Women are all born and develop differently. This is true for body size, breast size, foot size etc as well as vagina lips (labia) size. Some are bigger and some are smaller. Here we’ll look at what can be done to ‘correct’ larger vagina lips.
Women with bigger labia sometimes ask what can be done about this for one (or both) of these two reasons:
- The labia chafe against underwear and are uncomfortable. Some women experience sores on the labia from this chaffing. Sitting and walking become difficult.
- In the past we didn’t know what each other’s labia looked like – it’s not often brought up in general conversation! But with porn films and magazines being more graphic and more widely available, women may feel that their vagina lips ‘should’ look small.
If you’re a woman in this second group and are sexually embarrassed by having big vagina lips, it’s worth remembering that, just as some men/women prefer their partner to have large or small breasts, some prefer larger labia.
What is the treatment for large vagina lips?
You can see from the picture here that the vagina is protected by 2 sets of labia (the word means ‘lips’). The labia majora are the outer lips and the labia minora are the inner lips. For some women the inner vagina lips are bigger or longer than the outer ones and they protrude somewhat.
A cosmetic surgery procedure called labiaplasty (say ‘lay-bee-ah-plas-tee’) or labia reduction surgery can correct inner vagina lips that are big.
It’s a procedure that’s done in hospital under a general anaesthetic. In most cases you will able to go home on the same day.
The surgery is done in one of 2 ways:
1. The surgeon may take a ‘V’ shaped notch out of the centre section of each of the labia minora and sew the 2 edges of the V back together. This removes a lot of the bulk of the tissue and gives a neat result.
2. Otherwise the surgeon may trim the outer edges of the labia to reduce their size.
Each surgeon has his or her own preference.
It’s important to find a good and experienced surgeon and to ask the right questions. Read this article on finding a good cosmetic surgeon before you go any further with this process.
What’s the outcome for labiaplasty?
Most women having labiaplasty feel happy with the result and more comfortable and confident.
A sympathetic surgeon will discuss your expectations and tell you whether they are realistic and what is achievable.
You will need to wait 2-4 weeks for the healing process to be completed before having sex, doing vigorous exercise and for the swelling to go down completely so that you can see the end result.
You will have some swelling in the area for a few weeks. You will also have some pain after the operation but this is usually dealt with by routine painkillers.
You will be able to wash (carefully and with unscented soaps), pass urine etc normally after the operation.
There is no reason that women who have had labiaplasty shouldn’t have children.
What are the possible complications for this surgery?
Your surgeon will discuss the risks of surgery with you in detail at your consultations and before you sign your consent form for your operation. These include:
- Blood clots in the lungs or legs
- Reactions to the anaesthesia
- Need for a second procedure.
If you’re worried about your symptoms or medical problem but don’t want to seek professional help because you feel embarrassed, silly or that it’s your fault in some way, read this page now: How to talk to a doctor about an embarrassing problem.