The labia are folds of skin that cover your vulvar region, and there are two types. The outer folds are known as the labia majora, meaning “large lips.” They’re the larger, fleshy folds that protect your external genitals (the vulva), and they become covered with pubic hair after puberty. The inner folds are known as the labia minora, meaning “small lips.” These folds protect the opening of your urethra and vagina.
There’s no ideal or “normal” way for the labia to look, but some women are dissatisfied with their appearance, and larger-than-normal or sagging labia can cause uncomfortable symptoms. In both cases, a labiaplasty may be in order.
At Desert Hills Care Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, board-certified OB/GYN Dr. Helard Balloon-Hennings and his team offer labiaplasty for their patients wanting the procedure for either cosmetic or medical reasons. Here, the team explains why you may need a labiaplasty and what you can expect from it.
What causes the labia to enlarge?
Labia grow for a number of reasons, including:
- Other hormonal changes
- Pregnancy and childbirth
- Changes in your weight
When the labia increase in size, the folds of skin can hang down. Some women are bothered by their appearance, while others find them uncomfortable.
4 reasons you may need a labiaplasty
Women may choose to have a labiaplasty for either medical/physical or cosmetic/emotional reasons.
There are two overarching medical reasons to have a labiaplasty.
First, labiaplasty reduces the size of your labia minora so the tissue doesn’t pass beyond the edges of the labia majora. Excess or sagging labial tissue hangs down, and it can twist, turn, become pinched, and/or cause physical discomfort during exercise (e.g., bike riding or jogging) and intercourse.
Second, excess tissue can make cleaning the genital area more difficult, which can lead to a buildup of bacteria that can cause urinary tract infections (UTIs).
Cosmetic reasons for a labiaplasty really comes down to personal choice.
First, the procedure can reduce the asymmetry (uneven shape) between the labia minora and labia majora and eliminate hanging skin. This can reduce embarrassment about your personal appearance, especially when you’re with your partner.
Second, if the tissues are tight and well-shaped, you’re not likely to experience the pinching and painful twisting of sagging skin.
In addition, the surgery can be part of a gender-affirming process; Dr. Ballon-Hennings can create labia using existing genital tissue. You can have a labiaplasty before or after other reconstruction surgeries.
If you’re not happy with the appearance of your labia, or if enlarged and sagging tissues are interfering with your physical routine or sex life, a labiaplasty could be just the thing to get your mojo back.
To learn more, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Ballon-Hennings, call Desert Hills Care Center at 702-800-7008 or book online with us today.