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Embarrassing Bodies, 12:10am Thursday 5th March 2015 on More 4. Catch up for free on 4oD »

Video

Voiceover: 45 year old interior designer Alison is deeply embarrassed by her vagina.

Alison: I remember when I was 16, I just seemed to have a little bit of extra skin and I thought ‘is this how it’s supposed to look’? I don’t even really remember why I thought it wasn’t quite normal but my ageing process has made my problem worse. I think it’s saggy knees and wrinkles, everything goes south including that. It’s all vain stuff but you know it really matters when you are 45.

Voiceover: Newly single, Alison is all in a flap when it comes to exposing herself to a new partner.

Voiceover: She’s plucked up the courage to visit our clinic.

Alison: The debilitating factor for me is psychological, it’s mental, it’s what I will and won’t do in the intimacy of my bedroom and that means that I won’t easily undress in front of somebody. I won’t do certain acts of sex. Maybe I’m neurotic but it matters to me and that’s all I care about really.

Dr Pixie: What can I do for you?

Alison: It’s very embarrassing. I have a worrying concern down there.

Dr Pixie: Women’s bits.

Alison: Yes.

Dr Pixie: Right, ok. What exactly is the problem?

Alison: There is some skin hanging down and being just too much.

Dr Pixie: Does it seem to be on both sides of…

Alison: It’s on the inner part. It’s not really very attractive. I’ve just come to find out if I am normal or not normal.

Dr Pixie: Ok. Well, look Alison. No time like the present. Let’s get you up on the couch and let’s have a look. Now let’s take a look. Alison, you’ve got quite a lot of excess skin round here. Now the skin itself looks very, very healthy alright? So, I can’t see anything that would worry me, alright? Now it might be helpful if we could just get you to stand up. I just want to see how these lips actually protrude and stick out for you, you know, because that’s obviously what’s bothering you.

Alison: Yes. Absolutely yes.

Dr Pixie: From here, I can see straight on that they’re sticking right down aren’t they? Normally you wouldn’t get that appearance. I think I’ve seen all I need to see, I am sure you’re keen to get your clothes on.

Alison: Thank you.

Dr Pixie: Women will come in for a smear or an examination for another reason and they will have a similar appearance to yourself but to some women it doesn’t bother them. Don’t think you’re abnormal or a freak, what you’ve got is a normal variant.

Alison: Ok.

Dr Pixie: I think that we will be able to help you with this.

Alison: So they can help be look ok?

Dr Pixie: I’m not thinking a gynaecologist here, I’m thinking more a cosmetic surgeon.

Alison: Right.

Dr Pixie: They can do a fairly minor procedure and remove that excess skin for you.

Alison: That sounds brilliant.

Voiceover: It’s good news for Alison. Thanks to her courage, Dr McKenna has referred Alison to top Harley Street Surgeon Angelica Kavouni.

Ms Kavouni: The problem is more obvious on the right hand side; there is a degree of asymmetry.

Alison: It’s horrible isn’t it?

Ms Kavouni: It’s not horrible but there is definitely too much tissue there.

Voiceover: Ms Kavouni suggests a surgical technique to take the weight off Alison’s mind and remove her little secret. Alison is having a labiaplasty where the excess tissue from her inner labia will be surgically removed. Ms Kavouni performed 250 labiaplasties last year for women like Alison.

Ms Kavouni: For other women it is the appearance and it is not a problem the patient will easily talk about and quite often it takes an amount of years to go ahead and do something about it.

Voiceover: When Alison comes round she will be comfortable in the knowledge she will not be going home with these.

Voiceover: Back in the clinic Alison has come to show Dr McKenna the results of her op.

Alison: All done four weeks ago.

Dr Pixie: Right. How did it go?

Alison: Overall I’m absolutely delighted. I’m not too sure it’s finished healing yet.

Dr Pixie: Do you want to pop up on the couch Alison and we shall have a look.

Alison: Ok.

Dr Pixie: So, Alison how much in total do you think she removed?

Alison: Quite a lot I think.

Dr Pixie: I think she’s taken off about an inch and a half.

Alison: Easily. It has got to be, hasn’t it? It’s all gone it’s great.

Dr Pixie: Clearly, we are not even quite four weeks post the operation. Can I get you to stand down because I’m intrigued to know how it looks standing? It is quite incredible. Brilliant.

Alison: Yes.

Voiceover: A month ago Alison couldn’t bear to let anyone up close and personal.

Dr Pixie: What are you looking forward to doing?

Alison: I suppose I’m hoping that the next relationship I have all my insecurities will have completely gone.

Dr Pixie: Best of luck with it.

Alison: Thanks very much.

Dr Pixie: Hopefully it’ll open new doors for you so to speak.

Alison: Yes, well. We’ll see.

Dr Pixie: Thanks a lot Alison.

Read the video transcript

Consultation: Enlarged Labia

A woman comes to see Dr McKenna about her enlarged labia.

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Comments and Questions

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I am very disappointed that this subject was approached in this fashion. The doctor described the tissue as "too much" even though she also said it's a normal variant. This sends the message that "yeah, it's normal but still not pretty". I couldn't believe they show her following up with a plastic surgeon too. This is not a medical condition that needs correcting. All that needed to be said about is "it's perfectly normal, many girls have larger labia. if it really bothers you, there are options like labiaplasty"





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I am so embarrassed by my labia, I don't feel normal because of it and I'm really scared to let any guy go near me in case they take the mick and think I'm a freak show. I hate wearing swim suits because I think everyone is looking and laughing at me. How can I become confident enough not to care about how I look?





