Why are my labia bigger?
Just like any other part of the body (breasts, etc), some women have larger labia than others. This is just normal variance in anatomy. Contrary to popular belief, it is not caused by masturbation, intercourse or sexually transmitted diseases, although childbirth can sometimes change them. For some women their “enlarged” labia can get in the way of certain clothing, cause irritation, discomfort pain or prevent them from engaging in certain activities such as gymnastics, horseback riding, cycling or even having sexual intercourse. Weight gain can contribute to enlargement of the labia especially if followed by rapid weight loss resulting in sagging and an elongated appearance. Labial piercings can also contribute to a longer labium because of the weight of the piercings.
Can surgery fix it?
The answer is first talk to your gynecologist. First and foremost, you want to ensure that there isn’t a congenital abnormality, infection, abnormality from previous trauma or disease process which may require different treatment. When patients come in wanting to surgically trim their labia, I usually try to talk them out of it because it is often not needed. I also try to show them pictures of vulvas because they all look a little different, but that does not mean that they are not normal. Unless there is a serious functional problem with your labia- inability to perform certain activities, surgical intervention is not the answer. While the perception is that labiaplasty is a minor procedure, serious complications such as pain with intercourse, scarring, hematoma (severe bruising), and infection can and does occur. Also, the recovery process is no cake walk. Multiple sitz baths are required daily and great care has to be placed in order to minimize the risk of infection. Special tight garments have to be used to decrease chafing in the area. Lastly, if the purpose of the surgery is just cosmetic, it likely will not be covered by insurance and can cost anywhere from $3000 to $8000, and even if you elect to undergo surgery, the results you seek can’t be guaranteed.
Ladies, labia come in all shapes and sizes, so unless your labia cause significant symptoms, learn to love yours J