Since much of labiaplasty surgery is concerned with modifying a woman’s labia to become closer to what is considered “normal,” it seems reasonable to discuss what is normal. But before we do so, let me say that my take on labiaplasty is somewhat different than even most patients. I don’t think the purpose should be to become “normal,” whatever that means. I think the goal should be what makes the patient comfortable.
Every woman has two sets of labia: labia majora, or outer labia, that form the bottom of the vulva when the woman sits or stands, and the labia minora, or inner labia, inside her outer labia. The labia minora begin at the clitoral hood and are tethered from there at the outer labia’s base, extending down to just below the vaginal opening.
The labia minora, which are the target of labiaplasty, serve to keep bacteria out of the vestibule for maximum vaginal health. They also provide extra genital lubrication and sensation during sexual activities.
As with a man’s penis, you’ll find the inner labia come in various sizes. Sometimes they extend past the outer labia; other times they don’t.
Why the variation? As with everything else in the human body, it’s because we don’t have the same genetic background or hormonal pacing or levels as we develop prior to and after birth. The texture, color and size of the labia have to do with your unique combination of hormones and genetics.
Also like the penis, the appearance or size of the labia isn’t totally static. It’s common for big-time sexual arousal to cause both sets of labia to swell and grow in size.
Some more comments about “normal”: it’s normal for the labia to be pinkish, peach, brownish, reddish, purply, or even black. In fact, they’re often multi-colored.
It’s normal for the labia to change colors through puberty. It’s normal for the inner labia to not be perfectly smooth, with a bumpity texture.
Do you see why “normal” is the wrong standard to use when deciding if you should have a labiaplasty? instead, think of what’s comfortable. And I’m speaking of both physical and emotional comfort. Whether normal or not, will labiaplasty allow you to engage in activities that you can’t now? Will it make you feel more comfortable about letting people see you wearing those beach clothes you’ve bought? Then maybe labiaplasty is for you. It’s an option because it will make life more comfortable for you–not because it will make you “normal.”