Labia Reduction Surgery: A Guide 

Body insecurities are common and can relate to all parts of your body. Some women may be unhappy with the size and shape of their labia, for example, which can affect their self-esteem and confidence.

Some people may wish to have labia reduction surgery – or labiaplasty – which is a cosmetic procedure that can modify your labia into your desired shape and size.  

While it’s completely normal to have folds of skin around your vagina, for some women, they can cause feelings of embarrassment or low self-esteem and having a labiaplasty can make a big difference to their level of self-confidence.  

What are labia? 

Labia are the folds of skin around your vaginal opening. There are two types of labia: the labia minora and labia majora.  

The labia minora are the inner folds which protect your urethra and vagina, whereas labia majora are the outer folds which are often larger and protect your genitals. Pubic hair will also grow on your labia majora but not your labia minora.   

Labia come in all shapes and sizes, and everyone’s labia are unique. Some people may have labia minora that are longer than their majora and vice versa. Some people may have asymmetrical or uneven labia. Everyone is different.  

However, some women will want labia reduction surgery because they do not like the appearance of their labia.  

Physical discomfort can be a factor too. Some women find wearing tight clothing uncomfortable due to the size and shape of their labia – leading to chafing, soreness and pinching.   

Labiaplasty may also be carried out as part of gender-affirming care. Trans women may have labia minora and majora constructed from their penile and scrotal skin. 

Understanding labia reduction surgery 

Labia reduction surgery is a medical procedure that changes the shape and size of your labia. Tissue and skin will be removed through surgical incisions to alter and create your desired results. 

Before having labiaplasty, you’ll undergo a thorough consultation with your surgeon to discuss your desired results and determine what is achievable for your body.  

If you and your surgeon decide that labiaplasty is right for you, the surgery will involve removing tissue from either your labia minora or majora to create your desired size and shape. This will all take place carried out under general anaesthetic, which means you will be asleep throughout. You may also need to stay in the hospital overnight.  

The surgeon will make incisions along the rim of your labia to minimise your risk of scarring. Unwanted tissue will then be cut away before being closed up with dissolvable stitches.  

The entire procedure normally takes between one and two hours.   

What to consider before undergoing the procedure 

Before you undergo a labia reduction surgery, it’s important to consider a few different factors. These include:   

  • Your reasoning for wanting the surgery – it should be entirely your decision, not anybody else’s.
  • Your age – since your labia continues to develop into early adulthood, labia reduction surgery is not recommended for anyone under the age of 18.
  • Your choice of surgeon – make sure they are experienced in the procedure and will personalise their approach to meet your needs.
  • Your results might not be perfect – the desired results you have in mind might not be exactly what you end up with.
  • Your surgeon will do their best to provide you with what you want, but it’s important to remember that it might not always be possible.
  • Recovery – you will most likely need up to two weeks off work to recover and it can take months for your labia to heal completely. It’s worth bearing this in mind if you have plans such as holidays or special occasions.

Labiaplasty at The McIndoe Centre

At The McIndoe Centre, we offer a range of high-quality, specialist treatments led by the very best clinicians — including labiaplasty surgery.

Benefits and risks of labiaplasty

All surgical procedures carry risks. However, highly experienced and qualified surgeons will do everything they can to minimise them. 

Some of the potential risks of having labia reduction surgery may include:

  • Removing too much or not enough tissue 
  • Bleeding 
  • Bruising 
  • Infection 
  • Scarring 
  • Loss of sensitivity  
  • Pain during sex  
  • Allergic reaction to the anaesthetic (this is rare) 

Although the procedure carries potential risks, it does offer several benefits which may outweigh them, especially in terms of your emotional wellbeing. Some of the other benefits associated with labiaplasty can include: 

  • Reduced physical discomfort – some women find that their labia chafe or twist during activities such as exercising and sex so changing their shape or size can reduce this.
  • Enhanced self-confidence – if the size and shape of your labia are harming your overall mental wellbeing, this procedure could boost your confidence.
  • Better fit of clothing – sometimes, the size and shape of your labia can make clothing such as jeans, swimsuits and underwear feel uncomfortable.
  • More confidence in hygiene – some women may feel as though they can’t clean themselves properly due to their current labia size and shape. Reducing them may help this feeling go away and give you confidence in your personal hygiene.
  • Balanced appearance – symmetry of your labia can be achieved with this procedure.

Labia reduction surgery recovery process 

Recovering from labia reduction surgery can take up to two weeks, so you should take some time off work and your regular activities. It can take months for your incisions to fully heal and for you to see the final results. 

Bruising and swelling are to be expected after your surgery for the first two weeks. You may also feel uncomfortable when sitting down or urinating. Your surgeon will prescribe you pain relief medication to help you manage your level of discomfort. 

Labia reduction surgery aftercare  

Once you return home after your procedure, you’ll need to follow your surgeon’s aftercare advice. This will include:  

  • Keeping your wounds clean to reduce the risk of infection 
  • Wearing loose underwear and clothes to prevent irritation or rubbing 
  • Avoiding sex for at least four weeks 
  • Avoiding exercise or strenuous activity for four to six weeks 

Your surgeon may give you further, tailored advice based on your specific needs. 


We’ve put together some of the most frequently asked questions about labia reduction surgery so you can learn all that you need to know. 

Book an appointment with The McIndoe Centre 

Labia reduction surgery may be a simple cosmetic procedure, but it can completely transform your confidence. It’s not unusual for women to struggle with chafing, pain and discomfort due to the size of their labia too. At The McIndoe Centre, we offer labiaplasty to provide you with relief if your labia are causing physical discomfort and boost your self-confidence if you want to change how they look. 

A thorough consultation with our supportive team will ensure we can provide you with a realistic outcome that best matches your desired results as well as provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision. 

If you’re unhappy with the size or shape of your labia, book a consultation with our expert-led team. Our consultants understand the sensitivity of this procedure and just how much it can help to restore confidence. 

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