Jane, a 32-year-old mother of three sought treatment for urinary incontinence that began after the birth of her children. What she got was an unexpected surprise: better sex.
“My urinary incontinence wasn’t severe,” she says. “But they say in time it can become severe. My surgeon said he could re-tighten my pelvic muscles and inner walls to solve the problem, and he did.”
What Susan didn’t know was that the surgery would add new spark to her lovemaking as well. “My husband and I had great sex before, but now it’s magnificently great,” she explains. “Everything’s so much tighter. I can really feel the difference. It’s like I’m starting all over again.”
Susan is among a growing number of women who are discovering the benefits of surgeries designed to improve sexual function.
After childbirth, the vagina may become stretched, Men get smaller as they age due to less testosterone in their systems, which can affect the size of their erections and their stamina as well. By tightening the vagina, this can enhance pleasure for both the woman and the man.”
With childbirth — and aging — pelvic muscles relax and the internal and external diameters of the vagina increase. Difficult deliveries can cause serious stretches, tears, and rips — and generalized weakening of pelvic supports.
It’s a price that some women must pay for the reproductive burden of bearing children. If the vagina loses its tone and strength, if the pelvic muscles get too loose, even Olympic-caliber regimens of Kegel exercises won’t help much. And sexual pleasure during intercourse may be diminished. In short, a woman won’t feel as much sexually. Neither will her male partner.
Gynecologists have long performed surgeries to repair damage caused by labor or trauma. But now, doctors are adapting their surgical techniques to deliver what many patients want: enhanced sex. The procedure provides a tighter, more resilient vagina, physiologically optimized for lovemaking.
Some women aren’t waiting for bladder leakage or pelvic pain before going in for vaginal tune-ups — they’re doing it because they want better sex. Others are doing it to gain greater self-confidence before dating anew after divorce. Still others want a piece of that elusive fountain of youth and are willing to put themselves under the knife or laser — and pay out of their own pockets — to get it. In this regard, it’s not that different from plastic surgeries like liposuction or breast augmentation.
It’s an outpatient procedure that takes about an hour. Within a couple of weeks of the surgery, women can resume most normal activities; sex is not advised until six weeks have passed.
To many people, the whole concept may seem foreign. In fact, such surgeries have gone on without much fanfare in the Middle East and Asia for many years. But it’s not a topic that many American ob-gyns will broach with their patients. And the scientific literature in this area is sketchy at best.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which represents nearly 39,000 physicians, doesn’t have an official position on female sexual enhancement surgery. Neither does the American Medical Women’s Association, with some 10,000 women physicians of all medical specialties as members. The American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists doesn’t have an official position, either.
If these medical organizations have nothing definitive to say about the surgery, imagine how baffled the average doctor is about it.
This is about quality of life. Viagra and other drugs represent only the beginning of a shift away from treatments exclusively for disease toward those designed to enhance well-being, vitality, and yes, even sex.
These procedures are available to women who want them. You shouldn’t be embarrassed. Sex — and the joy it can bring — is a big part of life.
But, say some sex therapists, the procedure shouldn’t be considered a sexual panacea. They point out that having a reconstructed vagina will not reconstruct faltering relationships.
“The causes of sexual dissatisfaction sometimes can be very complex,” he says, “and it’s very easy to reduce it down to, say, ‘rejuvenate your vagina and you’ll rejuvenate your sex life.’ But that’s too simplistic.