Study on female genitalia confirms that diversity is the norm
After examining the vulvas of 657 women of all ages, a team of physicians at a Swiss Hospital have concluded that vaginas come in all shapes and sizes. This affirmation is particularly important given that insecurity over one’s genitals is prevalent in women across the world. For example, a 2016 study that surveyed 443 Australian GPs revealed that 97 percent had cared for a patient who expressed anxiety over whether her genitals were normal. And according to a 2017 report by the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the number of women who surgically altered the size and shape of their vulva increased by 39 percent between 2015 and 2016.
The surge in the number of women undergoing labia reductions has partly been driven by body image pressures and partly by lack of information about what is ‘normal’. As noted by New Scientist, these results may serve as a reference for doctors seeking to reassure concerned female patients. Currently – according to the Australian study mentioned above – a quarter of GPs are not confident in their ability to distinguish normal genital anatomy.