Are teenage girls really getting ‘designer vaginas’ on the NHS?

The University College Hospital in London has published details of a research project in the British Medical Journal which highlights an unexpectedly high number of cases of labiaplasty on girls as young as 14 and below.

They reveal that there have been 343 cases performed under the NHS in the last 6 years. The research, led by Dr Sarah Creighton, was reported in The Daily Mail, ostensibly to uncover the worrying number of girls who have been given access to surgery on their genitals for cosmetic reasons.

Dr Creighton labelled the findings ‘disturbing’ and called for an age limit for such surgery to be put in place, with some members of the public reacting to the story by comparing it to female castration that can occur in other parts of the world.

What the research didn’’t reveal however is the reasons behind the surgery. Although it initially seems beyond comprehension as to why a young girl would need vaginal surgery, it is highly plausible that the surgeries would have been performed out of necessity.

The NHS is only required to document the number of operations and the dates, and not why the surgeries were needed, therefore there is no way of knowing if they were for cosmetic reasons or not.

Dr Creighton uses this to presuppose that it could be for cosmetic reasons, whereas there’’s no actual evidence that this is the case at all. She highlights the growing popularity of the surgery in general and uses that as the basis for her assumptions, knowing that the NHS do sometimes perform cosmetic surgeries if there is enough physical or psychological reason for it.

In response to the published research the NHS responded with: “”There is no such thing as a ‘designer vagina’ on the NHS.””

Approximately 2000 cases of labiaplasty are performed under the NHS each year. The private sector has seen an increase in this type of surgery, with many commentators putting it down to the increased availability of porn, as well as more revealing grooming trends which make the vagina more visible.

Aurora Clinics are an expert group of cosmetic surgeons offering a wide range of procedures for both the face and body. For expert, confidential advice on any of the treatments we offer, contact us on 01324 578290 or email

Categories:  Body