Labial hypertrophy is a condition where one or both labia (vaginal lips) are larger than normal.
The labia have outside skin folds (labia majora) and inner skin folds (labia minora).
While labial hypertrophy can affect the size of both the inner and outer folds, it typically changes the appearance of the labia minora. Note: it is important to understand what is normal = the inner folds extend past the outside folds in over 50% of women and girls.
There is no reported “normal size,” but typically they are thought to be enlarged if >4-5 cm per side.
Symptoms of labial hypertrophy can include:
Visually and with a measurement in the office.
The exact cause of labial hypertrophy is unknown. Some physicians credit it to natural variations in the body. Some girls are born with enlarged labia, and others may develop hypertrophy over time.
The vast majority of girls and women need NO treatment. There is a large variation in labial sizes in females, and sometimes a daughter’s labia may be significantly larger than their mothers for example, and this most often is very normal. In extremely rare cases, a procedure called a 'labiaplasty' is offered to patients. This is an outpatient procedure typically done in the summer-time as the recovery can be several weeks long.