Like a Disney princess living her dream, Lucy is doing life with her prince - a man she met in her early 20s.
The couple was blessed with three beautiful children in quick succession but with these bundles of joy, Lucy suddenly started having low self esteem and this affected the relationship, in the bedroom especially.
After months of soul searching and intense online research, Lucy came across vaginoplasty - a surgical procedure to tighten vaginal muscles to improve the appearance and size of the vaginal opening.
Had you asked Lucy whether this is something she would have considered in her teenage years she would have said, ‘Heck no!’ But here we are in 2018 – almost two decades later – and her opinion has changed.
“We evolve with time. You grow up. You meet new people. You get enlightened. And you get to see life not just from your perspective but from the eyes of others as well,” she says.
In reality though what actually happened with Lucy was that she met a charming young man and they fell in love.
They married when she was 27 and they had three children in quick succession.
“It was our plan to have children every two years so that we can raise them together,” she says.
Motherhood, she says, is beautiful but it has downsides to it; one of which is the physical trauma that birth puts on the birth canal.
After three children, Lucy didn’t like the change her body went through and especially down there.
This affected her self-esteem. She says: “Sex stopped feeling as good as it did before kids came. I know my husband well and I knew he too could feel a lot had changed but he insisted he was fine with my new me.”
Beyond inadequate sexual experience Lucy no longer felt confident being naked before her husband. She feared that he would lose interest.
Lack of confidence, observes Dr Joackim Osur, a sexologist, leads to a less fulfilling sexual encounter.
“It is important that one is confident about their body if they are going to enjoy those moments with their partners,” Dr Osur said in an earlier interview.
It is therefore possible that Lucy’s insecurities could have had the better of her and locked her out of a fulfilling sexual experience.
Couldn’t she just convince her inner person that she is fine and she need not worry?
“I already had a mental picture of how I looked and how it felt. You cannot just erase the feeling,” she says.
This is how Lucy eventually ended at Dr Francis Were’s surgical table.
Dr Were, a cosmetic obstetrician and gynaecologist, says the process of birth – the foetus descending into the pelvis and out through the vagina – carries with it significant trauma to the organs involved.
“The amount and type of trauma is dependent on the size of the baby being born as well as the kind of pelvis a woman has,” he says.
Big babies, Dr Were says, cause more damage: some as bad as actual tearing. Big babies also cause vaginal muscles to loosen and hence increase in size.
For the average woman, a normal baby should weigh between 2.5kgs and 3.5kgs, Dr Were says. The World Health Organisation (WHO) classifies oversized babies as those weighing 4.5kgs at birth.
“In reality though even 4.0kg is a big baby and the mother is likely to find difficulty giving birth,” Dr Were says.
Majority of his patients are of African heritage. There are two possible reasons for this. One, Kenya is a majority coloured-skin country.
Second, women of African heritage, Dr Were notes tend to have android (man like) pelvises. In spite of having wide hips and being well endowed below the waist, African women tend to have pelvises that aren’t wide.
“Caucasian women (even though they may not be hippy) tend to have gynaecoid pelvises. This means they have an easier time giving birth with lower chances of trauma,” he says.
There are higher chances for tearing and damage to muscles for an African expectant mother.
On average, he operates on three or four patients every month. Vaginoplasty (also referred to as perinoplasty) is by far the most popular procedure women ask for when they visit Dr Were.
The procedure is done “to tighten the vagina, to give the perineum a better outlook, and to increase sexual pleasure,” Dr Were says.
It is the same procedure that Lucy underwent. And the results, she says, have been fantastic.
The desired size of the vagina for a non-pregnant woman should be 4cm in diameter, Dr Were says. Lucy’s was 6cm.
Vaginoplasty, the medic notes, is also done for women who suffer from gas leakage.
The other prominent procedures Dr Were renders to his clients are G-spot enhancement and labiaplasty.
G-spot enhancement, Dr Were says, is best for women whose G-spot has receded.“G-spot enhancement is done by injecting either fillers (medically prepared injections) or plasma (containing stem cells) into the G-spot to give it a little more volume,” he says.
Labiaplasty, unlike vaginoplasty, is not done to mitigate trauma. “It is a purely cosmetic procedure based on a woman’s own preferences,” Dr Were says.
The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Evewoman.co.ke