects.”
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