Is my vulva causing me to get yeast infections and can labiaplasty fix it?

I get pretty chronic yeast infections. I am very hygienic; but my labia majora is long and I have to spread my legs as far apart as they can go to get any sort of air flow down there. So my vulva is always extremely moist and just collects sweat and all the normal secretions without any ventilation. I've read that that is a common cause of yeast infections and even UTIs in dogs. I was wondering if that could be why I get yeast infections and if shortening the labia majora would fix anything.

Doctor Answers 8

Does labiaplasty cure yeast infections?

Yeast infections are very common in women with labia of all sizes and at all ages. They are extremely common in diabetics and in women on antibiotics. If these latter factors are part of the picture and haven't been addressed, then get these managed first as it might be all you need. However, yeast is a type of fungus and fungus thrives in moist environments. Large labia create a very moist environment and reducing them will reduce the moisture as well as a significant portion of the tissue that is being irritated. Chronic labial irritation is one of the most common reasons why women seek labiaplasty. It is very effective.

Labiaplasty cure yeast infection

It would be difficult to tell whether or not a labiaplasty would resolve this issue for you.  I see many women who do not have enlarged labia who share the same problem.  I would recommend following up with your gynecologist to access for any underlying risk factor in regards to the yeast infections. 

Labia causing yeast infections??

There have been a couple studies confirming recurrent urinary tract infections may linked or caused by enlarged labia and following labiaplasty in some women the uti's resolved. As far as I know, there have been no studies linking recurrent vaginal yeast infections with enlarged labia. It does though make practical sense that if you are getting recurrent EXTERNAL yeast infections in the folds of the enlarged labia then a labiaplasty may help reduce the incidence of these infections. If that is the only reason you are considering labiaplasty you should be very cautious as there is no guarantee that the infections will resolve. Make sure there are no other underlying risk factors present as well. 

Dr Robert D Moore

Atlanta - Beverly Hills - Dubai

Robert D. Moore, DO
Atlanta Urogynecologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Is my vulva causing me to get yeast infections and can labiaplasty fix it?

Thank you for your question.  I have found that women with larger/longer labia majora will complain of increased yeast infections as a result of difficulty in keeping the area dry.  Yeast formation occurs in warm, moist areas and enlarged/overlapping skin redundancy or folds is a perfect example.  See a board certified plastic surgeon in consultation for a labia majora reduction.  Hope this helps.

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Majora Reduction

The "clamshell" vulva has been used to describe the vaginal area with elongated labia majora. I think this could be the cause of your symptoms. A majora reduction is the proper procedure to correct this, though it's certainly possible that it wouldn't fix the yeast infection problem. How annoying would that be! We don't quite know everything in plastic surgery, and sometimes we are making a best guess and being open and logical and fair about it. Find a doctor who's willing to level with you and explain the surgery in detail. The scars for this procedure are at the junction between the majora and minora (in the fold between) and there can be considerable swelling with this surgery (and even a higher bleeding risk) then the standard labiaplasty (which involves the minora). Be selective and look far and wide for a labiaplasty surgeon. Dr. Austin Hayes has a kind soul and gentle hands in Portland.

Redundant labia and yeast infections

Redundant labia lead to excess soft tissue folds and areas for yeast infections to have a higher likelihood of occurring due to excess moisture. Removal of excess tissue can help alleviate these problems. 

Gaurav Bharti, MD, FACS
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 102 reviews

Can "robust" labia increase risk of UTIs and yeast infections??

Hi Randy,

Very important question, and one that both I and other experts here have long debated. The answer is, "yes," I do see women that, because of long, thick, "congealed" labia that obstruct the vaginal opening, diminishing "aeration" and drainage, get frequent episodes of symptoms suggesting UTI's and vaginal/vulvar irritation that may be yeast, or may be symptoms from the chronic occlusion & moisture.  See a labiaplasty specialist for an in-person evaluation. If there's no true expert near you, do not hesitate to travel, or call for a telephone evaluation! The attached link will be helpful to get you started!

Best wishes,

Michael P Goodman MD

Vulva & Yeast infections

RandySandy:

Though my academic colleague believe that long labia do not increase yeast infections it is my experience that they can enhance your ability to get a yeast infection.  Common sense and logic dictates that dark, damp areas can be an area for yeast infections just as mold can grow in the damp dark basement of a home.  

Though no surgeon can guarantee your yeast infections will go away there is certainly  a lot of common sense involved with the idea of labia minora reduction and less moisture retention in the area.  Many patients have told me that their incidence of yeast infections have decreased after getting  a labiaplasty.   It will be interesting to see what other surgeons say about their experience.  

sincerely

John R Miklos MD
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.