Labioplasty / labiaplasty – the ‘designer vagina’

April 22, 2013

Labioplasty (or labiaplasty) has also been called the 'designer vagina'. While people are more likely to have heard of this term rather than its surgical name, most don't really understand what it means or what it involves. However, in the past few years this procedure has become much more common, and is helping many women overcome a range of very personal discomforts or concerns.

What is labioplasty?

Labioplasty is a cosmetic surgical procedure that reduces the size, and can reshape, the labia minora (the small lips on the outside of the vagina). Labioplasty can enhance the appearance of the outer vagina and provide a number of other benefits for women.

Why do women have the procedure?

Women have labioplasty for a range of reasons, including functional and aesthetic reasons. Elongated or irregular labia often occur naturally (after all, we are all created differently) or can be exacerbated by things like childbirth, sexual activity, hormones, or simply ageing. Many patients complain that elongated labia cause pain during exercise, sex, and during extended periods of sitting. This can affect your enjoyment of sex and other activities, and also affect your self-esteem. Some women are reluctant to wear tight clothing because they feel self-conscious.

Of course, labioplasty is not a common topic of discussion over lunch, but if you are experiencing a problem, you can be rest assured that you are certainly not alone. The good news is that labioplasty is a relatively straightforward and quick procedure that gives lasting results.

So what's involved?

Labioplasty is usually performed under a light anaesthetic, so you won't feel anything. The surgeon will make small incisions to remove the excess tissue to reduce or reshape the labia minora. Tiny stitches are used, but they are dissolvable, so they don't have to be 'taken out'. Normally, you don't require any dressings either. The whole procedure usually takes 1-2 hours, and you can go home the same day. Afterwards, patients usually have a bit of discomfort for a few days while some swelling subsides. You'll be advised to take it easy for about a week, perhaps with a few days off work to allow for healing. Full healing and returning to everyday activities such as sport, sex etc can take anything up to six weeks.

Labioplasty is usually suitable for all women. Of course, if you are considering this procedure your surgeon will be able to answer any and all questions in an understanding way, so you know what to expect and feel at ease. For a fuller explanation of what's involved, visit The Me Clinic's labioplasty page. You'll also find a link there to get a private assessment, as well as online help.

What are the benefits of labioplasty?

Once you've had labioplasty and allowed for everything to heal up, you're likely to notice some real improvements. Some are physical, but others will enhance how you feel about yourself and your body. The most common benefits women find include:

  • Confidence to wear tight fitting clothes, such as sportswear and swimsuits
  • No pain during sex, and increased sensation and enjoyment of sex
  • Reduced discomfort during other activities, such as prolonged sitting, cycling etc.
  • Increased self-esteem and feeling happier and more comfortable about their body.

You can get more information about labioplasty and the Me Clinic's confidential service by visiting the labioplasty page.


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