I think I have labial hypertrophy. Do I have to have surgery?

female gender symbolNo, you don’t have to have surgery. Labial hypertrophy (pronounced: lay-bee-al hi-per-tro-fee) is a long name that means the enlargement of the labia (sometimes called the vaginal lips). This isn’t a serious condition; it can be normal, but it can also cause some discomfort, and for some young women it may be embarrassing or distressing.

Similar to your breasts, labia come in different shapes and sizes. Large labia usually don’t cause a problem unless there’s major discomfort with activities that you enjoy doing, such as riding a bike, horseback riding, and other activities that might cause pressure around your vagina. There are no creams, ointments, or other remedies that can shrink the size of the labia, and insurance may or may not cover surgery even with significant symptoms. However, there are things you can do that will help with any discomfort or pressure you might feel.

  • Wear loose fitting underwear, short, and pants. Skirts and dresses can be even more comfortable.
  • Surgery is only recommended if you have major discomfort and chronic irritation with sex. Talk to your health care provider about your options.