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Psychological characteristics and motivation of women seeking labiaplasty

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 May 2013

D. Veale*
Affiliation:
NIHR Specialist Biomedical Research Centre for Mental Health at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, London, UK
E. Eshkevari
Affiliation:
NIHR Specialist Biomedical Research Centre for Mental Health at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, London, UK
N. Ellison
Affiliation:
NIHR Specialist Biomedical Research Centre for Mental Health at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, London, UK
A. Costa
Affiliation:
NIHR Specialist Biomedical Research Centre for Mental Health at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, London, UK
D. Robinson
Affiliation:
Department of Urogynaecology, King's College London, London, UK
A. Kavouni
Affiliation:
Cosmetic Solutions, London, UK
L. Cardozo
Affiliation:
Department of Urogynaecology, King's College London, London, UK
*
*Address for correspondence: D. Veale, Centre for Anxiety Disorders and Trauma, The Maudsley Hospital, 99 Denmark Hill, London SE5 8AZ, UK. (Email: David.Veale@kcl.ac.uk)

Abstract

Background

Labiaplasty is an increasingly popular surgical intervention but little is known about the characteristics and motivation of women who seek the procedure or the psychosexual outcome.

Method

A total of 55 women seeking labiaplasty were compared with 70 women who did not desire labiaplasty. Various general measures of psychopathology as well as specific measures (Genital Appearance Satisfaction; Cosmetic Procedure Screening for labiaplasty) were used. Labia measurements of the women seeking labiaplasty were also obtained.

Results

Women seeking labiaplasty did not differ from controls on measures of depression or anxiety. They did, however, express increased dissatisfaction towards the appearance of their genitalia, with lower overall sexual satisfaction and a poorer quality of life in terms of body image. Women seeking labiaplasty reported a significantly greater frequency of avoidance behaviours on all the domains assessed, and greater frequency of safety-seeking behaviours for most of the domains. Key motivations reported for labiaplasty were categorized as cosmetic, functional or sexual. Of the 55 women seeking labiaplasty, 10 met diagnostic criteria for body dysmorphic disorder.

Conclusions

This is the first controlled study to describe some of the characteristics and motivations of women seeking labiaplasty. We identified a wide range of avoidance and safety-seeking behaviours, which occurred more frequently in the labiaplasty group than the control group. These could be used clinically as part of a psychological intervention for women seeking labiaplasty.

Type
Original Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2013 

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