Labial reduction includes a number of operations designed to decrease the size and degree of protruberance of the labia minora, or ‘inner lips’ of the vagina. The most common reason for women to request this operation is because the labia are perceived to be too large and aesthetically un-pleasing. A small number of women state that the large size of their labia make them noticeable in tight clothing, or make sports such as cycling uncomfortable.
The procedure is relatively simple, excising an area of the labia minora using a variety of incisions; and can be performed under local anaesthetic. Careful placement of the scar is important, however, in order to prevent painful scar contracture along the rim of the labia.
As with many aspects of human anatomy, there are a wide variety of shapes, sizes and appearances of the female genitalia, all of which are within the limits of normal. Before undergoing any surgery, it is important to determine whether there really is a problem with the genitalia or whether another solution would be more rewarding.