Girls as young as 9 years old are reportedly requesting cosmetic surgery for their vaginas (video below).
Dr. Naomi Crouch, a pediatric and adolescent gynecologist in the U.K., recently told BBC News that family doctors are referring children for a labiaplasty.
A labiaplasty involves reshaping and sometimes shortening the lips of the vagina.
"Girls will sometimes come out with comments like, 'I just hate it. I just want it removed. I just want it treated,'" Crouch said. "For a girl to feel that way about any part of her body, let alone a part that is intimate, is really upsetting."
One girl explained how she wanted the procedure based on other people who educate themselves by viewing porn:
I guess I just picked up from somewhere that it wasn't neat enough or tidy enough. And I think I wanted it to be smaller... Sometimes people around me were watching porn and stuff, and I just had this idea that it should be symmetrical, and like not sticking out.
Dr. Paquita de Zulueta, a family physician, explained that some girls lack basic knowledge about their own anatomy:
I remember the girl pointing at her genitalia and her nose sort of wrinkling in disgust and saying, "What's this?" As if there really doesn't seem to be a knowledge now of what one should look like.
The NIH, the U.K. government health care system, says this type of cosmetic surgery should not be performed on girls under the age of 18 years old. Family doctors are not allowed to refer the kids for cosmetic reasons, but can refer them for pain or discomfort.
Between 2015 and 2016, over 200 girls under the age of 18 had this type of surgery; more than 150 were under 15 years old.
Crouch said that she had never seen a girl under 15 who had a legitimate need for the surgery:
I find it very hard to believe that there are 156 girls under the age of 15 who had a medical abnormality with the labia that meant they needed to have surgery. I think that’s extraordinary. As a pediatric and adolescent gynecologist, I have never seen a girl under the age of 15 who has needed an operation on her labia.
In more U.K. health news, President Donald Trump offered to help a British baby, Charlie Gard, born with a rare genetic fatal condition -- mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome -- on July 3, reports Politico.
Doctors have said that Charlie has no chance of survival and U.K. courts have ruled the dying infant should not receive life support, but his parents want him to undergo an experimental treatment in the U.S.
Trump tweeted about the baby: "If we can help little #CharlieGard, as per our friends in the U.K. and the Pope, we would be delighted to do so."
While some are praising Trump on Twitter, others have noted that the Republican health care plan that Trump supports would cut medical treatments for Americans.
Helen Ferre, director of White House media affairs, clarified Trump's tweet:
Although the President himself has not spoken to the family, he does not want to pressure them in any way, members of the administration have spoken to the family in calls facilitated by the British government. The President is just trying to be helpful if at all possible.