As you age, your body undergoes many changes. One of the most surprising changes includes the appearance of your genitalia.
The outer lips of your vagina are called the labia majora, and the inner lips are referred to as the labia minora. “Normal” labia come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, with genetics playing a large role. Whatever your normal may be, hormonal changes brought on by life events- such as pregnancy and menopause- can change the size and shape of your labia.
Labia Changes in Pregnancy
During pregnancy, increased blood flow can change the look of your labia. Your inner and outer lips may appear swollen and darker in color, thanks to changes in circulation. It’s not uncommon for the labia minora to appear larger during pregnancy. In most women, your labia will return to their normal size following childbirth. If you’re concerned about any changes to your labia during pregnancy, speak with your OBGYN.
Childbirth and Your Labia
For the most part, the skin and tissue that make up your labia is very elastic. However, during delivery, you may experience some slight stretching or tearing. Most tearing will heal within seven to ten days following childbirth. Follow-up with your OBGYN if you experience discomfort due to tearing during childbirth. In some cases, labiaplasty can correct poor healing or discomfort from stretching or tearing.
Menopause and Labia Changes
During menopause, your estrogen levels decrease- causing your labia to become drier, thinner and less elastic. These changes can result in irritation and pain- as well as an increased risk of tearing. Vaginal lubricants, estrogen supplements, and regular safe sexual intercourse can reduce these risks by increasing vaginal moisture. If you are in menopause and notice uncomfortable changes to your labia, speak with your OBGYN.
Labiaplasty to Correct Hormonal Changes
Some women may not be comfortable with changes to the labia. Labiaplasty is an aesthetic gynecological procedure that contours your labia to improve the appearance. If you’re experiencing discomfort due size of your labia, labiaplasty can reduce the size of your labia majora and labia minora and decrease the likelihood of irritation.
Call our office to discuss changes to your labia or your interest in labiaplasty.