Debbie wanted photo-features to help her publish her intimate surgery to inspire other women who’s sex life has suffered after child birth. Debbie had designer vagina surgery on the TV show “Embarrassing bodies”.
We then helped sell her story to Pick Me Up magazine as well as the Daily Mirror. Read Debbie’s full story below:
It’s one of the fastest rising cosmetic surgeries, here Debbie Hooker explains how her designer vagina saved her sex life after she gave birth to a giant baby.
Tears streaming down her face, Debra Hooker gently pushed her husband away and shook her head.
Hurt and confused Dan rolled over and went to sleep, while Debra crept into the bathroom and wept. It had been nine months since the once passionate couple had made love. Since having their son, retail merchandiser Debra, 45, had refused sex. It was nothing to do with having a newborn to care for, Debra was simply too ashamed of her vagina. But now after so-called designer vagina surgery, Debra’s marriage has been given a new lease of life. And she’s not the only one to benefit. Statistics show that vaginal surgery is fast becoming one of the most requested surgical procedures. And according to Debra it wasn’t only her sex life that was given a boost. “It’s absolutely the best thing I’ve ever done” she says. “I was ashamed and embarrassed of the way I looked downstairs after having a baby, but it wasn’t just about appearance. There are physical health implications if your vagina becomes stretched and misshapen.” “Now, my sex life and marriage is great and I can exercise without discomfort down there I have lost almost four stone.” Designer vagina procedures fall into two categories, labiaplasty which involves shortening the length of protruding inner labia and vaginoplasty to tighten the wall of the vagina. NHS figures released in 2009 show a 70 per cent increase in the number of women having labiaplasty on the NHS on the previous year. There were 1118 operations in 2008 compared with 669 in 2007 and 404 in 2006. Figures released to Your Life from Transform, a leading cosmetic surgery provider, show a similar trend in rising vaginal surgery. They’ve already performed 15 operations this year and predict to complete 90 over the 12 month period, that’s a 58 per cent increase on 2010 when they performed 57 vaginal ops. Dr Lawrence Mascarenhaus is a consultant gynecologist for the NHS and private sector. He carries out on average 12 of these operations a month. ‘Labiaplasty is more of a cosmetic procedure about improving symmetry for an improved aesthetic appearance while vaginapolasty is to rectify the problems which may arise from having the vagina wall stretched for example during a difficult childbirth.’ He believes women are putting themselves at unnecessary risk to create the perfect vagina and should only have a labiaplasty if they are suffering complications. “It’s the same as women seeing pictures of celebrities’ breasts and bottoms and wanting to achieve the same perfection thought surgery, they are now extending this to their vaginas. “But with all surgery comes a risk which shouldn’t be taken lightly. There’s little room for error with a procedure like this because of you go too short you can cut of blood supply to the clitoris meaning loss of sexual sensation, permanently. Some have even gone as far as comparing the procedure to genital mutilation as seem in some third world countries. ‘I wouldn’t go that far but I would strongly urge that women do not go ahead purely on aesthetic grounds. A recent study at Kings College London saw experts link the growing demand in labiplasty to an increase in availability of pornographic images on line. It suggested women were trying to emulate the look of actresses and models seen in intimate pictures. ‘Dr Mascarenhaus said: ‘ That does make sense to me yes. Women compare themselves as they do with any other media image, but if someone came to me with a picture of a vagina they would like to create I would refer them to a psychologist. The images may be unrealistic, even digitally enhanced.’ Debra is horrified by the supposed link between pornography and operations like hers. She believes the rise in demand is simply a case of women being made aware that help is available. “I think it’s hugely insulting to women like me. I wanted to look and feel like a normal women, how I used to feel. I didn’t want to look like a porn star, I wanted to be able to walk and have sex without experiencing pain and discomfort. ‘These experts are doing a huge injustice to women like me who suffer with what is already a hugely embarrassing problem without them making it worse.’ It took Debra months to pluck up the courage to admit to husband Dan, 38, what was wrong. ‘Before Samuel was born we couldn’t keep our hands off each other, so of course he didn’t understand what he’d done wrong when I started turning him down,’ she says. She’d had no problems after Georgina, now 17 by a previous partner, was born, but after delivering Samuel, now five, everything changed. ‘He was a very big baby at 10lbs 4oz and it wasn’t an easy birth,’ she grimaces. Weeks after the birth Debra felt ready to make love, but the couple’s attempts ended miserably. ‘To put it bluntly, despite being very well endowed, my husband couldn’t stay inside because I had completely lost my shape downstairs,’ Debra explains. She was also suffering stress incontinence and this was further complicated by changes to her labia, which had been stitched after the delivery. ‘Skinny jeans were uncomfortable and sometimes even just walking caused friction because of the way I had been repaired so my problems downstairs were starting to affect every aspect of my life. I was getting very depressed.’ Eventually with Danny’s support Debra went to her GP who diagnosed a uterine prolapse, meaning her bowel could be felt behind the damaged vagina walls. She was offered a hysterectomy but refused. ‘I got more depressed. We grew apart and I accused Danny of fancying other women simply because I felt so bad about myself.’ In November 2008 Debra was researching vaginal surgery when she saw an advert for the TV programme Embarrassing Bodies. She contacted them and met with a surgeon who agreed she would benefit from both vaginaplasty and labiaplasty. ‘Dan was shocked but we couldn’t afford to have the operations privately and by that stage I didn’t care who saw me as long as I got my confidence and sex life back.’ During the ninety-minute operation at Transform in North London surgeons repositioned her womb and strengthened the vaginal wall by cutting away the stretched tissue and neatening her labia. Debra was told to abstain for six week while she recovered. ‘I was tender but could see things looked a lot neater. I felt tighter and more in place so I marked the date on my calendar and started counting down.’ ‘Dan I both agreed it was fantastic and well worth the wait,’ she smiled. After the operation was aired on TV Debra says she was stunned by the response she got from other women. ‘I was in a charity shop and the woman behind the counter recognised me and came out and hugged me. She thanked me for talking about it because women like her had had to suffer in silence for years. ‘If more women are having the operation it’s because we’re finally able to talk about problems like this and the media has made us aware there is at last an answer, not because of pornography.’ Another patient who asked not to be named underwent a labiaplasty abroad last year. ‘I was always unhappy with how I looked down there but after having children it got a lot worse and I would even get infections caused by the chaffing. ‘I was referred by my GP for vaginoplasty because my sex life had been destroyed by childbirth and I asked if my labia could be done at the same time. ‘I would disagree that labiaplasty is cosmetic because for me it has eased a great deal of suffering, the fact it looks nicer is a happy bonus.’ But Dr said patients like these are in the minority. It’s only extreme and rare cases that labia cause a medical problem and this is usually after childbirth where the mother has been badly sutured. For these patients the benefit outweigh the risks, but not for those simply looking to create a perfect looking vagina. ‘Many women requesting this operation are young and have not had children yet.’ Though Dr Mascarenhaus said the procedure was unlikely to complicate childbirth, he urged young women considering the op to consider the ‘perfect vagina’s they have seen may not be real. ‘There may be digital imagery involved and that is going to lead to disappointment to for patient because the ideal they are seeking is not achievable.’ GPs have reported girls as young as 13 complaining that their vagina’s don’t look normal. ‘The first thing I say to women is that there is no normal,’ says surgery advisor Linda Briggs. She has also seen a massive surge in the request for designer vaginas. ‘Most of our patients are having vaginoplasty with labiplasty at the same time because they’ve been damaged during childbirth. ‘I get a lot of requests for young girls and it’s alarming because it’s just another part of their body they have to worry about. ‘If our surgeons don’t think there is a genuine problem, they won’t operate and instead we suggest the patient see a GP for counseling. After actress Lisa Rogers presented documentary The Perfect Vaginia, she said: ‘ It’s consumer society’s use of the perfect image to sell us everything. If you’re boobs are perky and big you’ll be happy, if you’re hair is long and blonde you’ll be cool. If you’re vulva is small and pink you’ll be attractive. It’s the ultimate sales pitch.’ For more information about Debra’s surgery please visit http://www.transforminglives.co.uk