How Do I Know if I Need Labiaplasty?

Doctor Answers 48

Do you NEED a labiaplasty

Thanks for your question.

As many of the other plastic surgeons have pointed out. Very rarely does anyone *need* a labiaplasty (though I have had several patients treated in my San Francisco area practice who have had significant labial tears from childbirth or other surgeries who had insurance covered labiaplasty).

More commonly labiaplasty is for cosmetic reasons though we commonly have patients describe pain during sex or sitting who have had significant improvement.

Asymmetry of the labia minora can also cause self image issues that some women may wish to seek surgery to improve.

For the vast majority of women this can be considered a cosmetic procedure. Find a board certified plastic surgeon to discuss your concerns and needs.

I hope this helps.

San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

You don't need labiaplasty if you have no complaints

If you have no complaints, then YOU DO NOT NEED THE SURGERY.

You should treat what bothers you, not have the surgery because it can be done.

Any surgery is a major decision with potential risks and complications.

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Do I need a labiaplasty?

Many women who undergo labiaplasty do not "need" the procedure.  Most women who seek labiaplasty are looking to improve the appearance of their vulva by reducing the excess labia minora (inner lips) which prodrudes from their labia majora (outer lips) while standing.  Some women note that the excess labia minora is visible in their bathing suit or work out clothing. Others find it difficult with hygiene to the area giving the excess skin or discomfort with exercise, riding a bicycle or with sexual intercourse. 

Luis H. Macias, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 60 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.

Find a plastic surgeon whom you feel comfortable with. I have turned many women down from labiaplasty surgery after providing reassurance and education on the range of "normal" but a consultation may help you to feel better about your appearance and address your concerns.

Adam J. Oppenheimer, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 200 reviews

Do I Need A Labiaplasty?

Dear Savannah, Thank you for posting your interesting question. There is considerable variation of what is considered normal labia. With the increase of waxing this area and watching "movies", woman have exposed this area and the size, hyperpigmentation and asymmetries have become more evident. The Labia Reduction procedure is done for woman, because men do not complain about this. With over 15 years experience performing Labiaplasty, I would venture to say that your labia minora are probably normal, but may be larger than average when compared to other woman on a Bell shaped curve. It is a personal choice and comes down to whether you would feel more comfortable, in intimate situations, if your labia were reduced. I recommend that you have a consultation with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who can examine you and provide some treatment options.Sincerely, Dr. Richard Wellington Swift

Richard Wellington Swift, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews


Patients considering labiaplasty commonly report feeling self-conscious about the appearance of their labia or concerns regarding asymmetry. Others may experience discomfort when wearing tight clothing or performing certain physical activities (e.g. riding a bicycle). Best, Stephanie Power MD, FRCSC

Stephanie Power, MD, MSc, FRCSC
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Most patients who come to me regarding a labioplasty are self conscious because of the length of their labia minora.

They complain of discomfort in tight clothing and being self-conscious in a bathing suite.  They sometimes have feel they have to "tuck themselves i'n to avoid irritation.  Some patients just don't like the aesthetic appearance. 


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


No woman needs a Labiaplasty, unless they are very  self conscious and it is troublesome. 

If the large, long, or stretched out labia minora are being pinched or irritated:

  1. with certain clothing ,
  2. while sitting,
  3. during certain physical activities, or
  4. during sex

Then labiaplasty may be an option for you.

Carlos Cordoba, MD
Montreal Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Need a labiaplasty?

Excess labia minora tissue can cause discomfort in tight clothing and present hygiene issues. Some women feel embarrassed by the appearance of the vaginal area. This can cause a certain degree of sexual dysfunction. The labia majora can also appear deflated over time. There are non-surgical and surgical procedures to address this issue.

Stephanie Beidler Teotia, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

How Do I Know if I Need Labiaplasty?

Thank you for your question. There is a wide variation in the size and appearance of a women's anatomy. Some women may have, or develop, enlarged or asymmetrical labia that can make exercise, sexual intercourse, or wearing certain types of clothing difficult. In these instances, a labiaplasty allows for a reduction in the size of the labia, while also making a more symmetrical pairing.  A consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon, who could perform a physical exam, would be able to give you a more definitive opinion.

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 68 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.