Dating

By Heather Luciano

It is common knowledge that if you don’t like your body image, you can change it. Want to go brunette? There are hair dyes in every shade known to mankind. Irregular skin? Just stop by your nearest Sephora. For butts, busts and waistlines, there is a myriad of options ranging from state-of-the-art gym equipment to surgery. Yes, it seems like there is an easy answer to almost everything. But what about the woman who loathes the look of her genital area? Until recently, there was little she could do but turn the lights low. Beauty News did some research into the matter and found a very interesting solution – her name is Dr. Karen Boyle. Director of reproductive medicine and surgery, sexuality and aesthetics at Chesapeake Urology Associates, Dr. Boyle spoke with us about the latest trends in genital aesthetics. These procedures not only give patients the bodies they want, but the self-esteem and empowerment they seek to live sexually fulfilling lives. Here are some revealing highlights from my interview with her.

What procedures do you offer at your practice?

For women: labiaplasty/labia minor reduction, labia majora remodeling and fat transfer, vaginal rejuvenation, laser vaginal rejuvenation, designer laser vaginoplasty, clitoral hood reduction, pubic liposuction/liposculpture and lift hymenoplasty. And, for men: pubic liposuction/liposculpture and lift, penis and scrotum reconstruction, correction of penoscrotal web, correction of penile congenital curvature, correction of Peyronie’s Disease and testicular implants/prosthesis.

That sounds like a lot. How do your procedures address form and function?

For women, aesthetic concerns of the vagina affect body image, comfort and the level of sexual pleasure. Take for instance a woman with enlarged labia minora – remodeling and reshaping the labia to a more desirable shape improves how she looks, feels and experiences sex. For men, these procedures can improve perceived penile length and sexual function.

Who makes up your clientele base?

There are patients who are very self-conscious of their genitalia, who are uncomfortable naked and don’t enjoy sex much because of it. They seek out our procedures so they can feel more confident, more attractive and discover a renewed interest in sex. I believe that if you can positively influence the most intimate of experiences for an individual, it generates an optimism that in turn carries over into all other aspects of life.

Do these surgeries address sexual dysfunction?

These procedures are NOT meant for women with sexual dysfunctions – they are for women who would have otherwise normal function, but seek improved sexual gratification. Sexual dysfunction, for men and women, can be an indicator of overall health issues like diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, tobacco use, hormonal problems and obesity. For men who can no longer achieve an erection suitable for penetration, however, we do offer a penile implant. This is a solution that works after penile injection therapy and oral medications have failed.

When did sexual cosmetic surgery become so popular? Why are we just hearing about it?

The interesting thing about genital cosmetic surgery is that we have always performed these procedures but the media and public are just catching up. The increased attention has sparked interest among people who never knew about it before. Of course, surgeries that address male sexual function are more mainstream and generally don’t receive critical commentary. Male sexual health is everywhere now – who would ever have thought that a medication for erections would sponsor the Super Bowl? Unfortunately, our female patients have had a vastly different experience. General practitioners and even OB/GYNs simply don’t ask about sex, sexual pleasure, genital perception, and concern. There is a double standard there, but I am proud to be one of the surgeons who care enough about female sexual function to help the thousands of women who want to enhance their sexual appearance and gratification.

In addition to genital aesthetic surgery, Dr. Boyle also treats sexual dysfunction and male infertility, as well as works closely with female fertility experts. For more information about Dr. Boyle and the genital aesthetic procedures she offers, please visit http://www.drkarenboyle.com.

Originally published March 2009
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