Labial Hypertrophy

Also known as: Enlargement of the labia.

What is labial hypertrophy?

The labia are the outer and inner lips of the vagina (labia majora and labia minora). Labial hypertrophy is a harmless condition where the inner labia (usually) is larger than normal, however either one or both labia can be affected.


What causes labial hypertrophy?

The labia may grow larger than normal for a few different reasons:

Genetic Factors

The presence of labial hypertrophy may be the result of genetics or a family history of the condition. If it’s due to genetic factors, then it is present at birth.

Hormonal Changes

The labia can sometimes grow larger during puberty in some cases, as well. This occurs due to increases in female hormones such as estrogen and others.

External Factors

Infection, trauma, extensive wheelchair use, or pregnancy are other external factors than can contribute to labial hypertrophy.

What are the symptoms of labial hypertrophy?

In some cases, labial hypertrophy doesn’t cause any symptoms. Other times, it can lead to discomfort with certain clothing items, irritation, yeast infections and pain/discomfort during physical activities or intercourse.

What are labial hypertrophy care options?

The treatment for labial hypertrophy can range from no treatment if it’s not causing any problems to lifestyle or over-the-counter remedies for mild irritation. These steps might include wearing looser clothing, soaking in clean, warm bath water or using creams for irritation.

If labial hypertrophy is severe or causing problems with quality of life, then surgery might be recommended. This procedure is called a labiaplasty, and it involves removing excess tissue from the labia and reshaping it. This surgery typically is done under general anesthesia and requires a recovery period afterward.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: May 22, 2024 02:11 PM

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