Feb. 21, 2006 -- Cosmetic surgery -- including breast augmentation and body contouring -- is known to make people look younger and feel better about themselves. Now new research suggests that it may also improve sex life and the ability to achieve orgasm.
The greatest sexual benefits were seen in women who underwent breast augmentation, breast lift, or body contouring procedures, according to the study, which appears in the January/February issue of the Aesthetic Surgery Journal.
"For the longest time, tons of data were published about how plastic surgery enhances body image and restores self-confidence. And it was kind of known that if someone feels better about themselves, they become more sexual. But we never had the data to show it until now," researcher Guy Stofman, MD, tells WebMD. Stofman is chief of plastic surgery at Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh and a clinical assistant professor of plastic surgery at the University of Pittsburgh.
"We don't want the populace to think, 'Hey, if I have my breasts done, I will have more sex,'" he says. "You don't have cosmetic surgery to have better sex. This is just an added perk."
Better Sex, More Powerful Orgasms
Of 70 women who completed a survey, more than 95% reported improvements in body image regardless of the type of cosmetic surgery they had undergone. After surgery, 81% of the 26 breast surgery respondents and 68% of the 25 body surgery patients said they experienced improvements in sexual satisfaction, compared to 32% percent of the 19 facial surgery patients.
And that goes for their partners too, the study showed. Seventy-three percent of breast surgery patients and 56% of body surgery patients said that their partner's sex life had also improved as a result of their surgery.
What's more, women who underwent body-contouring surgeries reported having an orgasm more easily following the procedure.
"It's quite possible that we may make changes in female anatomy that may lead to enhanced orgasm as well," he says.
More Confidence Boosts Intimacy
The new findings tend to mimic what Laurie A. Casas, MD, an associate professor of surgery at Northwestern University and the Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, sees in her practice.