Why is my Vagina/Vulva/"Lips" so fat? It is not flat or small and my panties usually don't fully cover my vagina.

Basically why is my vulva or 'lips' so thick? And can surgery help?

Doctor Answers 6

Size and Shape of Vulva

Women have a wide range of normal color, texture, size and asymmetries of their genitalia. This is true of the Vulva and all of its parts, the same as other parts of the body. 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 are noted below in each section. These 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.


Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 96 reviews

Why are my vulva and labia fat?

The most common reason for this complaint is genetics.  Weight gain or childbirth can contribute as well.  Surgery is an option but without photos its difficult to know where to begin.  As a general rule of thumb avoid surgery unless this is an issue that troubles you greatly and then seek a qualified expert.  Some surgeons will operate on anyone who can pay their bill.  Avoid scalpel happy docs and consider getting more than one opinion before you decide. 

Vaginoplasty

There are several reasons the labia majora or minora can be enlarged including weight gain as well as gradual laxity with age. Depending on which component is enlarged, there are treatments to enhance areas that are out of proportion.  I recommend you see a board certified plastic surgeon to have consultation. 

Best wishes,

Dr. Jan

Badar Jan, MD
Allentown Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Why are my labia big?

Sorry but I can't begin to answer your question with any personal advice without a couple/few closeup in-focus pis of the area you're talking about.

That said, here is my "general" response. If you wish a personal response, send pics...

"Does my vagina look normal?" The same question could be asked about one's nose, or breasts, or other parts of your body! There is a delightful variation in size, shape, and location of the labia minora, majora, clitoral hood and vaginal introitus ("entryway.") We're all different and distinct; in fact, if you look closely, even the 2 sides of a woman's lips are anatomically different from each other.

Yes, it's all "normal." Yes, you have "robust" labia. When a man has a "robust" penis or testicular size, he is not unhappy, but larger sized labial folds and/or clitoral hood tissue "bugs" many women, either visually and/or functionally.

Same as breast size, if a woman is on the bigger or smaller side, it can be bothersome to some women but not so to others. And, just because you are "normal" (which you are), does not mean you might want to do something about it if bugs you visually, interferes with your self-esteem, holds you back sexually, causes hygenic difficulties, chafes with sports activities, slips out of thong undergarments, gets in the way with sexual intimacy, etc.

So... You are normal. You are robust. Don't mess with it is it does not bother you. ("...If it ain't broke, don't fix it..!) However, if it is an "issue," here is important advice for your self-protection (this comes from someone-me- who had done >600 labiaplasties on women of every size, shape, arrangement and individual desires, as well as someone who has been an "expert witness" in many legal cases involving "botched labiaplasties..!")

1. Consult only with surgeons who "specialize" in this type of surgery (yes, you may have to travel), who can either show you evidence that they have either trained with an expert or have performed at least> 25 procedures (ask to see their own "before and after" photos.) There is nothing wrong with consulting with more than one surgeon to get different opinions. Also, do your homework! Look at several surgeon's websites. Become educated. SEE A SPECIALIST!
2. Best to work with a surgeon who can prove to you that they are skilled in both Curvilinear Resection ("Trim") AND modified V-Wedge surgical techniques, as then they can CHOOSE the exact procedure that would best fit both your anatomy and specific aesthetic desires.
3. Ask if you can speak with other women whom the surgeon has operated on, to get their opinions.
4. It is best if your surgeon performs your surgery under local anesthesia, perhaps in their own surgical suite.
5. Understand that it is hugely important to follow your surgeon's post-op instructions to the letter to get your best results!

My very best to you. Please click on the link below for eductional information. Also, look at recent blogposts on the site; there is SPECIFIC information on the pros and cons of the individual techniques for labiaplasty

-Michael P Goodman, MD
Davis, CA, USA

Fat vulva...can surgery help?

Thank you for your question, but photos would have been helpful. I can't tell if you are referring to your labia minora, labia majora, or both. Appearance of genitalia varies depending on age, body habitus, ethnicity, etc.

I recommend you look at the photo gallery in the link below to see if you look similar to any Before photos and if you like the After results. This will help in your understanding of your anatomy and what is possible.

I would then recommend you consult with an experience cosmetic vaginal surgeon to see what procedure(s) would give you the look that you want.

Best of luck,

Oscar A. Aguirre, MD
Denver Urogynecologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Vulvar fat

Dear Luvconquersall

It is very difficult to say what is going on with you without photos or a physical examination. The most common reason why women feel their vulva and labia are enlarged is due to genetics or hormonal response.  There is not much you can do about the past and why you are the way you are.   The next step is to consider surgery but I encourage you to choose a surgeon who has a vast amount of experience doing surgery on the labia miniora and labia majora.  There are far too many surgeons who think they are good at these surgeries and every week there is a patient who comes back on to the RealSelf and regrets that she had surgery performed.

The number one reason for this regret is failure to fully investigate the surgeon they have chosen and more so have investigated into a surgeon who has the experience, expertise and proven results.  Please choose wisely as failure to do so can result in horrendous results.  

John R MIklos MD
Urogynecologist & Cosmetic Vaginal Surgeon
Atlanta ~ Beverly Hills ~ Dubai

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.