It should be a woman’s right and choice to do what she wants with her body, right?

In our society, it is widely accepted that a woman has the right to choose her hair cut and color, her cosmetics and her dress, just as men have a choice to groom their facial hair or choose their tie color and pattern. Similarly, more permanent forms of self-expression, such as body art and piercing, are accepted, and may even be regarded as trendy or desirable in some circles. Even more closely approximating vaginal surgery, cosmetic procedures, including breast augmentation, rhinoplasties, face lifts and botox line reductions, are becoming more customary and perceived as conventional than in past years. If all these body alterations are acceptable, how are labiaplasty, laser vaginal rejuvenation or other designer laser vaginoplasties any different?

THEORETICALLY, if we were to say that labiaplasty and vaginal tightening surgeries were in fact different and therefore, women supposedly do not have the choice to alter their vaginal structures (despite their right to alter other parts of their bodies), doesn’t that sound a lot like days long gone by? This perspective towards women’s rights brings us back decades–to times when women were oppressed and had few rights. To put this in perspective, women’s suffrage was achieved in the U.S. in 1920 and birth control was legalized in 1965 in Supreme Court Case Griswold vs. Connecticut. We find it surprising that many critics of vaginal surgery are in fact in support of women’s rights, supporting pro-choice and other pro-women platforms.

In these modern times, when women have the right to vote, use contraception, and get a nose job, why shouldn’t they have the right to remove a little labial skin (labiaplasty) that causes them significant pain or emotional distress? Or to tighten their vaginal muscles (laser vaginal rejuvenation) to prevent organ prolapse, stress urinary incontinence, or to again experience sexual pleasure during lovemaking with their partner, after having birthed several children? As a society, we must ask ourselves, who are we to judge a woman’s choice to change her labia or her vagina? If you ask us, no one is encouraged to make these judgments about a woman’s choices about her body. The only person truly qualified to make such judgments and choices about what is right for her and her body is the woman to whom that life and body belong.