Australian women worry about genital 'abnormality'

A study of almost 800 women revealed that 75 percent did not like their partner looking at their genitals during sex because they feared their body parts would be a turn-off, The Age reported Sunday on its website.

Forty-seven percent were so concerned by their appearance that they were considering having some form of vaginal "rejuvenation" surgery, such as a labioplasty operation.

The study of women aged between 18 and 80 revealed that high levels of anxiety about their genital image made it difficult for many to relax in the bedroom.

Half of the group, which had a mean age of 34, worried that their partner would find the look or odour of their genitals "repulsive", while one in four feared the size or appearance of parts of their vulval region were unattractive or inadequate.

The study, an Australian first, forms part of that by Geelong-based psychologist and clinical sexologist Frances D'Arcy-Tehan, who is completing her doctorate through the University of Sydney.

She said negative genital image was having a critical psychological impact on women's health, with many she spoke to reporting that their "pink bits" did not look like those on the internet, or that they could not receive oral sex because their vagina did not look "normal".

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