Causes of Enlarged Labia

Because more women are shaving their pubic hair these days, the folds of skin surrounding the vagina are more noticeable. This area, called the vulva, has two folds of skin. The labia majora are the larger, outer folds of skin that you normally see when you’re taking a shower, and the labia minora are smaller folds inside the larger ones. 

The vulva, with its labia, protects your vagina from infection and damage from an accident. For example, if the area is hit with sudden impact, the labia provide a soft cushion.  

Sometimes either or both of the labial folds may be larger on one side than the other. On occasion, one or both may appear out of proportion to the rest of your abdominal area. When they’re enlarged this way, the condition is called hypertrophy. In some women, the labia majora may be too elongated and sag. In others, the labia minora may hang outside of the labia majora. 

If your labia cause you embarrassment or discomfort, board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Jack Hensel Jr., with Lowcountry Plastic Surgery in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, is able to correct enlarged labia with a minor surgical procedure

If your labia aren’t the same size, or their appearance bothers you, you may ask why your pubic area looks this way. 

Causes of enlarged labia

There are several reasons for enlarged labia. 

Genetics

It’s possible that your labia have been this way since birth. Just like one of your ears may protrude a little farther from the side of your head than the other, or one breast may be slightly larger than the other, there is no uniform size or shape of labia. It’s not abnormal for one side of either labia to be longer or thicker than the other side. In fact, most labia aren’t perfectly symmetrical

Hormonal changes

Puberty fully develops your reproductive system, so as an adolescent or young adult, you may notice each side of the opening to your vagina looks a bit different. The labia may become more prominent during and after puberty, and you may notice a difference in size or shape more easily. 

Pregnancy

Your body experiences increased blood flow to your pubic area during pregnancy; this may expand either or both the labia majora and minora. You may also experience larger labia after childbirth

Age 

Some women notice that their labia have changed as the decades go by. Aging changes your body. 

Prolonged friction 

Researchers say that physical activities that produce friction to the labia, such as cycling or horseback riding, can change the size of the labia and produce irritation. 

Labiaplasty for enlarged labia

If your enlarged or elongated labia are producing excess friction when you wear pants or when enjoying physical activities like cycling, or if they cause you embarrassment, Dr. Hensel performs a labiaplasty to give you normal-sized, symmetrical labia. It’s a low-risk procedure. 

Call Lowcountry Plastic Surgery or book an appointment through our online portal today for more information on labiaplasty and other body-contouring procedures to give you the curves you want. 

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