The number of women performing cosmetic surgery on their labia is significantly increasing. There are reports that some girls as young as 18 years have shown interest in labiaplasty and others have actually had the procedure performed. Although, most cosmetics surgeons discourage labiaplasty on teenagers because the labia continues to develop until early adulthood and the situation may ‘even-out.’

Labiaplasty is a cosmetic surgery done on women to improve the appearance of their labia. It involves reducing the length of the labia minora to ensure it does not hang low. When a woman starts to notice that their labia is not ‘normal’ they might start developing self-esteem issues and a drop in their self-confidence.  As a result, a majority of them have discomfort during sexual intercourse that may lead to abstinence for fear of the ‘embarrassment.’

Some women go for labiaplasty for cosmetic purposes. They have come to believe that the labia is attractive if it looks a certain way. However, a majority of women go through the procedure for more serious reasons.

When a woman has an elongated labia, they may experience twisting and tugging. This is a situation that is uncomfortable, irritating, and often painful. It is commonly experienced during sexual intercourse, when walking or riding a bike. Others will experience irritation when they wear tight clothes.

For instance, an athlete with a large labia minora will have difficulties when running and performing other physical activities.

Labiaplasty is performed on both labia or to ensure asymmetry in cases where one labia is longer than the other.

How is the procedure undertaken?

During labiaplasty, the cosmetic surgeon will shorten or reshape the labia. A scalpel is used to cut off the unwanted tissue, and then the loose edge is stitched up. In most cases, dissolvable stitches are used.

Labiaplasty is not a complex procedure and can be done in the theatre or the surgeon’s office.Under normal circumstances, the procedure takes about one or two hours, and the patients may be discharged the same day.

The recovery process

After the procedure, patients must take proper care of themselves to ensure proper healing. Without any complications, recovery takes about two weeks. However, the skin might take a little longer than that to heal: most probably, a couple of months to reach full recovery.

There are a couple of things that should be done during the recovery process. These include:

  • Cleaning the area with salty water after every bowel movement to prevent infections
  • Avoiding tight clothes as they may rub against the area making it sore or worse, infecting it
  • Abstaining from sexual intercourse for not less than six weeks.
  • Avoiding physical activity for about 6 or 12 weeks.
  • Refraining from the use of tampons and using sanitary towels for a few weeks or as per the surgeon’s advice.
  • Avoid sitting for long periods.

Side effects

Some of the common side effects of labiaplasty include:

    • Soreness
    • Bruising 


  • Swelling


These side effects can last up to two weeks. However, if they persist, you should seek medical attention and preferably, from the operating surgeon.