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What is a Labia?

The Labia are skin folds located around the vaginal opening. The outer fleshier folds are called Labia Majora (outer lips) and the inner, more delicate folds, are called Labia Minora (inner lips).

The primary role of the Labia Majora is to protect the internal structures within the vulva, including the clitoris and vaginal and urethral openings. 

The Labia Minora are located within the Labia Majora and are highly vascular and have numerous nerve endings, making them sensitive to stimulation. Labia Minora also plays a significant role in sexual arousal. 

Both sets of Labia are essential for the overall health and functioning of the reproductive system. They also protect you against infections by limiting the entry of bacteria into the genitalia.

Variations in the Labia are normal; they can be small, large, smooth or wrinkled. However, if you have Large Labia, you may experience pain during sexual intercourse or discomfort during activities like riding a bike. 

A cosmetic surgical process called Labiaplasty can reshape or resize Large Labia and alleviate discomfort. It can be carried out using either a general or local anaesthetic.

The procedure involves shortening or reshaping the Labia. The unwanted tissue is cut away with a scalpel or occasionally 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 can go home on the same day.


What Are Large Labia?

Large Labia is a variation in the size of Labia Majora or Labia Minora where the labial tissue is more pronounced or elongated than what is considered medically typical. 

What is considered “large” in the context of the Labia is very subjective. The median length of Labia Majora is 75-80 mm and the Labia Minora’s median length is 30-50 mm. If your Labia's length falls outside this range, you may have a larger-than-average Labia.

Typically, as the Labia Minora lies within the Labia Majora it is not visible from the outside. In some people with long Labia, the inner lips might extend beyond the outer lips, leading to aesthetic and physical concerns.

The term “Large Labia” is relative and does not imply any abnormality. Variation in the size and shape of the Labia is common, and you won’t require any intervention unless it causes you pain, discomfort, or emotional distress.


Why Can Large Labia Be a Problem?

Large Labia present specific challenges for some women, impacting their physical comfort, sexual health, psychological well-being and quality of life. 

If you experience any of these issues, you may consider Labiaplasty. Consulting with a qualified and experienced cosmetic surgeon will help you make an informed decision. 

At Cadogan Clinic, our surgeons offer you professional advice tailored to your overall health, expectations, and reasons for seeking surgery.

Physical discomfort

Activities such as cycling, running, or even walking can be uncomfortable for women with Large Labia due to the increased friction against clothing. Your Labia Minora has numerous nerve endings that are sensitive to this friction which can cause discomfort. Tighter garments can add to the discomfort and cause pain, chafing, and infections.

Hygiene challenges

Larger Labia trap more moisture than smaller Labia, increasing your risk of infections like yeast and bacterial vaginosis. These conditions are uncomfortable and can lead to more serious health complications if left untreated.

If you have larger Labia, maintaining hygiene to prevent these problems becomes more demanding. You might need to take extra precautions to prevent moisture and bacterial buildup within the labial folds.

Sexual health and comfort

Big Labia may cause pain during sexual activities due to the pulling or pinching of the labial tissue. It may distract you from sexual pleasure which can negatively impact your quality of life.  

Psychological impact

Women with big Labia might experience anxiety and fear of judgement during intimate relationships. Concerns over being perceived as unattractive or abnormal can cause women to avoid sexual encounters and put a strain on relationships. 


Why Are My Labia Minora Bigger 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. Having large Labia Majora is referred to as Labia Majora hypertrophy. Both are normal and not considered a medical issue.

There are several reasons why a woman may have Labia hypertrophy, including genetics or an increase in oestrogen and other female hormones in puberty.

