Large, protruding, or asymmetrical labia minora can be a constant source of discomfort, dissatisfaction, and pain for some women. Although the cause for this overgrowth is unknown, some exacerbations may include genetics and childbirth. If you constantly need to readjust your labia or can’t wear swim costumes because of a noticeable bulge, then a labiaplasty might be a solution.
What Is a Labiaplasty?
A labiaplasty is a surgery performed on women to reduce the size of the labia minora. The labia minora are the flaps of skin found on either side of the vaginal opening. This procedure should not be done on a patient younger than 18 years of age because the labia continue to grow throughout puberty which can defeat the purpose of the operation.
How Is a Labiaplasty Performed?
A labiaplasty will typically begin with the labiaplasty surgeons making markings on the labia minora to guide when making the excision. These markings are essential as the local anesthetic can cause distortions in the labia. Patients are not likely to feel anything during this procedure because a numbing is applied beforehand. After the excision, dissolvable sutures are carefully placed to complete the surgery.
What Are the Benefits of Labiaplasty?
For most women, the labia minora does not bother them. However, some patients have an overgrowth of the labia minora or majora causing discomfort. 90% of labiaplasties performed are on the labia minora.
Below are some benefits of a labiaplasty for women.
Reduces Irritation Caused by Irregular Labia
The labia is a sensitive part of the body with numerous nerve endings which can get irritated by excessive rubbing or friction on inner garments or sanitary towels. A labiaplasty eases this discomfort for patients making everyday life more comfortable.
Boosts a Woman’s Confidence in Her Vagina’s Appearance
Most women looking to get a labiaplasty are uncomfortable with the appearance of their labia. This discomfort makes intimacy less pleasurable for both parties. The procedure helps patients regain confidence in their bodies by reducing self-consciousness in intimate situations.
Reduces Discomfort Caused by Larger Labia Tissues
A large labia minora can cause discomfort for women who may need to readjust their labia after physical movement as they may keep shifting out of place. For some women, wearing some clothes, including specific swimwear, is not an option because the labia minora is so enlarged it may slip out of the garment. These problems can be fixed through a labiaplasty.
Who Qualifies for a Labiaplasty?
If you are unhappy about the size and shape of your labia minora, then a labiaplasty might fix the issue. Most women develop enlarged labia minora after childbirth or as they age, limiting and preventing them from indulging in activities like horseback riding and cycling. The results of a labiaplasty are very pleasing for patients. If your labia minora or majora gets in the way of your daily activities, then you are the perfect candidate for the surgical procedure.
Recovery after a labiaplasty is relatively smooth; most patients will be up and walking within 24 hours. The first 72 hours are spent relaxing. The application of ice packs is necessary to keep the swelling to a minimum. Patients may return to work after the first three days if they avoid any strenuous activity. Friction or rubbing around the area should be avoided as well as bathtubs, hot tubs, the ocean and swimming pools.
What is the labia majora and labia minora?
The labia minora and majora are the skin folds enclosing the clitoral hood and vagina. Typically the labia majora is larger than the labia minora.
How long does a labiaplasty take?
Individual procedures on patients usually take 1 to two hours. Patients that opt for combined procedures will spend longer in the procedure room.
Can I have labiaplasty on one side?
Yes, in some cases, only one side of the labia minora is enlarged, so it is perfectly okay to reduce just one side. However, in some cases, the doctor may perform the procedure on both sides to achieve a symmetric look. This can be done with the trim method of the wedge (V-shaped wedge) method.
What are the risks associated with a labiaplasty?
Less than 1% of labiaplasty patients experience complications post-operatively. For these patients, possible complications may include infection, bleeding, scarring, and nerve injury. Patients undergoing the procedure and attempting a vaginal birth may also experience complications.
How soon after a labiaplasty can I have sex?
Patients are asked to abstain from sexual activity for six weeks. By this time, the sutures should have dissolved, reducing the risk of pain, infection, and bleeding.
Do I need general anesthesia for a labiaplasty?
Not really; you can have a labiaplasty under sedatives, local anesthesia, and numbing cream.