Turkish Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, vol.18, no.2, pp.131-138, 2021 (ESCI)
© 2021, Turkish Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology. All rights reserved.Objective: To evaluate the attitudes of medical students and professionals towards female genital cosmetic procedures (FGCPs) in terms of medical justification, applicability in practical life, ethical concerns, patient autonomy, and the clinical/social/psychological benefits-harms of these procedures. Materials and Methods: A semi-structured questionnaire providing information about the attitudes of medical students and specialists (n=623) towards FGCPs including G-spot amplification, clitoral hood reduction, vaginoplasty, labia majora augmentation/reduction, labia minora augmentation/reduction, hymenoplasty, laser procedures, vulvar/perianal bleaching, and liposculpture, was completed by a target population and evaluated statistically. Results: Participants stated that FGCPs could be performed only upon patient request and there could rarely be a medical indication for their performance (p<0.05). Nearly half (44.5%) of the participants regarded hymenoplasty as controversial in terms of ethical issues, and 44.6% of participants do so for G-spot amplification. Over half (54.5%) of the participants agreed on the positive effect of FGCPs on improving the quality of life, 55.4% on improving self-esteem, and 54.1% on improving sexual functions of women. About half (49.3%) of respondents thought that the advertising and encouragement of FGCPs should be forbidden and 47% were indecisive about whether FGCPs constituted genital mutilation. Conclusion: The majority of the participants declared that FGCPs could be performed only upon patient request and improve self-esteem, quality of life, and sexual functions. The most controversial procedures in terms of ethics were hymenoplasty and G-spot amplification. Detailed guidelines for the protection of both patients and physicians are needed because the recommendations on FGCPs are insufficient to define the boundaries of medical justification, genital mutilation, advertising, and ethical concerns.