  • Genetic predisposition: This is the primary reason for variation in Labia shapes and sizes.
  • Hormonal changes: Fluctuations in the level of female sex hormones during puberty, pregnancy, or menopause can impact the size of your Labia. The high level of oestrogen during puberty might cause the Labia to become more pronounced. Similarly, during pregnancy, you might notice an enlarged Labia due to hormonal changes and increased blood circulation to the pelvic region.
  • Physical irritation: Activities that exert repeated pressure or friction on the labial area, like horse riding, cycling or wearing tight clothing, can irritate your labia. The increased irritation can potentially induce hypertrophy, increasing the size of your Labia.
  • Childbirth: The physical stretching and trauma to the Labia during childbirth can cause long-term changes in your labial size and shape.
  • Inflammation and infection: If you suffer from conditions like vulvitis, an inflammation of the vulva, you might see a temporary increase in the labial size. Recurrent yeast infections can also have a similar effect.
  • Ageing: The Labia may change in appearance and size with age as the skin loses elasticity and the fat pads under the skin diminish.

How to Avoid Common Problems that Come with Having Large Labia?

If you feel discomfort due to large labial folds, simple steps like cushioning the area, proper hygiene, and using topical creams can relieve the symptoms.

  • Cushioning the area: If your Labia Minora sticks out and causes irritation, consider wearing a protective pad, especially when exercising or doing physical activities. This technique will also help reduce chafing when wearing tight clothes.
  • Proper hygiene: Avoid harsh hygiene products and only use hypoallergenic soap that is free from chemicals and artificial perfumes. Wearing loose-fitting underwear can also prevent unnecessary friction and help you feel more comfortable during your daily activities.
  • Topical creams: In some cases, your doctor might prescribe ointment or cream to relieve the irritation. Always consult with your doctor before using any treatments.

How Many Women do Large Labia Affect?

It is believed that up to 50 per cent 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.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the number of women opting for Labiaplasty is on the rise, suggesting more women are concerned about labial hypertrophy.

Surveys and clinical reports also suggest that a wide range of women are concerned about the labial size- from adolescent to menopausal. Many women experience discomfort due to labial hypertrophy, with some experiencing psychological distress from aesthetic concerns as well.

If you’re concerned about your labial size, talk to our specialists at the Cadogan Clinic. We understand it’s a difficult subject to discuss, and we will treat you with the respect and dignity you deserve.

Words From Our Founder

Mr. Bryan Mayou

Large labias can cause physical discomfort and self-consciousness, affecting confidence in intimate relationships and making clothing uncomfortable due to rubbing. Labiaplasty offers a simple and effective solution, alleviating these concerns and restoring confidence. At Cadogan Clinic, we understand the importance of addressing both physical and emotional well-being in all our patients. With our expert team and personalised approach, patients can undergo Labiaplasty with confidence, knowing they'll receive the highest standard of care achieving their desired outcome, enhancing both comfort and self-assurance.
Mr. Bryan Mayou

FAQs

Your vagina is likely normal. The appearance, size and shape of the female genitalia, including the vulva (Labia Majora and Labia Minora, clitoris, and vaginal opening) vary widely among women. This variation is entirely normal and represents the natural variation of human anatomy.

While there is no need to worry about the size of your Labia in most cases, you should seek medical advice if you experience discomfort or pain. If you feel so concerned about the appearance of your Labia that it’s interfering with your intimate relationships and causing emotional distress, a Labiaplasty may be a suitable option.

Large Labia Minora can stick out of the Labia Majora for several reasons, including natural anatomical diversity, genetic factors, hormonal changes, and physical influences like chronic irritation or trauma.

Labiaplasty and Vaginal Rejuvenation are not the same procedure. A Labiaplasty targets the reduction and reshaping of the Labia. A Vaginal Rejuvenation focuses on tightening the vaginal canal.

A Labiaplasty is not particularly painful, but you may experience some degree of pain and discomfort during the recovery phase. The procedure can be performed under local anaesthetic or general anaesthetic with most patients choosing the latter. 

If you choose a local anaesthetic, surgeons can perform the procedure without putting you under sedation.

The cost of Labiaplasty starts at around £4,000 and varies depending on many factors specific to you and the results you desire. For the best results, you should choose an experienced surgeon and a reputable clinic. 

We recommend looking at our before and after pictures to see what can be achieved and whether it meets your expectations to help with your decision-making process.


Treatments mentioned in this article



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