V-Zone operations: Labiaplasty and vaginal tightening surgery
Many women+ choose to undergo surgeries that change their V-Zones, for either medical or cosmetic reasons. Whichever your case may be, learning more about what these surgeries entail can help you figure out if they're the way to go.
Changing the way our bodies, and in particular our intimate areas, look and feel has become more accessible for many people. And they may consider operating their V-Zone (the vagina, vulva and V-shaped front you can see) for medical reasons (where the surgery is necessary due to health complications) or cosmetic reasons (where the operation is not medically necessary but aims to “enhance” physical appearance).
While it’s important that we have a say about our own bodies (even if that means undergoing surgery), we should make the decision that best suits us, not others. It’s key to consider that our V-Zones are all amazing in their own unique way, before deciding to change yours permanently.
Understanding more about what labiaplasty and vaginal tightening surgery entail can help you make an informed decision.
Labiaplasty is a surgery which reduces the size of the two flaps of skin that sit on either side of your vaginal opening, known as the labia minora.  These folds of skin can stick out, hang down, or in some cases be tucked inside the larger, outer lips of the vulva (known as the labia majora). So, which one is normal? Well, all of them! There isn’t one single “normal” labia, as they come in all types of shapes, sizes and colours – just like the rest of your body! However, even though labia aren’t supposed to look or feel a certain way, some people still choose to change theirs with labiaplasty.
Why do people get labia surgery?
For how it feels
Though there will never really be a case where you must get labiaplasty for medical reasons, some women+ may find that their labia cause them discomfort or even pain. Friction caused by the labia when having sex, exercising or even sitting down may cause some irritation.  Labiaplasty can be an option if this discomfort is preventing you from going about your daily activities.
For how it looks
No, there is no “perfect” or “right” labia, but that doesn’t prevent some people from changing how theirs look – much like dyeing their hair or even having their breasts done bigger or smaller. Surgery gives them more confidence, making a huge impact on their lives. It is still a very big decision, though, so if this is the path you lean towards, try giving some thought to why you really want to do it. It’s important that you don’t feel forced to look a certain way or get body shamed by other people or what you see on the internet. At the end of the day, changing how any part of your body looks should be your own personal decision. Remember that all bodies are beautiful and this includes our vulvas!
Vaginal tightening surgery
Vaginal tightening surgery, also known as vaginoplasty, is a procedure designed to tighten your vaginal canal as well as the opening to the vagina by bringing the separated muscles together and removing extra skin.  Basically, it aims to strengthen your overall pelvic floor muscles – the ones which support your womb, bladder and bowel.
Why do people get vaginal tightening surgery?
For medical reasons
Aging and childbirth can cause your pelvic floor muscles to overstretch and lose their elasticity (a bit like when you use a hair tie so much that you need to make extra twists in it so it stays in place). The pelvic floor muscles include your vaginal muscles too, so when the pelvic floor is overstretched, so is your vagina. This means it can become harder for a tampon to stay in place, or to hold it when you need to pee. In other cases, sexual pleasure might be affected too.
For some people this is not a big deal, they embrace it as a natural part of getting older or becoming a mum. But others may have a harder time dealing with it. This is when vaginal tightening surgery becomes an option – but remember, just because it can be done doesn't mean you have to, at the end of the day it’s down to personal choice. It’s also important to note that this type of procedure won’t 100% guarantee the results you want, so keep reading to learn about the alternative.
For cosmetic reasons
Although there is nothing wrong with having less than athletic vaginal muscles, the feeling that they are “loose” can sometimes cause us to feel self-conscious. This can lead some women+ to consider vaginal tightening surgery as a way to boost the way they feel about themselves. Going under the knife, however, is just one of the ways to be more confident about how your vagina feels –you can also train for it!
How to strengthen your vaginal muscles without surgery
Your vaginal muscles (just like any other muscle in your body), can be built up and strengthened by exercising them. Pelvic floor exercises are a great way to help improve strength, control and elasticity.
Although they are often recommended for people with incontinence, anyone can enjoy the benefits of pelvic muscle training... which include stronger orgasms!
You don’t really need any equipment to start doing these exercises. It’ all about squeezing the pelvic muscles (as if you’re trying to hold your pee). You can practice holding and releasing them as a way to build up their strength.
How to love your V-Zone just the way it is
Ultimately, the decision to alter any part of your body should only be made by you and for you! Feeling the need to change because of how others make you feel won’t necessarily make you any happier.
All bodies are beautifully unique and that makes us special – it’s important to recognise and appreciate this before taking any measures. And if you feel self-conscious about your V-Zone, why not research diverse vulva art or even share your feelings? Talking it out with your partner or friends might reveal you’re not alone and help you realise it’s normal to feel like that sometimes.
Understanding your body better can also be very empowering. If you’d like to find out more, take a look at our articles on body image and objectifying and how your vagina might change after giving birth.
The medical information in this article is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. Please consult your doctor for guidance about a specific medical condition.