Why Iranian women undergo aesthetic genital surgeries? A qualitative study

Document Type : Theoretical Article


1 Department of Psychiatry, Roozbeh Hospital, School of Medicine, Tehran University Of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment, University College London (UCL) Institute of Education, London, United Kingdom

3 Abadan University of Medical Sciences, Abadan, Iran.


Purpose: In recent years the prevalence of cosmetic genital surgery in women has increased. This qualitative study has attempted to explore the rationale behind the decision of undergoing aesthetic genital surgeries in a sample of seven married women who had undergone such surgeries in Iran (Tehran).

: Seven in-depth semi-structured narrative interviews were conducted, and the results were analyzed via thematic analysis techniques.

Results: Three main themes emerged, namely, 'individual problems', 'Couple relationships', and 'Physician-Patient Relationships'. Six sub-themes that were commonly repeated were mental health issues, inadequate sexuality education, imbalanced couple dynamics, communication difficulties, simultaneous surgical intervention in the peri-genital region, and imbalanced power relations.

Conclusions: It seems that an interplay of different personal and interpersonal issues, facilitates women's decision-making process and propels women in choosing genital aesthetic surgeries. Thus, women are advised to consult with a psychosexual therapist, a clinical psychologist, or a psychiatrist before making any decision about undergoing cosmetic surgery.


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