The air was buzzing at the Costhetics offices this week with everyone getting in on the conversation about a somewhat controversial treatment known as labia puffing.
It’s aimed at women of a certain age who want a non-surgical answer to labiaplasty. Little pricks with a needle inject filler or your body’s own fat into the labia. It’s a treatment many say is the natural outgrowth of fillers that are injected into facial wrinkles, skin folds, and deflated lips.
As regular visitors to this space know, Costhetics is serious about its role as scout and pathfinder in the wilds of Australian cosmetic surgery and aesthetic enhancement news. We went to work researching this hot topic to get to the bottom of the pros and the cons. Here’s what we learned…
Labia Puffing: Why Would You Do That?
Vaginas, like other parts of the body, age over time. The outer lips of a woman’s vagina, the labia majora, wrinkle, become deflated, and lose fullness and skin elasticity. The culprit is oestrogen, or rather a lack of it. As the outer lips thin out, the labia minora (inner vaginal lips) become more prominent. The darker inner lips droop past the edges of the outer lips, the entire area begins to look flat, sagging, and aged.
There’s more to the labia than just good looks, however. The outer lips act as a buffer during sexual intercourse. When volume, tone, and firmness diminish, it is more difficult to protect the tender area from the rigors of close encounters of a personal kind.
For enthusiasts of labia puffing, plumping the labia majora is a safe, low risk way to restore a more youthful contour to a woman’s bits and to make sex more enjoyable. People who give thumbs down to this new genital enhancement treatment seem more concerned with the message that is being sent to women. The fear is that labias will be added to the list of body parts (including breasts and buttocks) that can negatively affect a woman’s self-image.
Who Would Puff Their Privates?
The labial puff was created with the needs of post-menopausal women in mind. Like many anti-ageing treatments, however, it has found favour among younger and younger patients. News.com.au reported on statistics gathered by a UK cosmetic surgery practice that indicated:
- Interest in labia puffing is up 45% since 2010
- The average age of patients has dropped from 35 to 28
- The majority of patients choose labia puffing for aesthetic, not medical reasons
How Labia Puffing Is Done
Marie Claire magazine reported that “The benefit of labia puffing is that (you can) use your own fat from another area of your body to add volume back to an area that deflates with time. This makes it look great as it immediately refills it to an appearance similar to what it may have looked like prior to child-bearing and/or menopause.” Additionally, some doctors feel that using a patient’s own fat results in a softer, more natural appearance to the labia when the treatment is complete.
Patients who are not right for fat grafting can still enjoy the benefits of labia puffing. A filler that contains hyaluronic acid, a moisture-boosting chemical found naturally in the deep layers of the skin, can be used as a safe substitute. (Hyaluronic acid is found in many facial fillers.)
Harvesting fat from the patient’s own body is the first step in labia puffing. A small cannula with a blunt tip sucks up fat from the stomach or inner thighs. The fat is processed, then injected into the labia majora with needles that feel like tiny pricks as they puff up the area. The treatment can be completed in 15-30 minutes and recovery time is minimal. This is in comparison to a labiaplasty, a complex surgery that requires weeks of painful recuperation.
The choice to rejuvenate your labia shouldn’t be anyone else’s but yours. The only thing we at Costhetics ask is that you find a skilled, experienced doctor. You don’t want someone who doesn’t know what s/he’s doing fumbling around down there, do you? Of course not.