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Girls as young as nine are seeking vagina surgery

WORRYING: In 2015-16, more than 200 girls under 18 had labiaplasty on the NHS. More than 150 of the girls were under 15

GIRLS AS young as nine are seeking surgery on their genitals because they are distressed by its appearance, according to the Victoria Derbyshire show.

Dr Naomi Crouch – a leading adolescent gynaecologist – said she was concerned GPs were referring rising numbers of young girls who wanted an operation.

Labiaplasty, as the surgery is known, involves the lips of the vagina being shortened or reshaped.

The NHS says it should not be carried out on girls before they turn 18.

In 2015-16, more than 200 girls under 18 had labiaplasty on the NHS. More than 150 of the girls were under 15.

Dr Crouch, who chairs the British Society for Paediatric and Adolescent Gynaecology, said in her work for the NHS she was yet to see a girl who needed the operation.

"Girls will sometimes come out with comments like, 'I just hate it, I just want it removed,' and for a girl to feel that way about any part of her body - especially a part that's intimate - is very upsetting."

NHS England told the show operations should only be carried out for clinical, not cosmetic reasons, however, one GP, Paquita de Zulueta, said some girls were wise to what they needed to say.

‘There is an awareness that they’re more likely to get the operation if they say it’s interfering with sex, with sport, they feel that will tick that box,’ she warned.

‘There isn’t enough education and it should start really quite young, explaining that there is a range and that – just as we all look different in our faces – we all look different down there, and that’s OK.’

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