Inner labia bigger than outer - what can you do?


The anatomy of the female sex is very variable. A distinction is made between the inner and outer labia. Whether the inner or outer labia are larger differs from woman to woman. Both variants are physiological and therefore to be regarded as “normal”.
Nevertheless, large inner labia are often perceived as less aesthetic. In addition to psychological distress, significantly larger inner labia can also result in functional disorders, such as pain when sitting.
In recent years, surgery in the genital area has become an important part of plastic surgery. Accordingly, there are ways to change the size of the labia.

Anatomy of the inner and outer labia

The labia together with the mons pubis, the clitoris and the vaginal vestibule with the outlets of the vagina, urethra and vestibular glands form the external female sexual organs, also called vulva.

The outer labia largely covers the clitoris, urethral opening and vaginal entrance and thus has a mechanical protective function. It contains subcutaneous fatty tissue to varying degrees, which is why, among other factors, the inner, labia minora protrudes to varying degrees in a standing woman. The skin on the outer surface of the labia majora contains hair, sweat and sebum glands and is pigmented. Towards the inner surface, the skin increasingly resembles the mucous membrane and becomes redder and softer.

Between the large and small labia there is an adipose-free layer of elastic, loose connective tissue, which contains sebum glands.

In a standing posture, the inner labia can be completely covered by the outer labia or can visibly extend beyond it. Its function is to prevent pathogens from entering the vagina. There is no hair. In addition to a high proportion of elastic fibers, the connective tissue also contains a strong network of veins. These vessels swell when sexually aroused.
The clitoris (= "clitoris") is located on the anterior fold of the inner labia.

Reasons for a larger inner labia

As already mentioned, the reason for the size differences lies in the great variability of the genital area itself. Every vulva looks different, this not only affects the size of the labia but also, for example, the shape of the clitoral hood.

A stronger expression of the inner labia is simply due to genetic predisposition and has no disease value. Mainly the size differences are probably due to the hormonal influence. While estrogens promote the growth of the inner labia, androgens cause the outer labia to grow.

If one speaks of enlarged inner labia (also called labial hypertrophy), there are no absolute measures from which extent this is the case. An objective medical determination of the size from which this labial hypertrophy occurs is therefore impossible.

However, enlargement of the inner labia can only occur in the course of life. This phenomenon is due to the aging process. With increasing age, a decrease in elastin, collagen, protein and hyaluronic acid in the skin begins. The proportion of fatty tissue in the skin also decreases.
The decrease in collagen makes the skin appear less smooth and taut. The sagging connective tissue therefore manifests itself not only in the form of wrinkles on the face or décolleté but also in the form of a “sagging” and thus enlarged inner labia.

Pain in the inner labia

The most common reason for surgical reduction of the labia minora is aesthetics.

Nevertheless, in rare cases, functional impairments can occur if the labia minora or the clitoral hood protrude.
If the inner labia are not covered by the outer labia, the inner labia is inadequately protected against mechanical stress and pressure. This can result in the following problems: Impairments in

  • Sports and leisure activities
  • wearing tight clothing
  • urination and sexual intercourse

Read more over Pain in the labia.

What can you do about a larger inner labia?

If your motives are purely aesthetic, you should first ask yourself whether a change is necessary.
Clearly, everyone should be able to freely decide how their idea of ​​aesthetics and, accordingly, their own body should look like.
The intimate area is of course a special feature, because unlike, for example, love handles, nothing can be changed here by one's own effort.
An actual visual change can only be achieved through a surgical procedure. One should not forget that this procedure can involve risks and is also not cheap.
So before you decide on an operation in the genital area, you should be aware that there is no norm for the genital area. As in all other areas of aesthetics, it is and will remain a matter of taste. Several studies have shown that women more often prefer smaller inner labia, while men find both smaller and larger labia to be erotic.
In a world of striving for perfection, not to lose your own self-love is difficult but extremely important.

Surgery on the labia

An actual (especially visual) change in the genital area is caused by the surgical intervention. Various methods are used here.

The most common procedure in intimate surgery is the so-called labia reduction. The main reason for this is aesthetics, but functional complaints such as pain when riding or cycling also play a role.
This procedure is usually carried out on an outpatient basis and under local anesthesia. The aim of this operation is to remove the "excess" tissue, i.e. the visible part of the inner labia, with a scalpel, a laser or a high-frequency radiosurgery device. The duration of the operation is 45 minutes on average. Resorbable, self-dissolving sutures are used to close wounds. Complete healing occurs after approximately four weeks.

Learn all about the surgical reduction of the labia.

The reduction of the outer labia is a much rarer, purely aesthetic procedure.

Labia enlargement is also less common. This involves padding, i.e. increasing the volume, of the outer labia. This is also a purely aesthetic procedure that is intended to counteract age-related slackening of the tissue.

In the case of sexual dysfunction with orgasm problems for the woman, exposing the clitoris may help. A partial or complete removal of the foreskin should increase the woman's ability to stimulate and orgasm. The actual chances of success of such an operation are not yet sufficiently proven. Before deciding on such an operation, you should first try to correct the problem through targeted training of the pelvic floor muscles or changing sex positions.

Find out about the Correction of the labia.

OP costs

The costs of the surgery vary depending on the surgical method and anesthesia used. You should expect a price range of around 800 to 2000 euros.
If you decide to have this type of procedure, the choice of your surgeon should be based primarily on experience reports or photo-documented results. Read about this on independent information portals and ask about this in your consultation. A high price does not automatically mean a good surgeon, but even very low prices should first be questioned.

Risks of the operation

In principle, no damage whatsoever can be expected if the procedure is carried out correctly. Nevertheless, every surgical procedure is of course associated with risks. The following complications can arise:

  • Bleeding, swelling and bruising
  • Injuries to neighboring structures, especially nerves, and thus sensitivity disorders
  • Infections, especially since the operating area is primarily colonized by bacteria
  • Too generous a decrease in the labia without taking the scar shrinkage into account
  • Permanent impairments, especially during sexual intercourse, e.g. persistent scar problem such as feelings of tension and pain

What results can be expected?

In general, before an operation, you should discuss with the doctor in charge what is possible and what is not. In this way you can express your wishes and ideas and at the same time run less risk of being disappointed after the operation.

The aim of the labia minora reduction is clearly to remove the excess tissue and thus meet the aesthetic demands of the patient and alleviate any pain that may be present.
At the same time, it has to be mentioned that the inner labia cannot be made as small as you want because it protects the inner genitalia from pathogens.

When is the surgery paid for by the health insurance?

If there is a pronounced asymmetry of the labia or strong mechanical irritation, you can apply to the health insurance company to cover the costs.
If there is a high level of psychological distress, a psychological report must first be drawn up so that an application for reimbursement of costs can be submitted.
In general, these applications are often not very promising, the health insurance companies are becoming more and more restrictive in this area.