The inner lips of the vagina are known as the labia minora. Extra tissue in the labia minora can cause discomfort.
What Causes Elongated Labia?
One in three women have longer than average labia. Genetics play the largest factor in this physical abnormality. Estrogen can also stimulate the labia to continue growing, so pregnancy and hormonal imbalances may increase labial tissue. Other causes include aging, weight loss and injury.
Choosing Labia Minoraplasty
Labia minoraplasty is an elective procedure that can reduce the size and reshape the inner vaginal lips. Large or asymmetrical labia minora can leave you feeling self-conscience in tight clothing or during intimacy.
Long labia may result in rubbing, irritation or discomfort during intercourse and exercise. Certain skin conditions can cause increased sensitivity or tearing of the labia minora. In some cases, the labia minora may be fused with tissue in the labia majora and require medical correction.
Undergoing Labia Minoraplasty
Typically, labia minoraplasty is performed under local anesthesia in an outpatient procedure. Your gynecologic surgeon will remove excess tissue and reshape the inner lips. Following the surgical procedure, your labia will be symmetrical and smaller in appearance.
The extent and location of the incision depends on the shape, texture and size of your labia minora. Discuss individual factors with your gynecologic surgeon.
Recovering from Labia Minoraplasty
Expect to spend the first three to four days following the procedure on bed rest with ice. After this time, you may return to desk work. It can take up to six to eight weeks before your gynecologic surgeon releases you for normal activities, including intercourse.
Following surgery, scar tissue will be forming as the incision area heals. In order to avoid interfering with the healing process, it is recommended you avoid using tampons for at least one menstrual cycle following the procedure.
Risks and Complications
As with any surgical procedure, labia minoraplasty increases the risk of bleeding and infection. Urinating may be painful as the labia minora heals. Generally, there is no long-term loss of sensitivity or sensation. However, you may experience some numbness or soreness for a few weeks following surgery.
Ask your gynecologic surgeon about any symptoms you may be experiencing.