I have labia minora asymmetry and it bothers me a lot, I'm scared to talk to my mom about it cause it's awkward. Should I wait?

Doctor Answers 5

Candidates for Labiaplasty

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Women have a wide range of normal color, texture, size and asymmetries of their genitilia. This is true of the Vulva and all of its parts, the same as other parts of the body. You should not fear the open discussion of this issue as it is natural for many women. Candidates for #labiaplasty and #vaginal surgery include women concerned about the appearance of their genitals, or those who experience discomfort, pain or difficulty with sexual relations.  Moisture can create problems such as yeast infections. More specific problems may exist at birth or with growth and development. They can occur with childbirth or other trauma to the region. All of these issues can cause a woman great emotional distress that is often difficult to talk about with their partner, friends and even their doctor. Not only your mother is worth discussing this situation with, but you can seek out a local board certified plastic surgeon for a consultation and potential procedures to help gain your eventual desired results.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Labiaplasty for asymmetry

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Labiaplasty is one of the more rare plastic cosmetic surgeries that i perform on minors - several dozen or so in my 15 years of private practice. However, perental consent is definitely required to proceed with surgery. Thus the first and foremost important step is to enlist the understanding and consideration from a parent. After this, a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon (or gynecologist) that specializes in labiaplasty is the next step. Please read on for more details about labiaplasty:Your story and concerns are in good company with almost ever other patient that undergoes labiaplasty and/or clitoral hood reduction (aka hoodectomy) and experiences a major boost in (sexual) self-confidence and pleasure thereafter.  Labiaplasty, which most commonly involves surgical reduction of the labia minora (inner/thinner lips) but not infrequently trimming or tucking of the labia majora (outer/thicker lips), has become a relatively common procedure over the last ten and even more so last five years.  Most commonly it is done under light sedation (aka twighlight sleep) with local anesthesia, in which case the patient should feel no pain during the operation.  Whether the surgery is done using a laser, scalpel, or scissors does not really matter but what does matter is "symmetry".  Symmetry is the most important aspect to the final aesthetic result.  Most women, just like yourself, prefer to have as much of the darker pigmented edges removed as possible.  Also, it's not how much tissue is removed but how much is left remaining because a certain amount is necessary to maintain proper form and function - typically ~10 mm or so of the dry part of the labia.  To achieve these three most important elements, I have found that the "Trim Method" satisfies best.  It is extremely important to consult with a board certified plastic surgeon that specializes in this operation (does at least 1 - 2 per week).  It may cost you a bit more but it is this type of result you will want to live with for the rest of your life.  Typical (all inclusive) fee at my office/surgery center is $4500.
Although there is no guarantee, women frequently do seek clitoral hood reduction (Hoodectomy) to improve exposure of the clitoris and hence better stimulation during sexual activity. By removing some of the excess &/or redundant skin concealing the clitoris, it becomes more readily exposed to sexual stimulation and hence a heightened sexual experience/orgasm is possible.  Sometimes I recommend adding hoodectomy to labiaplasty to better harmonize the aesthetic outcome.  Again, the key is seek consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon or gynecologist who performs this procedure regularly (>2-3 x/month) so that just the right amount of tissue is removed and just the right amount remains such that the clitoris is not constantly exposed and rubbing on clothing, etc... Typical fee for a hoodectomy is ~$3000 but reduced to about half that price if done along with a labiaplasty.
Now for recovery, because the labia tissue is so robust with blood supply it has an amazing ability to heal relatively quickly.  Most patients are sore for 4-5 days before things start to get a lot better from there.  Some patients can resume work before this time depending upon their occupation.  No exercise for two weeks, no baths/jacuzzi or swimming for 3 weeks, and no sexual activity for typically 4 weeks.  My patients are given an oral pain medication such as Vicodin or Percocet but icing the area for the first 48 hours and applying some custom  made take-home topical local anesthetic cream seems to work the best.  Glad to help.

Ryan A. Stanton, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 128 reviews

Thanks for your question.

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This is a difficult subject for most women, since they tend to feel that their problem is unique, and often very embarrassing to discuss. First, please know that your concern is very common, and you are not alone. Second, the issue of discussing this with your mother is a personal one and depends entirely on your relationship. If you are a minor, you would definitely need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian to your consultation. If you are a young adult, and you are not comfortable having this issue out in the open with you mother, then a close friend or confidant would be the next best choice, unless you feel comfortable going to your consultation on your own. Labia minora asymmetry is very common, and can pose both functional and aesthetic problems for patients. To alleviate a lot of your concerns and get all of your questions answered it is best to consult with an experienced board certified plastic surgeon or gynecologist who is very familiar with external genitalia abnormalities and their correction. Today there are both non-surgical and surgical options and you should be evaluated to determine which option would be best for you. Best of luck to you. 

Ram Kalus, MD
Mount Pleasant Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

I have labia minora asymmetry and it bothers me a lot, I'm scared to talk to my mom about it cause it's awkward. Should I wait?

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Thank you for sharing your question.  Discussion of any kind regarding the genital region is difficult to have, especially with a parent, but many young women with asymmetry or functional issues related to their labia bring their mothers along to consultations as support.  Depending on your age and relationship with your mother you need not talk to her if you would rather not, but she will likely be a good source of reassurance or motivation to have a consultation if nothing more for peace of mind.  Hope this helps.

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

Talk to your mother about your labia concerns

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Talk to your mother. Everything starts with a discussion and your mom is your most trusted person. There is nothing wrong or abnormal about asymmetry. It exists all over the body, but if it truly bothers you, then say something to your mom.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.