What is hanging around my vaginal opening and how to I make my vagina look more normal? (photos)

Ever since I became sexually active I've noticed this tissue hanging from my vaginal opening I have never had any children is there something wrong with it? Does this mean my vagina is loose? I also have really wrinkly and large labia minora and my clitoris is completely covered by my clitoral hood. Is there any way to shorten the hood and make it skinny along with a Labiaplasty? When this is done can all of the wrinkly tissue all be left smooth and taught? Thank you

Doctor Answers 4

You have hymenal skin tags and long labia. All is normal here.

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Hymenal tags are the remnants of your hymen after it broke when you first became sexually active. Totally normal, very common and requiring no treatment. Your elongated labia are normal and not a sign of medical problems. Looseness in discussions of the vagina, refers to a stretched out vaginal canal that feels too loose with sex and not loose skin of the labia minora. It doesn't sound like this is an issue for you. If you don't like the appearance of your labia, schedule a consultation with a labiaplasty expert. If you want the hymenal tag removed, see any gynecologist.

Normal, but...

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Thank you for your question and photos.  Your anatomy appears to be within the range of normal.  What you are seeing at the vaginal opening is remnants of the hymen.  Despite the fact that your anatomy is normal, you still may not like it and wish to have your concerns addressed surgically.  This can be done and, in your case, would consist of a labiaplasty with clitoral hood reduction.  The skin will be less wrinkly afterwards, but may never be totally smooth and taut, as you say.  Normally, this skin is somewhat wrinkly.  One can have the ThermiVa procedure performed, which a non-surgical, painless treatment that results in tightening of the skin around the vaginal opening.  It requires 3 half-hour treatments spaced about one month apart and results are long-lasting, but not permanent, so many women will require a "touch-up" procedure every 6-24 months to maintain results.  If you decide to pursue surgery, I strongly recommend that you seek a qualified surgeon (usually plastic surgeon or gynecologist) who has experience doing cosmetic genital surgery on women, as when these operations are not performed properly, it can be quite difficult to fix.

How to make vagina look "normal"

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The fleshy part "hanging" from your vagina is normal vaginal opening/hymen remnants. The external parts can be addressed by labiplasty +/- clitoral hoodectomy. Please read on:Your story and concerns are in good company with almost ever other patient that undergoes labiaplasty and/or clitoral hood reduction (aka hoodectomy).  Based upon your photos, your anatomy is very typical of someone who seriously considers having these procedures 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

What is hanging around my vaginal opening and how do I make my vagina more normal?

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Thank you for sharing your questions and photograph.  The remnants of tissue along your vaginal opening is from your hymenal ring and are commonly found in many women. If they cause you concern, they can be removed with a small in-office procedure.  Your clitoral hood can be addressed at the same time as your labiaplasty to leave you with a smaller, smoother appearance but it can not be shortened so much that your clitoris is exposed.  Be sure to see an experienced labiaplasty surgeon to maximize your results.  Hope this helps.

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

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.