Labia: everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask

Health Tips

Big and small

The labia majora are relatively large, fleshy folds of tissue that surround and protect the other vulva. In a sense, they can be compared to the scrotum in men.

The labia minora are located directly inside the large ones and surround the opening of the vagina and the opening of the urethra.

Together, the labia majora and labia minora form a kind of double airbag for our most hidden and vulnerable parts of the body.

However, protection is not the only function performed by the labia. Due to the abundance of blood vessels, during sexual stimulation, the labia minora swells and becomes more sensitive. In some women, their sensitivity can even be compared to the clitoris.

Reference labia

The labia can come in a wide variety of shapes, colors, sizes and textures. In some women they are tiny and dense, in others they are long and soft. Plump, thin, wrinkled, dark, light – there can be countless variations and almost all combinations of these truly unique body parts, with rare exceptions, are the norm. Mary Jane Minkin, clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Yale University School of Medicine, who has been in practice for over 35 years, says she has never seen a labia that she would call “abnormal” in her life.

As practice shows, most women are more concerned about the appearance of their small labia than large ones. And all because small lips are very diverse in their manifestation and sometimes go beyond the limits of large ones, which some women find not quite aesthetic. It happens that one of the small labia is much longer in size than the other and hangs beyond the large ones, which is also the norm.

According to Dr. Minkin, most often the length of the labia minora varies from 2.5 to 5 cm, but these numbers are not a benchmark. If your lips are shorter or longer, this does not mean an anomaly at all. The only factor to consider is whether your labia is causing discomfort, such as getting stuck in your underwear or being a major obstacle during penetrative sex.

Despite the fact that many women are sure that the ideal labia minora should be pink, symmetrical, smooth and not protrude beyond the labia majora, experts say that there is no standard in this matter and cannot be.

And so that women can see this, the Australian community of obstetricians and gynecologists has opened an online library of the labia, which contains truthful, unretouched photographs of these body parts.

There is no limit to perfection

We are all used to the fact that the era of social networks dictates its own standards of beauty, and no matter how wildly, they have begun to apply to the female labia.

If earlier the labia minora were securely hidden under the pubic hair, then with the advent of the fashion for intimate haircuts and Brazilian hair removal, they began to attract the attention of their mistresses, who, due to lack of information and erroneous ideas about “how everything should be”, began to cultivate complexes in themselves and destroy self-esteem.

In addition, in the age of the Internet and the availability of pornographic materials, men have become more aware of the diversity of female genitalia. So some men, due to a lack of a sense of tact or out of inexperience, may themselves, not wanting to give an assessment to the female labia, thereby injuring a woman and cultivating complexes in her.

Experts in the field of female genitalia advise women not to bother with the standards of intimate beauty in the porn industry and compare their genitals with the genitals of adult film actresses. As a rule, “stars” with thin labia minora are specially selected for such films. Only this is done not for reasons of beauty, but to ensure the optimal visual effect and a good angle.

measure 7 times

If you are not happy with your full lips – this is quite normal. After all, we do not always accept the features of our face or individual parts of the body. However, it is very important to understand why the sight of the petals of your “rose” does not cause you much love and acceptance. Is not accepting yourself a desire to conform to beauty standards, or maybe your partner’s casual remark about your genitals has robbed you of self-confidence? What makes you ashamed of your labia minora? Do you really desire these changes, or are you forced to desire them, whether by people or circumstances?

These questions should be asked to yourself before studying the issue of surgical intervention and intimate plastic surgery.

To date, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, there are not so many medical indications for this operation. From a medical point of view, this may be appropriate for women whose labia minora is so long that they twist or cling to clothing, causing physical discomfort and pain during daily activities and sexual life.

Another indication for surgical intervention is the elimination of violations of the structure of the labia after their damage during childbirth, trauma, congenital deformities.

However, despite the recommendations of doctors, the number of women who choose this operation solely for aesthetic reasons has been growing rapidly in recent years.

cut once

Labioplasty, also called intimate plastic surgery, belongs to the section of plastic surgery in gynecology, which is aimed at correcting the shape, volume and structure of the labia. Most often, this operation is reduced to the correction of the labia minora, in particular their length.

This is an operation during which the surgeon excised “extra” and hypertrophied soft tissues, as a rule, is performed under general anesthesia and takes about 45-60 minutes.
Excision is carried out using two types of incisions: straight and V-shaped.

In most cases, a straight incision is used, where the excess tissue is simply trimmed off and the remaining edges are sutured with absorbable sutures.

In the second, most common method, tissue removal occurs using a V-shaped incision, in which the middle of the lip is excised in the form of a V, and its edges are then sutured. With this type of correction, the labia minora retains a more natural appearance.

The first stage of recovery takes about a week, after which the woman can gradually begin to return to daily activities. Full recovery takes about 4-6 weeks, after which most women can start using tampons and return to normal sexual activity.

If you decide to have surgery for purely aesthetic purposes, carefully weigh the pros and cons, since the correction of the labia is associated with certain risks and can lead to complications such as improper scarring of tissues, chronic pain, discomfort during sexual contact, and even a decrease in libido. However, the risk of infection cannot be ruled out. After all, the labia are only a centimeter from the rectum, teeming with millions of bacteria, which is fraught with serious postoperative infection.

With all this, in no case do not ignore the fact of concern that the appearance of your labia can give you. Regardless of whether they bring you physical or emotional discomfort, consult a gynecologist. If you have physical indications for labioplasty, the doctor will definitely tell you about the best options for solving the problem. Or, in case of emotional discomfort, find a way to assure you that your labia is perfect, completely normal and does not require any outside intervention.

Photo: Vostock-photo

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