My vagina is brown and hangs. Is this normal? (Photo)

I've been really self conscious about this forever. But my inner labia hang out way further than the rest and are discolored. I am still a virgin.

Doctor Answers 12

IS my vagina normal?

Keep in mind that there is a great deal of normal and natural variation between the appearances of women's vaginas.  That being said I do agree that your labia minora are indeed slightly enlarged and their appearances could be improved by performing a labiaplasty.  Best to follow up with a board certified plastic surgeon.

Hanging uneven labia

Labialplasty is probably the most common of the Vaginal Enhancement procedures. A candidate for a Labiaplasty procedure is concerned about the appearance of her labia or she may experience pain and discomfort from large, long or uneven labia; usually of the inner lips or labia minora. This may result in chronic rubbing, which leads to difficulty in wearing tight clothing , such as leggings; tight shorts and bathing suits can reveal a “Camel Toe” which can be corrected with treatment. Enlarged or uneven labia may have a significant psychological impact and severely affect normal sexual relations.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Do I need a labiaplasty?

The strongest reasons to "need" a labiaplasty are the presence of functional issues. These include, hygiene problems, rashes, chafing, bleeding, and difficulty wearing clothing. Problems with intercourse and dyspareunia (pain with intercourse) is also a primary reason to pursue labiaplasty. Labial tears during childbirth are another strong indication for a labiaplasty.

Otherwise, and in the majority of cases, a labiaplasty procedure (with or without a clitoral hoodectomy) is performed for cosmetic reasons. There is a wide range of "normal" appearing vulvar anatomy. More recently, with the increased incidence of nudity online, more and more women desire a "neat" appearance to the vulva. This is most commonly expressed as the inability to see the inner labia and clitoris while standing, with full outer labia (or labia majora). All of these aesthetic goals can be achieved with a thoughtful labiaplasty.

The wedge and trim methods are the most common approaches.

Find a board certified plastic surgeon in your area with good reviews on RealSelf and good before and after photos who you feel comfortable with to address these concerns.

Adam J. Oppenheimer, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 190 reviews

Candidate for labioplasty

Your anatomy is well within "normal" but that doesn't mean you can't alter it if you are not happy with the appearance or if the redundant labia are uncomfortable in certain clothing.  LAbioplasty is a relatively simple procedure with minimal risks when done by an experienced surgeon.

Mary Gingrass, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Normal variation of labial appearance

There are physical variation of shape and color of the labia which are normal. The labial tissue can be more pigmented ( darker)  , be asymmetrical ( uneven between both sides) or hypertrophic ( hang further out). There is nothing wrong with you physically, but women can be affected emotionally by it ( self conscious). 

The  procedure to reduce it is called a labiaplasty. It is a surgical procedure that requires a discussion with a surgeon to understand your goals and aesthetic desires. It is also important for you to understand what is involved in a procedure like this.

Cheri Ong, MD, FACS
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Are dark protruding labia normal?

Normal labia come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Yours are normal. Many women don't like to see the labia protruding and don't like the dark color. This can be improved with labiaplasty if you want to change the appearance.

Marco A. Pelosi III, MD
Jersey City OB/GYN
4.6 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Looks "normal"

If this is something you feel uncomfortable about and is causing you discomfort when you wear certain clothing, then you could consider a labiaplasty. However, you should know that "normal" is such a broad category when it comes to the female genital area, and yours appears to look "normal". 

Leila Kasrai, MD, FRCSC
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

Labiaplasty for discoloration

Labiaplasty is a common solution for patients with labia discoloration. Labiaplasty is a common procedure in our practice. It has a high satisfaction rate. Make sure to see a plastic surgeon for proper evaluation. Good luck.

Stanley Okoro, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 161 reviews

My vagina is brown and hangs. Is this normal?

Based upon your pictures and description, I think that labial reduction would be reasonable.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 492 reviews

Labiaplasty indications

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 as well is very typical of someone who seriously considers having these procedures and turns out to be a huge (sexual) self-confidence booster after.
Labiaplasty, which most commonly involves surgical reduction of the labia minora (inner/thinner lips), has become a relatively common procedure over the last ten and even more so last five years. 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 7-8 mm actually. 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 Stanton, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 116 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.