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We're so used to stars wearing skimpy outfits on the red carpet and posting extremely revealing selfies online that we barely bat an eyelid any more. But world-renowned gynaecologist and fertility consultant  Dr Ahmed Ismail of the Queens Gynaecology Clinic has warned that seeing so much naked flesh is fuelling a rise in 'genital phobia' among women. Dr Ismail says that naked celebrity pictures lead women to question their own bodies, which he links to the rise in the number of patients he sees who are particularly worried about the appearance of the genital area. This leads them to avoid sex, become promiscuous to seek validation or post their own sexy photos online for reassurance. 'This is called Genital Phobia - a compulsive fear that one’s genitalia is abnormal, either aesthetically, functionally or not sexually pleasing to ones partner and society. 'It can occur at any age and in any ethnicity. However, I have noticed that it is particularly prominent in western cultures, such as the UK and America, where sexualised media is easily accessible. 'Celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and Emily Ratajkowski are notorious for their love of a scantily clad selfie.

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Actress and model Emily Ratajkowski is well known for her love of a scantily clad selfieKim recently caused a stir by posting a fully naked image posing in the bathroom mirror, to show that she could still be a mother and be sexy. Meanwhile, reality star Marnie Simpson recently opened up about how posing naked helps her feel more confident. However, Dr Ismail warns that exposure to these kinds of images is having a negative impact on women. 'The main cause of Genital Phobia is society’s increasing social openness of sex through visual content or discussions and comparisons with friends about one’s sex life and sexual anatomy, ' he explained. 'In the past, all of this information remained private, leaving little room for women to compare their genitalia to that of other females, or to become insecure. 'The more this information became easily available, the more the women start to compare themselves. Vicky Pattison recently flaunted her figure in a topless shot but Dr Ismail says that seeing such images can damage women's confidence in their bodies 'For example, in magazines we see reality stars discussing vajazzles, designer vaginas or falling out of cabs exposing themselves wearing no lingerie. 'Women are subconsciously influenced by the regularity of seeing other women’s vaginas and hearing about their sexual affairs.

'Whereas these women would usually be confident and unaffected by such worries, the media pushes them to the forefronts of their mind and a downward spiral of self-appraisal and worrying about their own genitalia begins. 'The more this content becomes easily accessible, the more it alters the public’s perception of what is normal social behaviour, sexual behavior and what they should physically look like. 'Constantly seeing images of women exposing their bodies, whether they are completely naked, in revealing lingerie, in explicit poses, in bikinis, or naked but ‘artistically’ and strategically covered up and so on, will naturally lead women to make comparisons and question their own body’s desirability. Miley Cyrus in a very revealing leotard at the MTV Music Awards. Constantly seeing famous women in provocative poses and skimpy outfits leads women to question their own desirability  'Many women, for example, are opting for surgical enhancements in a never ending quest to look like their idols. ' Dr Ismail explained that worries will vary from person to person, with some women focusing on wanting bigger breasts while others will consider themselves too fat or thin. However, he warns that when the focus is on worries about the genitalia it can be particularly damaging. 'When it is such a sensitive, personal area such as the vagina, which affects a woman’s confidence, sexual pleasure, sexuality and feelings of attractiveness with her partner, it can become a big problem, ' he said.

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Dr Ismail said that flesh-flashing celebrities put pressure on women by setting the example that daring to bare is a positive thing. 'Women need to realise that less is more, ' he explained. 'This area should be kept personal and private, between herself and her partner. 'Does being naked or undressed all of the time increase your attractiveness? No. So the pressure that these celebrities are placing on women is not only undermining their confidence. Women with genital phobia worry obsessively that their genitalia is abnormal. In some cases, they may fall into a deep, dark depressive state, avoiding any sexual activity, discussion of their genital area or any situations that may draw attention to it (e.

G. Swimming or exercise). Some women will do the complete opposite. For example, in a similar way to performing a survey, they may become increasingly promiscuous in an attempt to seek reassurance that they are sexually pleasing and that their vagina is normal. This behaviour is very dangerous. Not only does it put the woman’s self-esteem at risk but, importantly, her health and future fertility. Other women may feel the need to expose their bodies in ‘sexy’ clothing or to post many photographs of themselves provocatively on social media, eagerly awaiting validation that they are attractive and ‘normal’ through their followers’ positive comments. This may provide a temporary ‘relief’ of their anxiety but the underlying problem will still be there.

'But, interestingly, the celebrities who are posting these images are actually using it as a method to improve their own confidence and seek approval for their bodies. 'Therefore, in many ways, they too may be experiencing genital phobia and by trying to seek reassurance of their attractiveness by posting such photos. 'Without realising it, they are inflicting their own insecurities on their fans and thus Genital Phobia. If it is not stopped soon, it will become a vicious circle with one fuelling the other and so on. He advises anyone who is worried to seek advice from an experienced gynaecologist. 'This will provide you with peace of mind and, if there is a problem, we are in a position to offer you the best advice, ' he said. 'I know that there are times when the vagina might benefit from medical intervention. 'For example, after pregnancy or menopause, it may become looser and, although we do recommend performing pelvic floor exercises during pregnancy to prevent this from happening.

'Sometimes it does and surgical intervention, such as vaginal tightening, may be required to help restore the vagina to its original state. Similarly, if one’s labia is too long and is causing you to experience pain during intercourse from the tugging and tearing of the area, again, your gynaecologist may recommend a treatment such as labiaplasty.

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