Labial Hypertrophy: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Labial Hypertrophy: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Labial Hypertrophy: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Labial hypertrophy surgery by Sue Kafali MD
| Labial Hypertrophy: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment |

From nose to toes, a woman’s body comes in different shapes and sizes. Most of the time, the uniqueness in those features are beautiful and a cause for celebration. Sometimes, however, certain features are cause for pain and discomfort. Women who experience pain, discomfort, or irritation of the labia may have a medical condition known as labial hypertrophy. This term refers to either labia majora or labia minora that are enlarged.

What is Labial Hypertrophy?

First, a quick refresh on anatomy: The female vulva contains two sets of skin folds, commonly referred to as “lips.” The outer folds are called the labia majora. The smaller, inner folds are the labia minora. So, “labia majora hypertrophy” refers to labia majora that are enlarged. Similarly, the term “labia minora hypertrophy” describes the labia minora that are enlarged or stick out more than the labia majora.

What Causes Labial Hypertrophy?

Long or asymmetrical labia are not uncommon. Again, people’s parts come in all shapes and sizes. Some girls start with naturally longer labia due to genetics, while others experience hypertrophy in later years. Increased estrogen during puberty or increased blood flow and heaviness during pregnancy may be contributing factors in some cases.

What are the symptoms of labial hypertrophy?

Irritation Long or enlarged labia that rub against underwear and pants can cause redness sensitive skin. This is especially true if sweat gets trapped in the area. Hygiene problems Extra tissue and folds can trap sweat, dirt, and bacteria that can lead to foul odors and even infection if not tended to properly. Pain/Discomfort Many women with labial hypertrophy report pain or discomfort when engaging in physical activities that rub, squish pinch or cause friction to the labia. Commonly associated activities include running, biking, horseback riding, and even sexual intercourse. Sexual Dysfunction Women suffering from labial hypertrophy may suffer from pain/discomfort during foreplay or sexual intercourse, or even emotional distress and embarrassment of the appearance of their labia.

Treating labial hypertrophy If long labia are causing your problems, your doctor may recommend a labiaplasty procedure to treat labial hypertrophy. This procedure is designed to remove excess tissue and resize/reshape the labia. Labiaplasty is a relatively quick and easy procedure, performed as an outpatient surgery (no hospital stay required), and can be done under local or general anesthesia depending on the severity of your case.

Can you treat labial hypertrophy without surgery?

Should you choose not to treat your labial hypertrophy with surgical intervention, please keep the following tips in mind to help you to care for the area and manage complications:

  • Wear loose-fitting pants/shorts.
  • Avoid tight-fitting underwear, pantyhose, or leggings for long periods of time. Avoid wearing these items altogether if they rub your labia.
  • Choose cotton or other breathable fabrics
  • When exercising, position the labia to a comfortable position.
  • Shower or bathe with mild soap and avoid scented or colorful dyes that might cause further irritation.
  • If irritation occurs often, ask your doctor for a prescription-strength topical ointment.

Watch Dr. Kafali Labiaplasty Hypertrophy Procedure Surgery Video

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