Disclaimer: My intent is not to offend any women out there who may desire vaginal cosmetic surgery. My main reason for sharing the details of my encounter is so people can see how important it is to question the motives behind why Dr.'s make the recommendations they do.
After a lot of research and reflection, I decided I wanted to go with the IUD as a form of birth control. My regular OB wouldn't process the device through my insurance due to past issues with getting paid so I made an appointment with the back up OB from my home birth.
I had the follow up visit to check the placement of the IUD yesterday morning. The office was pretty packed, and it took a while for them to call me in. When it was finally my turn he examined me, and confirmed the IUD was positioned in the right place. He asked if we were done having kids. I told him we weren't sure. After I sat up, he started on about how he saw a couple of relaxed areas on my vaginal wall. He went on about how he could fix it with a simple procedure that would make me like an 18 year old. He said that it would be best to wait until after we are done having kids, but that he could do a c-section if we got pregnant after having the work done. His explanation verbatim, "So that all the work down there doesn't get ruined". I was disgusted and shocked at how casually he mentioned it all. .
As I sat there scanning the room filled with his advertisements for vaginal rejuvenation, I was reminded of the IUD consult appointment with him the prior month. He had fit me in the following day to insert the IUD because one of his GYN patients wanted to come in for a consult for his cosmetic services. Could he have pulled the same spiel on her?
While driving home, my head was spinning with thoughts on the matter. Even though I was skeptical, I couldn't help but feel a bit insecure about the whole thing. I thought back to my two previous birth experiences. Nothing had happened out of the ordinary with either. Both were normal deliveries with only superficial tearing. While I am sure the nature of things down there have changed, the thought of altering my vagina has honestly never crossed my mind!
After a bit of sorting through the chaos in my brain, it was obvious that this man had used his position as an OB to sell me on his other services. There is nothing wrong with my body. The only thing wrong was how he planted that seed of inadequacy in my mind. I wonder how many other women he has done this to...how many Dr.'s nationwide are doing the same thing to their patients! Then I became sad...sad because this is yet one more area where women are being convinced by society that our bodies are inadequate without surgery.
This goes to show that the nature of health care is changing. It is unfortunate that the well being of the patient is no longer the focus. It disgusts me that our doubts and insecurities are being cashed in on all in the name of convenience and money. Next time a medical professional uses their expert status to recommend a course of action that is not medically necessary that they stand to benefit from, stop and ask yourself what the motivation might be.
Can you think of any other areas of medicine where this happens?