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What are large labias? 

Large labia are larger than average labia.

Labias come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and all are normal.

However, some women have larger than average labia, which may cause pain during sex and discomfort during day-to-day activities, such as riding a bike. If a large labia is having a negative impact on these activities, some women look to labiaplasty to have the size of their labia reduced to a more comfortable size.

What is a labia?

Labia minora are the skin folds situated on either side of the vaginal opening. These ‘lips’ surround and protect the clitoris and the openings of the urethra and vagina.

Labia minora are framed by the labia majora, otherwise known as the outer labia, which are larger and fattier. At the Cadogan Clinic, our surgeons carry out surgery on the labia minora.

This type of surgery is called labiaplasty. It can be carried out using either a general anaesthetic or a local anaesthetic with sedation.

The procedure involves shortening or reshaping the vaginal lips. The unwanted tissue is cut away with a scalpel or possibly a laser, and the loose edge may be stitched up with fine, dissolvable stitches.

The whole procedure takes about one to two hours. All patients are able to go home the same day.

What is the normal size of a labia?

There is no ‘normal’ when it comes to labias. There isn’t a lot of information available about labia minora length, but the results of two studies, carried out in 2005 and 2014, suggested the left or right labia majora is up to 12 centimeters long — or about five inches. However neither of these studies explore the ratio between the labia minora and labia majora, nor fully addresses whether age factors into the average size.

It is common for vulvas to have labia minora which aren’t even, with one side appearing thicker, larger or longer than the other.

What percentage of females have large labia? 

It is believed that up to 50 percent of women may have a large labia. However there is some doubt as to how accurate this figure is as this is a topic that many women do not feel comfortable talking about.

Why is my labia minora larger than my labia majora?

Some women may find their labia minora are larger or stick out more than the labia majora. This is known as labia minora hypertrophy. Enlarged labia majora is referred to labia majora hypertrophy. Both are normal and not considered a medical issue.

There are a number of reasons why a woman may have labia hypertrophy. It could be down to genetics, or an increase in estrogen and other female hormones in puberty may be responsible.

Increased blood flow to the gential area during pregnancy can also increase pressure to the labia minora.

In some cases, labial hypertrophy may occur due to infection or trauma to the area. This has been observed in professional female cyclists.

Is my vagina normal?

Yes! Your vagina is totally normal. Just like facial features, no two vaginas are the same. If any part of your genital area is causing you pain or discomfort, please seek medical advice.

Some women are unhappy with the look or feel of their vagina and vulva. This can have an adverse impact on women’s mental health, leading to depression and anxiety. A woman may feel so concerned or self-conscious about the appearance of her genitals she could avoid certain activities, such as sex or anything which requires swimwear.

If the size, shape or appearance of your vulva or vagina are affecting your mental health, please come and talk to our specialists here at the Cadogan Clinic. We understand it is a difficult subject to talk about and we will treat you with the respect and dignity you deserve.

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