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What Is a Clitoral Hood Reduction?

By Rhonda Rivera
Updated: Mar 03, 2024

Clitoral hood reduction, a form of genital modification, is a surgery that reduces the size of a woman’s clitoral hood. The techniques used to achieve this reduction vary by surgeon and the shape and size of the woman’s clitoral hood. Surveys indicate that most women who undergo this surgery experience less discomfort from their clitoral hood and report improved self esteem. Like all surgeries, clitoral hood reduction is not without risks and can end in unfavorable results. A consultation with a surgeon is needed to address price concerns, all potential risks, and how the procedure will be performed exactly.

Where a surgeon makes an incision on the clitoral hood can differ depending on the folds that need removal. Sometimes a cut is made on both sides of the hood to expose the clitoris. Other times, incisions are made parallel to the clitoris to remove excessive skin folds. Patients are usually advised not to have sex for about two months, but they can return to work within one week. During recovery, a woman might also be encouraged to wear support underwear and avoid tampons and douches.

One survey suggested that the vast majority of women who opt to have clitoral hood reduction are pleased with the results. Increased self esteem, less discomfort, and an improved sex life were commonly reported. In some cases, however, women experience a worsened sex life by undergoing clitoral hood reduction. An unfavorable outcome can occur due to minor or major complications, in addition to the normal risks of undergoing the procedure. While many positive results are possible, a potential clitoral hood reduction patient can consult with a surgeon to discuss reasonable expectations of her specific surgery.

The risks of clitoral hood reduction surgery include decreased sensation in and around the clitoris, scarring, and unsatisfactory results that require another surgery. A woman’s clitoris is a sensitive body part with nerves that can be accidentally damaged, leading to a decrease in sensation or a significant and unpleasant increase in sensation. As with most surgeries, there is also a chance of scarring, especially if the incision sites are not taken proper care of post-surgery. In addition, sometimes the surgeon does not perform the surgery to the patient’s satisfaction, such as leaving too much skin or an uneven amount of skin, and another surgery may be required to correct this. A reputable surgeon will go over a patient’s risks before the surgery.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon999585 — On Feb 06, 2018

Exposure of the clitoral glans by circumcision of the clitoris is a life enhancing procedure. It will give rise to easier access to sexual gratification and allow a quicker and more frequent orgasm of the clitoris than when possessing a long foreskin.

The glans will become keretenised and less sensitive in a short time following permanent exposure and looks more aesthetically beautiful with its bud showing.

I know as my wife has been circumcised by an Indonesian midwife and has never regretted it. Neither have I!

By KoiwiGal — On Jul 23, 2011

People should be able to do anything they want to their bodies. I really, firmly believe that. Well, to a point. Obviously, if they have a mental illness or are somehow harming another person, they shouldn't be allowed to go forward.

On the other hand, I think that if you want this kind of surgery you should think very hard about your reasons for it.

I think a lot of women expect surgery to be a massive cure for a lot of problems and wind up realizing what they need to do was work on their inner selves rather than their outer selves.

Vaginal rejuvenation is just one aspect of yourself, after all.

By browncoat — On Jul 23, 2011

@manykitties2 - I don't really like the idea of a clitoral hood reduction, and I don't think it can be put in the same category as a male circumcision.

Although I don't think most people need a male circumcision either, to be honest. The health benefits for people in countries with access to standard health care are slim to none.

But, any kind of vaginal surgery is going to be much more prone to infection, just because of the way it is situated and the friction it will have to endure.

Not to mention, all the nerves are concentrated in a smaller space, making it much easier for a surgeon to slip up.

I think women should be able to do what they want to their bodies, but the idea of people wanting to do this to something that very few people are going to see anyway makes me a bit sad.

By Mae82 — On Jul 22, 2011

@manykitties2 - I think the choice to have something like clitoral hood reduction or a labiaplasty is a very personal decision that needs to be made by each individual. I think there is nothing wrong with women modifying their bodies as long as it is to suit their own tastes and is not just to please men.

I think in the case of things like clitoral hood reduction women are starting to be influenced by the pornography industry where individuals are perfectly put together everywhere. Women are concerned they don't look like what they see on film and hence cosmetic surgery comes along to fix the new problem. This is a trend in our society that seems to keep evolving to greater and greater extremes. But still, whether or not you follow these trends is a personal choice.

By manykitties2 — On Jul 21, 2011

There are so many cosmetic surgeries these days, I was really surprised to learn that no body part is being left untouched when it comes to the pursuit of perfection. A clitoral hood reduction usually comes as part of the package when you are looking into labiaplasty. While this surgery can have beneficial effects for those who which to have greater sensations during intercourse, it is generally performed for aesthetic reasons.

Do you think that genital modification for appearance sake is a good idea? Is a clitoral hood reduction any different in your mind than a circumcision?

I honestly think that with the risks involved in clitoral hood reduction it is lacking the medical benefits that can be had through circumcision, like reduced chances of infection, so it shouldn't be done.

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