Vaginal rejuvenation is becoming more popular with women, especially those who have undergone the rigors of childbirth. Although thought of mainly as aesthetic types of procedures to improve the appearance of the female genital area, there are some sound medical reasons for choosing vaginal rejuvenation surgery, such as a weakness in the perineum, stress urinary incontinence, better access to the clitoris, or irritation of the labia majora or labia minora. Of note, vaginal rejuvenation is not recommended to treat female sexual problems or sexual dysfunction. As with any surgery, there are potential side effects that could affect the decision of whether or not this type of procedure is the best decision for optimal health.
The female genital area is replete with nerve endings. During surgery such as vaginal rejuvenation, nerves can be severed or damaged, leading to either hyposensation (a lack of sensation) or hypersensation (too much sensation). Since nerves normally do not regenerate, this is a permanent side effect. No surgeon can guarantee this won't happen, so it is important to consider the risk before deciding on surgery.
Scarring from Vaginal Rejuvenation
The goal of most vaginal rejuvenation procedures is an improved genital appearance. The majority of scarring from this type of surgery will be internal, but there will be scarring. This could lead to ﾓdead spotsﾔ or a loss of sensation, and can possibly result in additional surgery if severe scarring occurs.
Urine Retention, Bladder or Rectal Damage
A possible side effect of vaginal rejuvenation is urinary retention, or the inability to urinate. This can lead to serious health problems such as nephrosis, or damage to the kidney, and will need immediate attention to correct. Additionally, vaginal rejuvenation surgery can also cause damage to the bladder or rectum, although instances of this are uncommon. There are risks inherent in any surgery, however, the chances can be minimized by researching the surgeon chosen thoroughly, choosing one who is experienced in these types of procedures.
Bleeding and Infection
Because of the site of the surgery, infections can occur if the proper hygiene is not maintained. There will be limitations on lifting and activity to help prevent excessive bleeding post-surgery for anywhere between 4-8 weeks. Abstinence from sex for this period of time is also usually required for a full recovery. Following the doctor's instructions after surgery is imperative to a healthful healing.
Vaginal rejuvenation surgery is relatively new, and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology has stated not enough studies have been done to date to assess the long-term safety and complication rates of the procedures. Any surgical procedure, whether elective or performed from medical necessity, carries risks for side effects or complications. The most important things to remember are to choose the surgeon carefully and to follow his instructions regarding pre- and post-operative care for the best results. ﾠ