She was so worried she made her Mum take her to a doctor to explore the option of surgery. Kathy, now 18, is part of a new pilot study aimed at understanding why a growing number of Australian girls, as young as 11, are seeking cosmetic surgery on their otherwise normal genitals. While the research study is still in its early stages, with eleven interviews so far, Ms Barnard says those she has spoken to had little sense at the time of what a normal vulva looked like. And that uncertainty can sometimes begin with their mothers. None of them was abnormal. In the ten years before says she would have only seen two or three girls worried about the look of their genitals. Professor Grover says that in the majority of cases, any concerns girls may have about their labial appearance can be effectively managed through education and counselling. There are also risks. According to the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, these include infection, wound rupturing, pain during intercourse and reduced lubrication. Yet demand for the procedure is going up and it is being widely marketed by commercial cosmetic clinics.
Most Asian women first encounter this stereotype when they start having sex with men
So let's put the myth to bed
From perennially perky breasts to smooth, hairless legs, womanhood has been constantly sexualized and subjected to unrealistic standards. However, none have been as harmful, or as unexplored, as the expectation of having a tight vagina. Tight vaginas are prized in almost every society and culture that has roots in patriarchy. And this stereotype appears to heavily affect Asian women in particular.
When your vagina feels very tight, as though nothing could go inside, you may have a condition called vaginismus. In almost all cases, the vulva and vagina are completely healthy. Primary vaginismus, where nothing has ever entered the vagina, not even a tampon, is common among girls who have had a very loving, but sometimes over-protective background. They may have grown up with well-meaning but powerful taboos around sex and find it hard to move past that. You can get help if you have vaginismus. Trainers are plastic tubes that allow women to learn to insert something into their vagina. They should only be used under professional guidance. Women are encouraged to discuss their health needs with a health practitioner. If you have concerns about your health, you should seek advice from your health care provider or if you require urgent care you should go to the nearest Emergency Dept.