When you got pregnant, you were probably well aware of the fact that pregnancy was going to change different parts of your body. You might have been prepared for changes in the abdominal area, such as a little tummy pouch, or changes in the breasts, such as an increase in size or sagging.
What you might not have expected, though, were changes “down there.” After childbirth, especially after a vaginal delivery, changes can occur in the vagina and labia. One of those changes can be an enlargement of the labia minora, the inner “lips” at the opening of the vagina.
An enlarged labia can make you feel self-conscious, whether you’re wearing clothes or not. Fortunately, labiaplasty can reduce the size of the labia, helping you to feel like your old self again. Labiaplasty offers several benefits, including functional and aesthetic improvements.
Depending on the size of the labia, enlargement can create hygiene issues. If one side is significantly larger than the other or if both sides are enlarged, there is a chance that bacteria can become trapped in the tissues, increasing the risk of infection.
Some women also find that having an enlarged labia increases the number of urinary tract infections they have. Having the labia surgically reduced can help to improve hygiene and minimize the risk of infections.
Improved Clothing Fit
Leggings and tight-fitting yoga pants aren’t going out of style any time soon. But for some women, finding a pair of tight-fitting pants that don’t accentuate the area they feel self-conscious about can be a major challenge.
Labiaplasty can make wearing leggings and other body-hugging styles easier and more comfortable. It can also help you feel more confident when it’s time to wear a swimsuit at the beach.
If you work in an industry that requires a certain type of clothing, labiaplasty can also help you feel more confident on the job and can help you look more professional.
Improved Confidence in the Bedroom
Labia naturally come in a range of sizes and shapes, and many women will see their labia change over time or as a result of pregnancy and childbirth. Even though there’s no one “right” way for the female genitalia to look, some women feel shy about revealing themselves to a partner. In some cases, the size of the labia can even make it difficult to enjoy sex.
Labiaplasty can make sex more comfortable and enjoyable. It can also help you overcome feelings of self-consciousness when you’re intimate with another person.
That said, it’s important that you have labiaplasty for yourself, not with the goal of trying to make another person happy. If a partner is critical of how any part of you looks, then you may want to reevaluate a few things, not get a labiaplasty.
Improved Comfort When Exercising
Depending on the size of your labia, you might experience discomfort during physical activity. Enlarged labia can make riding a bicycle nearly impossible without chafing or irritation. Labia that rub against the thighs can also make it difficult to run or participate in other forms of exercise. Reducing the size of the labia can eliminate friction and irritation and help you comfortably enjoy a more active lifestyle.
Usually, one of two types of labiaplasty can be performed. The traditional surgery is called a trim procedure. It involves removing the excess skin of the labia minora. Usually, the goal of a trim procedure to make the labia minora even with the labia majora.
The second type of labiaplasty is known as the wedge procedure. During a wedge procedure, the surgeon cuts away a v-shaped piece of tissue from each side of the labia minora. He then stitches the tissue together.
Each option has its benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to discuss what you’re hoping to get from the surgery with your plastic surgeon before deciding on one procedure or the other.
In addition to surgery for reducing the size of the labia minora, there are other options available that focus on other parts of the external genitalia, such as the labia majora and clitoral hood. Depending on your overall goals, your surgeon might recommend combining a labiaplasty with one or more additional procedures. It’s also possible to combine labiaplasty with vaginoplasty, which focuses on tightening the internal genitalia.
What to Expect After Labiaplasty
Even without plastic surgery, the genital area tends to be very sensitive. After labiaplasty, it’s likely to be particularly sensitive, at least for a few weeks. Usually, you’ll want to take a week or two off from work to give your body time to recover and heal.
You can start doing light activities and light exercise, like walking, starting a few days after surgery. In fact, walking after your labiaplasty is usually a very good idea, as it helps you bounce back more quickly. Take it easy, though, and save vigorous activity for at least a month after surgery.
It’s also a good idea to keep things loose around the labia and vagina in the days and weeks after labiaplasty. Avoid wearing tight underwear or any restrictive clothing until you get the all-clear from your surgeon. Tight garments create friction and can irritate the healing incisions.
You’ll also want to avoid sex for about a month after your surgery. Your surgeon will let you know when you can get intimate again.
Dr. Paul Vitenas is a top-rated, board-certified plastic surgeon who performs labiaplasty at his practice in Houston, Texas. If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of the surgery or want to know more about what you can expect from labiaplasty, call 281-484-0088 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Vitenas today.