Many women admit (sheepishly) that they have scrutinised their own vaginas and wondered how they stack up against the competition.
While the definition of a so-called normal vagina has expanded to include more different shapes and sizes, a growing number of women continue to strive for a generally unattainable ideal.
In this article, Costhetics invites you to learn how Australia has became a global leader in patient care with world-first guidelines that help doctors address women’s concerns (both real and imaginary) about “abnormal” genitals.
Australia Is World-First with These Guidelines
In 2015, Australia became the first country to establish guidelines regarding female genital surgery in response to an increase in women visiting general practitioners for advice on this very personal choice.
“According to figures from Medicare, the number of women undergoing FCGS in Australia has increased dramatically in recent years. It appears that in response to changing cultural norms this surgery is increasingly being sought by women who want to either feel ‘normal’ or look ‘desirable’.” – The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP)
In addition to providing protections for patients, the guidelines also serve doctors who feel under-informed regarding this procedure. Often the first point of contact for patients, the guidelines help GPs better educate themselves so they can educate their patients.
Many Women Just Don’t Know This Fact
According to RACGP member Dr Magdalena Simonis, many women don’t truly know enough about their own anatomy to know whether physical changes in their vaginal area warrant attention. They do know, however, that they feel inadequate and unattractive when they compare themselves to celebrities who have posed nude.
Sadly, surgery-obsessed women simply don’t understand that the “perfect” genitals they see aren’t real. Photoshop made them flawless, not Mother Nature.
Medicare Requires Pre-Approval for Genital Surgery
As reported by ABC News, the number of women seeking rebates for medically necessary genital surgery doubled in the decade between 2003 and 2013. Strangely, there was no corresponding increase in medical conditions to explain the uptick. The following year, rebate claims dropped by nearly 30%. This was likely due to a crackdown on non-essential surgeries.
It is now necessary for women who want female genital surgery to get pre-approval from Medicare. Doctors are required to send photographs for review by a Medicare panel. The panel determines whether the patient’s condition meets the standards of congenital abnormality or functional problem.
Female genital surgery for purely cosmetic purposes is not reimbursable.
We Love You Just the Way You Are
Genital enhancement surgery is no small matter. It carries the same risks as any other surgery, and may leave you with increased and unpleasant nerve sensation, as well as long-term scarring. If you’re thinking about genital surgery to please your partner or if you’re trying to emulate your favourite celebrity, Costhetics urges you to think again. Then seek the advice of a well-respected, experienced gynaecologist or doctor.
You’ll be glad you did, and we will, too!