Internet porn is to blame for surge in women wanting 'Barbie vaginas' that resemble those of pre-pubescent teenagers but are risking their health
In 2015, nearly 100,000 labiaplasties across the world were conducted
The trimming back of the inner 'lips' helps to provide a more youthful image
And a further 50,000 had vaginal rejuvenation - the tightening of the canal
But both procedures can cause heavy bleeding, infections and scarring
By Stephen Matthews For Mailonline
PUBLISHED: 09:01 GMT, 27 January 2017 | UPDATED: 10:40 GMT, 27 January 2017
Increasing numbers of women are going under the knife to have a 'Barbie vagina' as a result of watching internet porn, experts claim.
Becoming accustomed to what looks 'normal' as a result of the abundance of x-rated images online, many are seeking an unachievable look.
In 2015, nearly 100,000 across the world underwent a labiaplasty, which involves trimming back the inner 'lips' to give them the look of a pre-pubescent teenager.
And a further 50,000 had vaginal rejuvenation - the tightening of the canal, figures from the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS) showed.
But both procedures to give women a designer vagina come with health risks, including bleeding, infections and scarring.
Nolan Karp, a plastic surgeon based in New York, said: 'Women have become much more concerned about the appearance of their genitalia.
'How many nude women, before the internet, would a woman see in her lifetime? Not many, you know, very carefully looking at... genitals.'
But people today 'understand what is pretty, what is normal, what looks good, what doesn't look good', he said.
Much of what men and women see, however, does not in any way resemble the variety of shapes and sizes in which the female genitalia exist.
Dorothy Shaw, former head of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC), said the increasing popularity of the procedures are 'concerning'.
She said: 'They have no hair and they're very flat, so you just see sort of a slit.'
A study published in 2005, found 'far greater diversity' in genital shape and size than had ever been documented in scientific literature.
In the 50 women studied, labia minora length varied from two to 10cm and width from 0.7 to 5cm.
Given the variety, the authors said it was surprising surgeons feel confident that surgery has the potential to achieve a 'normal' female genital appearance.
Yet, the fad has taken root like many others before it, despite there being little evidence of it helping to improve sexual satisfaction or self image.
While women can suffer real discomfort from protruding inner labia chafing, many use it as an excuse, they said.
Nicolas Berreni, a gynaecologist based in France, said: 'We know that in about 40 per cent cases when women ask for a nymphoplasty to relieve pain... they lie.
'What they really want is the "Barbie" look. On Barbie, you don't see the inner labia.'
But there are health risks to trying to have a designer vagina, according to Dr Shaw.
She said: 'Any time you cut off a piece of tissue, there's a chance of bleeding, of infection and then subsequently of scarring.
'When you get scarring... you have a risk of catching nerve endings in that scar tissue which will then cause pain or discomfort going forward.'
And she expressed particular concern about teenagers having a labiaplasty before their physical development is complete.
The inner lips in normal development become much more in adolescence as the outer lips grow.
Dr Shaw added: 'We need a way to help particularly young women understand that their bodies are still developing, they may not look like that in a few years, and that they may be harming themselves in a way that could be permanent.'
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