health

'Don't ever do this': The controversial ‘vagina scraping’ procedure doctors are warning against.

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The term ‘vaginal scraping’ is enough to make most of us mentally cradle our nether regions — and that’s before we even discover what it means.

The controversial procedure has started popping up all over our newsfeeds ever since Spice Girl Mel B told the Guardian she’d underwent the  procedure.

She revealed that she got the inside of her vagina “scraped” to get rid of all traces of her ex-husband, Stephen Belafonte.

“They scraped the inside of my vagina and put new tissue in,” she told the Guardian. “It’s almost like a rape victim would do — essentially, you want to scrub yourself clean.”

Mel B went public with allegations of sustained domestic and emotional abuse after her decade-long marriage to Stephen Belafonte ended in 2017.

mel b husband
Mel B with her ex-husband, Stephen Belafonte.

She spoke about vagina scraping once again when appearing as a guest on Jessie Ware's podcast Table Manners:

"I went to Dr Matlock [the Beverly Hills doctor who performed the procedure] and I said, ‘I don’t want to feel like the last person that was inside my vagina was this monster’. He examined me, he said ‘legally there’s nothing I can do about that because you don’t need anything done’. I said could he just go in there and get everything out, but then pack it with fresh tissue.”

She later explained that most women undergo the procedure, known as vaginal rejuvenation, "because they want to be made smaller," but she wanted to be "clean and new inside".

However, doctors are warning women not to get the laser procedure, which claims to reshape, tighten or 'renew' the vagina.

Gynaecologist and obstetrician Dr. Joseph Sgroi told Mamamia there's absolutely no need to get this treatment as your vagina replenishes itself, so to speak:

"The logic behind this treatment is completely flawed," explains Dr. Joe. "Cells in the lining of the vagina will replenish on their own - and in a very short space of time. It's completely unnecessary.

“Mel B had this procedure done under the guise of what was clearly a very traumatic experience. It’s troubling this doctor carried out the procedure as psychological trauma could have led her to seek out what’s  essentially a cosmetic treatment to provide comfort. But those demons could still be there.”

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According to Dr. Joe, vaginal rejuvenation is not only unnecessary, but it can also cause harm.

"The procedure claims to help the thinning of the vaginal tissue after menopause and improve sensation, helping with dryness and pain. But studies have shown laser vaginal rejuvenation can actually do more harm than good and can cause scarring, recurring pain and pain during intercourse. No gynaecological society in the world would recommend this treatment.

"Think about the skin on your lips. Would you laser a layer of skin from your lips to renew cells? The skin is very sensitive."

Incidentally, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a health warning against laser vaginal rejuvenation last July.

Side note: We also spoke to Dr. Joe about what happens to your vagina post-birth. Post continues after audio.

Gynaecologist Dr. Jen Gunter also spoke out about so-called vagina scraping:

Dr. Gunter told Refinery29: "Women, should never, ever have their vagina scraped. Women should also not be offered untested procedures that seem to have no medical value. Any scraping of the vaginal epithelium [tissue] could affect the vaginal ecosystem and theoretically could spread HPV locally and would increase a women’s vulnerability to infection."

"Douching damages the vagina so this sounds much worse,” Dr Gunter continued. “Your vaginal epithelium completely regenerates itself every 96 hours. The surface cells are shed every four hours. If you want to remove physical residue of some horrible man’s penis, your vagina has you covered."

Vaginal scraping seems to be the latest in a long list of things we shouldn’t be doing to our vaginas. We’ll add it to steaming, douching, and vajazzling. As a rule, we should just leave our vaginas alone.

The fact ‘scraping’ was administered in this instance because of a psychological reason is all the more problematic, as well as medically unsound.

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