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hy am 30 would like to find out wat method u use to make critoris larger mine r very small.plz help me..





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I hate to tell you young girls, but the most revolting "Look" of a woman's vagina are the ones that have been surgically altered, to spoil the natural beauty. Many men like myself, find nothing more turnoffish than a woman/girl with just a slit as a vagina, and no lips to show. I am aware some unlucky girls are like this naturally, but Im sure as they mature into their 20s that the correct bits grow a little. So embrace you large lips, as other women have, I guarantee your Real Man boyfriend will love it.....only childish immature boys, oooh and laugh at a real woman's vagina. There are Millions of photos of beautiful women 18+ on the internet, with perfect full large labia. Dont have surgery, it will only make things worse. BTW, it has been recorded and researched that the huge leap in young women wanting surgery, is because of the stupid current fashion of removing pubic hair, which then makes everything 1000 times bigger. For millions of years women had those bits covered, and didnt care about "loose Lips", now with this stupid wanting to look like a 10 year old girl again, its all out in the wind.....the remedy, go natural, Tasmania over Brazil!!!





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I hate to tell you young girls, but the most revolting "Look" of a woman's vagina are the ones that have been surgically altered, to spoil the natural beauty. Many men like myself, find nothing more turnoffish than a woman/girl with just a slit as a vagina, and no lips to show. I am aware some unlucky girls are like this naturally, but Im sure as they mature into their 20s that the correct bits grow a little. So embrace you large lips, as other women have, I guarantee your Real Man boyfriend will love it.....only childish immature boys, oooh and laugh at a real woman's vagina. There are Millions of photos of beautiful women 18+ only internet, with perfect full large labia. Dont have surgery, it will only make things worse. NTW, it has been recorded and researched that the huge leap in young women wanting surgery, is because of the stupid current fashion of removing pubic hair, which then makes everything 1000 times bigger. For millions of years women had those bits covered, and didnt care about "loose Lips", now with this stupid wanting to look like a 10 year old girl again, its all out in the wind.....the remedy, go natural, Tasmania over Brazil!!!





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Though it is ridiculous to shame women for having larger labia, it is equally outlandish to shame 'unlucky' women for tiny, less visible labia. It is offensive to say that anyone's vagina is revolting. I can see that your intentions were kind, and it is great that men like you and I embrace larger labia - but everyone's vagina is different, and you stating your opinion like it's a fact doesn't really help people who are self-concious about themselves. I know you didn't mean to be offensive but this is a website that is supposed to help people and boost the confidence of those who hate how they look.

I am 20 years old and I was once very self conscious of my large labia minora as well. I can think of at least five ass hole boyfriends I had as a teen who called it "meat curtains", "wizard sleeve" a "package", told me I should get surgery, told me it looked loose, told everyone at school, etc. it kind of sounds crazy, but having larger labia made me a better person. I felt like I had this secret horrible thing that nobody could see and it made me very modest and humble because I knew that every girl had something they were uncomfortable with about herself. At some point, you might meet a boy who is rude about it, but please do not listen to them. There is NOTHING wrong with it. I am finally with a MAN who loves everything about it. He makes me feel so comfortable with myself I forget that I used to ever be afraid of showing them off. When I was 11-12, I remember thinking there was something wrong with me, and the idiots who I dated in high school reaffirmed that until I realized that they only thought that because they had seen vaginas in porn only, and they NEVER use women with larger labia because of sensoring. I promise, it will be easier when you meet someone who knows what a gift you have and who appreciates everything he can do with them. Oral sex is much more fun when you can reach what you're working with! I would suggest that you do NOT get any kind of surgery if you are considering it unless it is a serious medical discomfort. I have to wear pads, as many women do, because of excess moisture down there. Toilet paper gets stuck to me easier. I still get self conscious when I'm wearing tight clothing some days, but there is ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong with me and I now know that. Different guys like different things, but NEVER base your opinion of yourself based on what they like. . I love what I have and I am so proud to be me.





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While I understand we all have concerns about our body features, I find it really depressing that Embarrassing Bodies has approached this subject as though large labia are a problem that need surgical attention. Because the self-consciousness is usually less about being uncomfortable from clothing, and more about concern around what a sexual partner might think, this should be properly addressed… An awful lot of people consider larger labia extremely beautiful and preferable – myself included. The woman's labia in this video are really rather insignificant! I have had girlfriends with much larger labia and was so, so happy about it! I personally consider it irresponsible for not making it very clear that plenty of people would be very happy with a sexual partner with large labia.





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I am nervious because mine is double bigger than the one that has a women in the video and a doctor in it said that that woman had too much of it.I never had a depilation in that part and i worry to have sexual acitivties because I am afraid that he will be terefied of me..Am I alright?Like I said is bouble bigger that this woman's from the video..





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All vaginas are different - and any guy who makes fun of your vagina or shames you because of it is not worth your time! I think it was out of line for the doctor to say that the patient had 'too much' skin on her vagina. You shouldn't worry about how you look down there.

I am 15 and feel extremely self conscious about my large labia minora. I am constantly aware of them when I wear tight clothes or swimming costumes and feel like everyone is looking at them. I worry what boys will think of them and I just generally feel embarrassed about them.





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Hi! I'm 23 years old. I have really long inner lips and I use to be very self-conscious about being intimate with anyone and sometimes they get on my nerves. But what I know now is that guys don't care about that. My boyfriend loves my long inner lips and he makes me feel good about them. But they can become uncomfortable. For example, when I wear tight clothes they tend to get tangled up with my panties so, I usually have to adjust them. It feels weird having to do that all the time but I don't care. They're mine and I accept them as you should too.





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