Why is my labia minora larger than my labia majora?
Every woman in the world is unique. There are different facial features, hair types, body shapes, ethnicities, and other individual facets that differentiate us all.
The same is also true when it comes to female genitalia. The vulva contains two sets of skin folds surrounding the vaginal opening—the outer fold is called the labia majora; the inner fold is the labia minora.
Differences Are Okay!
For most women, these folds are not symmetrical. They can be different sizes, lengths, thicknesses, shapes, and even colors.
However, the labia minora is more sensitive than the protective outer layer of the labia majora. If the labia minora is enlarged, it can be irritating—even painful—during intercourse, when wearing tight clothes or performing certain exercises.
Other Potential Problems
While an enlarged labia minora is not necessarily cause for concern, it can create hygiene problems that may lead to an infection, especially when a woman is on her period.
In addition to being potentially irritated and painful, many women also feel an enlarged labia minora is unsightly, especially when wearing yoga pants or a bathing suit. This can create issues with self-confidence when in public or when with a sexual partner.
How Does This Happen?
There are many things that can contribute to an enlarged labia minora, including:
- Genetics. It may have been a trait passed down from your mother at birth.
- Hormones. During puberty, hormones cause many changes to a young body, including the genitalia.
- Pregnancy. An increase in blood flow to the genitalia during pregnancy and/or child birth can engorge the labia minora.
- Age. Simply getting older can eventually affect the tightness of your skin and tissues.
- Infection. Bacteria in the vulva may cause problems with infections.
- Trauma. If you are involved in an incident where your pubic area experiences trauma, it may cause permanent swelling.
What Should I Do?
If you have an enlarged labia minora and it isn’t causing you any problems or discomfort, you really don’t need to do anything. However, if it is irritated and painful, or you just don’t feel attractive or comfortable about it, seek the advice of a qualified plastic surgeon for advice.
A procedure called labiaplasty can be performed by a skilled plastic surgeon. There are three different types of labiaplasty surgeries available:
- The Trim Technique. A small vertical incision is made along the length of the labia minora. Any excess vaginal tissue is removed, and the incision is sutured shut.
- The Wedge Technique. A wedge of tissue is removed from the thickest part of the labia minora, then the two detached sides are closed up and sutured together.
- The De-epithelialization Technique. Similar to the Trim Technique except that inner labial tissue is removed, as opposed to the tissue on the outer edge. The incision is then sutured closed.
Based on the recommendation of your surgeon, any of the above procedures may be done under sedation or a local anesthetic.
What To Expect After Surgery?
While the incision site heals, it is recommended that the patient does not wear tight-fitting garments or clingy underwear that can cause friction and irritation.
When bathing, avoid using soaps with coloring agents, perfumes, or harsh chemicals, and always rinse your vaginal area thoroughly. Pat the area fully dry with a towel afterward.
It is also recommended that the patient refrain from vigorous exercise and sexual activity for at least one month. Your surgeon will let you know when you can return to normal activities, based on your rate of healing.
Ready To Get Started?
Dr. Inzhili K. Kitto is a BOARD-CERTIFIED Plastic Surgeon based in Richmond, VA. She specializes in making her patients feel comfortable and at ease—especially when talking about very personal issues—and she provides individualized services for each patient.
When you schedule a consultation, Dr. Kitto will examine your condition, get a full medical history, then provide her recommendations on the type of surgery that will best suit your needs and expectations. She will also be happy to answer any questions you may have about the procedure and recovery.
Schedule your consultation today by calling 804-294-1777 and get started on your path to greater comfort and self-confidence.