About the disease
Hypertrophy of the labia is the asymmetry of external genital in women. According to Healthline, this condition is common for the majority of women. Only a small percentage of female population have perfectly symmetrical external genitals.
Overall, female genitals are called vulva from the medical point of view. The vulva has two folds of skin. They are sometimes called “lips”. Under the outer folds of skin, which are called “labia majora”, there are also smaller folds of skin, located right under the larger folds. These smaller folds are known as “ labia minora”. Vulva can be of different size and shape. It is very difficult to say which exact size and shape is the right one. Vulva changes its appearance throughout the lifetime of a woman, it can change during the puberty period, menstruation and menopause. Vulva can change after the birth of a child and turn into its natural form after some time passes. It all is the normal process of female`s body. Some folds of the outer skin of vulva can be larger or shorter than the other, they can also be thicker and the shape can vary slightly. Having active sexual life can also change the appearance of outer folds of vulva. During the sexual intercourse, the “lips” can become thicker and red if the woman is aroused or having an orgasm.
In general, having asymmetrical vulva does not mean that there is an actual medical problem. Very often the asymmetry is so slight that only a gynecologist can tell. In some cases, however, hypertrophy of the labia can lead to hygiene problems and general discomfort in the genital area, especially if vulva changes in size abnormally and the enlargement was caused by some other condition, such as infection. Such condition can also develop as a result of some hormonal imbalance, but is very rare in such case.
If hypertrophy of the labia is abnormal in its nature, it can cause the following symptoms:
- Pain in the vulva area
- Pain when urinating or having sexual intervourse
- During a general examination the gynecologist will examine the vulva and determine if its size is abnormal.
- The gynecologist will ask if the change developed suddenly or if it was present for a long time. The doctor will also ask about the regularity of periods and also hormonal cycle of the woman.
- The doctor may do a swab tests to determine if there are any infections which could be causing enlargement of labia.
- An ultrasound can be used in some cases to examine the inner organs of woman`s reproductive system.
- Woman can choose to have the surgery to improve the appearance of labia.
- Labiaplasty is the plastic surgery which aims to remove the excess tissue of labia and also reshape it so that vulva is symmetrical.
- After the surgery a woman needs some time for the vulva to recover completely.