This Woman Turned Her Vulva Into A Necklace After Vagina Surgery

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Blogger Tracy Kiss reveals using her excess skin from lapiaplasty as jewelry is a symbol of overcoming her pain. Tracy Kiss

A woman in the UK decided to turn her pain into body art after undergoing vagina designer surgery to address ongoing pain issues. Tracy Kiss, a lingerie model and blogger in London, took excess skin from her labiaplasty (vulval surgery) to turn her labia into a pendant she now wears as a choker around her neck. The 29-year-old and mother of two uses this fashion accessory as a statement that she's free from a long life of pain.

Kiss had experienced pain during exercise and sex for a long time. "It was something I accepted and believed every woman faced as part of being female," Kiss tells Newsweek, about the pain. "I was unable to ride bicycles or workout in tight clothing so my hobbies and interests suffered. During intercourse I would wince and after I'd be very sore for days," Kiss says.

Related: Why Parents Not Talking to Their Daughters about Vaginas Has Deadly Consequences

In the summer of 2016, Kiss saw her doctor about a burning sensation in her vaginal area. He told her she had an excessively long labia minora, the flaps of skin that form part of the vulva. This shape caused friction that in turn led to inflammation and cysts, he explained. He prescribed antibiotics to reduce the inflammation but told her the cysts could not be prevented.

Indeed, Kiss developed two cysts within a month. After the second one, he advised Kiss to consider surgery "to remove the excess labia and prevent ongoing pain," she says. Labiaplasty would help reduce the size of the labia minora to decrease sensitivity from twisting and tugging.

After the surgery, Kiss decided to keep the piece of excess labia that had been removed. She compares the decision to putting a skinny bikini picture on the fridge door for motivation. "I see my labia as a symbol of overcoming my life long pain," Kiss says. "Making them into a pendant has allowed me to preserve them indefinitely and serves as a reminder and inspiration to treat my health with the utmost respect and never be afraid or embarrassed to seek help from a doctor," she adds.

Kiss decorated her labia using glitter and a crystal resin technique she learned from her daughter. Tracy Kiss

In a YouTube video, the blogger further explains how she took her pain and turned it into art within eight months of surgery. Initially, Kiss kept the excess labia in a jar full of surgical fluid as a sign of triumph, but after it turned from pink to grey, she opted to use glitter and crystal resin (an art technique she learned from her child) to create her necklace.

This isn't the first time Kiss has used glitter and crystal resin to preserve body parts."I also have my old breast implants too. Unfortunately the surgical fluid they were stored in turned them grey so I wanted a long-term option of preservation for which I discovered crystal resin jewelry," she told Metro UK.

Related: For Newborns, 'Vaginal Seeding' Trend Could Grow into a Health Disaster

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Kiss turned her labia into a pendant eight months after surgery. Tracy Kiss

Labiaplasty is increasingly popular in the U.S. More than 12,000 such procedures were performed in 2016, a 39-percent increase from 2015. Susan Kolb, a plastic surgeon in Atlanta, Georgia, says that women requesting the operation range from early teens to women in their 60s. "Reasons are usually symptomatic with discomfort during sex and sports as well as frequent yeast infections," Kolb tells Newsweek. Most of her patients feel more confident after the procedure, she says, because their sex life is improved.

Kiss hopes sharing her story will help inspire others to talk about the issue. "I wanted to raise awareness for the struggle that women with large labia face and to inform them there are options available to live a pain free life," she says. "Much as we check our breasts for lumps and attend smear tests women should be informed of genital health and well-being," Kiss says.