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Pregnancy & Birth

Cosmetic gynaecology - what is it and who gets it?

Whether it's for form or function, there's plenty you can do to rejuvenate your lady garden!

By Rebel Wylie
Just a couple of generations ago, we weren't too worried about appearances when it came to the old vulva.
Even as changes occurred due to childbirth or menopause it was just kind of accepted that that's how things were.
But thanks to changes in fashion, the removal of hair, more adventurous porn and the access to it and the good old world wide web, the awareness of the form and function of our vulva area has never been more forefront.
And for Australian women, the knowledge that we have the power to do something about it has seen more and more of us opting in for any one of the many ways that we can rejuvenate the area that we might once have thought a lost cause.
Issues around continence, physical appearance, lubrication, sexual satisfaction or comfort might send any one of us in search of a better way.
"Our mothers might have accepted the changes to their bodies after childbirth," says Fertility Specialist and Gynaecologist, Dr Sonya Jessup.
"But today woman are saying 'I think I can do better than that, I want my body back' after a baby or menopause."
"And they're not necessarily chasing a 'normal' looking vulva, because there's no such thing. There's an extraordinary range of what women look like."
Having said that there are some very practical reasons that a person might want to change the appearance of their vulva.
Dr Sonya Jessup is a female Fertility Specialist and Gynaecologist based in South and Western Sydney and the Northern Beaches. Image: Supplied. (Image: Supplied)
"While some women are fortunate to bounce back after childbirth, for others it's a different experience altogether," explains Dr Jessup.
"Many women experience a laxity, or new bulges in the labia. Sometimes the opening remains constantly open, or a bad episiotomy repair may cause discomfort ... there's so many reasons a rejuvenation can improve the situation for women at any stage of life."
WATCH: 5 common vagina problems and what to do about them. Continues after video ...
Labia reductions, vulval fillers, bleaching, lasers, radio frequency treatments ... depending on the issue as you see it, there's certainly an appropriate treatment to make things a little better.
Gynaecologists, cosmetic surgeons and plastic surgeons are all performing the treatments, but it's important to do your research and ensure you have the correct diagnosis to be certain that the treatment you choose is the one that will give you the most benefit.
"It's so important to get assessed correctly by a gynaecologist or urinary gynaecologist before any treatment," Dr Jessup tells Now to Love. "These procedures look at form and function, but function should always come first. It's the most important aspect to improving your quality of life."
The Emsella Chair is revolutionising women's pelvic health. (Image: Supplied)
Not all procedures require going under the knife either. Dermal fillers might be enough to change the way the labia minor and major interact with each other.
Or if laxity is an issue, the solution might be as simple as sitting in a chair!
The Emsella Chair, which patients simply sit in – fully clothed – for six 28 minute sessions, uses advanced electromagnetic energy to engage all the muscles of the pelvis and produce thousands of pelvic floor muscle contractions simultaneously.
The action is similar to Kegel exercises, however, with far more intensity, a single session is equivalent to the intensity of 11,200 pelvic floor exercises.
"Women don't just have to accept incontinence, or reduced sexual satisfaction or physical discomfort simply because of becoming mothers or going through menopause," says Dr Jessup. "There are solutions available and we're finding out more all the time."
Dr Sonya Jessup is passionate about women's gynaecological health not only for function but for achieving personal satisfaction.

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