Better Sex for Women?
A Lift Down Under: Worth It? continued...
"Surgery should be the last resort," says Alan Wabrek, MD, PhD, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Syracuse University in New York, who also ran a sexual counseling program at Hartford Hospital in Connecticut for 20 years. "If one person or the other is unhappy with a sexual relationship, it's frankly rare that something surgical is going to solve that."
All types of surgery has its risks, he adds, and any claims otherwise are untrue. Inevitable scarring, for instance, can leave the treated area -- especially the genitals -- very tender and painful.
Wabrek recommends discussing the sexual dilemma first with your partner, noting that perhaps she may have thought he was disappointed with her performance in bed when he really wasn't.
If that doesn't work, he suggests Kegel exercises, which are scientifically proven to help women increase muscle tone, and to become more aware of the sensations coming from her vagina.
Cindy Pearson, executive director of the National Women's Health Network, agrees with Wabrek, calling marketing claims for better, more sexually sensitive vaginas "a bunch of baloney."
Although Pearson is all for bestowing more attention on women's sexual needs and desires, she says she would prefer to see less invasive and less dangerous methods. She likens some vaginal surgery to the archaic practices of removing ladies' lower ribs to reduce waistline sizes, and having women wear rings around their necks to make them look longer. She says society has always had an official-sounding explanation for the reshaping of women's bodies.
Pearson, however, is not totally opposed to vaginal enhancement procedures, saying that it may work for some women who have a medical condition that could be relieved through surgery.
Yet she says "We [at the National Women's Health Network] always warn people--when they're thinking of trying something where the benefit is not well-proven--that no side effect or complication is worth it."
The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology has no official position on the subject. Neither do the American Medical Women's Association and the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists.