by Dr Amelia Stephens
An article recently published in the Medical Journal of Australia showed the increased frequency of vulvoplasty in New South Wales, Australia (1). The intention of the study was to look at potential complications following this procedure and outcomes of the women who had the procedure done related to births following. What was interesting about this study, was seeing how the rates of vulvoplasty have increased, not only in Australia, but in other countries such as the U.K and U.S.A since the early 2000s. So from here, we need to ask a few questions. One you may be asking, rightfully so, is – what on earth is vulvoplasty?
What is vulvoplasty?
Vulvoplasty is an operation that changes the shape of the vulva, the external part of a woman’s genitals. It can be done for the purpose of correcting anatomical malformations that women are born with, that may affect their function or quality of life significantly, or, assisting with correcting scarring or malformation resulting from female genital mutilation. You may have heard the term ‘designer vagina’ and this is also associated with vulvoplasty. Strictly speaking, the vulva is a different anatomical location to the vagina, but it is common for the two to be considered the same thing.
‘Designer vaginas’, and vulvas, have become a more common cosmetic procedure, and as this study shows – it appears the incidence is increasing. As one could appreciate, this area of a woman’s body is quite sensitive, so undergoing surgery would be considerably painful at times.
So why are women lining up to have this procedure done?
Every day, doctor’s lunch rooms around the world are filled with the aroma of various delightful foods. From pastries to sandwiches, to your favourite Thai takeaway – it’s all on offer.
But who is offering, and what exactly?
The lunches I am referring to are those sponsored, paid for or conducted by pharmaceutical companies.
It has become common practice for pharmaceutical companies to sponsor breakfasts, lunches, dinners and even coffee breaks with a small to large sprinkling of their own input as to the latest medical therapies and evidence supporting their products.
Many people welcome these seeming donations of food with open arms, and mouths, as no doubt they have grumbling bellies after being on ward rounds for 5 hours, seeing a long list of patients or not having time to make breakfast let alone lunch in the morning.
However, in truth, what effect does attending these lunches and consuming this food have?
For many the concept of self-nurturing may seem like a very foreign concept. I know for me it has been a process of unfoldment over the past few years, to get to the stage now where I know what nurturing is for me and can easily incorporate it into my day, if I so choose to (which I do every day now!). I am constantly discovering more ways that I can do this, and support myself in the way that I live everyday.
A few years ago the concept of self-care, let alone self-nurturing was completely foreign to me. I was a University student and young adult working part-time, partying and going out with friends. I was often exhausted and drained, and experienced/created a lot of strong emotional baggage. I was essentially living the life I thought was normal. (more…)