All About Vulvas (And Labia, Too): FAQ
Let’s answer some questions about a topic that many women wonder about, but are sometimes afraid to ask — vulvas and their related parts, labia — those wonderful and essential parts of our anatomy that we should all love and appreciate.
What do vulvas and labia do?
First things first — vulvas are amazing! They do so much more than we give them credit for. They are a key player in the reproductive system and play a major role in sexual pleasure. They connect our uteruses to the outside world, are ultra-important during childbirth, and even protect some of our most delicate parts from bacteria and infection. So, yeah, vulvas are kind of a big deal.
What makes up a vulva?
Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of things. The labia majora and labia minora are two important parts of our vulvas that deserve some attention. The labia majora are the outer lips, and the labia minora are the inner lips. Another area of the vulva is the mons pubis. The mons is the area below the lower abdomen but above the vulva and clitoris. All of these parts are unique to each person, and there’s no “right” way for them to look or feel. It all comes down to personal preference.
Why are some women unhappy with their labia?
labia and vulva modeled as fruitEven though vulvas are pretty great, some women still feel uncomfortable about the size or shape of their labia or mons pubis, which is completely understandable. Society has given us seriously unrealistic beauty standards, and unfortunately, our vulvas are not exempt from that. There’s even a term for it — “labia shame.” But, it’s important to remember that there’s no such thing as a “normal” or “perfect” vulva. Every vulva (and labia!) is unique and beautiful in its own way.
What can be done about “labia shame” or physical discomfort?
If you’re experiencing physical or emotional discomfort or distress regarding the size and shape of your labia, there are options available to you, including labiaplasty surgery. This surgery is usually done to reduce the size of the labia minora, in order so that it becomes more flush with the labia majora. This can help alleviate discomfort and improve self-confidence. It’s important to note that labia reduction surgery is not necessary for everyone, and it’s very much a personal decision that should not be taken lightly, or, be heavily influenced by others.
For women who would prefer that their mons pubis contain less fatty tissue, monsplasty can also be performed to remove some of that volume as well. This is often completed in concert with a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) procedure.
If you do decide to pursue labiaplasty surgery, it’s important to choose a board-certified plastic surgeon who is experienced in the procedure. Dr. Kimberly Singh is known as one of the top female plastic surgeons who have extensive experience performing labiaplasty surgery in Atlanta.
How is labia reduction surgery performed and what’s recovery like?
Labiaplasty surgery typically takes about an hour, and it’s usually performed in-office at Panacea, Dr. Singh’s boutique Atlanta plastic surgery practice, under local anesthesia. She will carefully trim and reshape the labia minora, ultimately creating greater physical comfort for her patients, as well as a more aesthetically pleasing look once healed. Full recovery time is usually about 1-2 weeks, and most women can resume many of their normal activities within a few days.
So, there you have it! Your labia are amazing, and there’s no need to be ashamed or uncomfortable about them. However, if you do decide to pursue labia reduction surgery, make sure to choose a qualified and experienced surgeon like Dr. Singh. And in the meantime, remember to love and appreciate all of your unique parts, and don’t let society’s unrealistic beauty standards stand in the way of loving yourself just the way you are — perfect!