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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'm 22 years old and have only been sexually active since 19. I don't have huge lips but lips around the size of the lady within this video. I have found that after sex without a condom I have extreme pain afterwards to the point I can't put underwear back on or I need to go have a shower to relax the muscles again. I had a consultation with my doctor in regards to this extreme pain caused by my lips, that are in the way being in places that get caught in between us while having sex. I asked what a procedure like this would cost and if it was something that I could get on medicare but she said that this wasn't possible and I would need private health insurance to even consider having such an operation. I am in uni studying at the moment so until I get a full time job in 2 or 3 years I will have to wait. I am not even having sex too rough even when being gentle I still end up in some sort of pain. It's not something I am embarrassed about with the size of my lips it's just the pain I receive from it is unbearable and for someone who enjoys sex it's disappointing that it is now deterring me from having sex or even having my partner conduct any oral or finger stimulation in case it will hurt me. All I would like is pain free sex. Please help.





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This video has made me feel very insecure for many years. Mine are much bigger than that and she thinks they are a problem? What are people REALLY thinking when they see mine???? I refuse to have a smear for this reason, I cannot deal with the emotional hurt.





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Please do not feel abnormal, you are perfectly normal. Not all men are judgemental and to be honest do you really think they notice what a fairys looks like?? NO! Fairys come in all shapes and sizes just like Willies! Please go and get a smear, medical people see people's bits on a daily basis and are not interested in what your bits look like :)

i'm 14 and am dealing with the some thing. its making me extremely insecure about my body. this problem is making me not want to do anything physical with anyone ever, it is so embarrassing. i have no idea of what to do. I'm am starting to consider surgery like the women in the video. although I'm not to sure, as it looks like a large process. is there anything else i could do. please help!!





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hi! im 15 and i have the same problem! it makes me want to cry when i think of it and i feel like people would mock me if they saw. i really need a solution to this too as i hate it!!

Mine is causing me a lot of discomfort, infections, rubbing on clothing. Wore thongs for 10 years and then in my early 20's they became too uncomfortable to wear as my vaginal area seemed to swell and become prone to infection, yeast infections, UTI infections, bacterial vaginosis infections and discomfort and intercourse has become impossible. Periods pretty much stoped, doctor couldn't tell if it was PCOS or not, wouldn't diagnose vaginismus either. I am 22 years old now. Cannot have sex, don't have periods and have a very dry (too small vagina) and large vaginal lips. Doctors won't do as anything to help me.





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I thought her labia were just fine as they were. Larger labia are very sexy; cosmetic surgery like this is needless, and promoting it is detrimental to the self-image of many women. Celebrate what you have!





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This woman is not normal!!! She had a beautiful labia. This is a real vagina, perhaps even bigger. It is so unattractive when the vagina is like in a little girl.





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im 15 and noticed that mine aren't the average size for a lady I do not like my labia minora at all I find them huge and gross and ive talked to my mum about it and apparently a lot of people in my family have them too, I myself are very conscious about this issue and it makes me not want to do anything with a boy for as long as I possibly can I find my labia too large and frankly ugly and mine are larger than the lady in the video





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I'm 16 and have a large Libia I don't know what to do because I really like this guy and were so close but I'm too scared of ever letting anyone down there because what if they take the mick or call me a freak I would be so embarrassed. Please help cuz I'm really insecure. Also I have really small boobs like they're A's and I'm just so embarrassed to ever take my top off, really considering getting a boob job when I'm older. Any advise??





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Don't do anything. This is an awful video because it sends out the message that large labia are abnormal when they're just not. They come in all different shapes and sizes - same for guys down there. I am 22 and have the same 'problem' as you and spent years believing I was abnormal and it was something to be embarrassed about. It's absolutely not, it's just part of your body and boys really just do not care - if they do they don't deserve to see it in the first place! Its up to you at the end of the day about what you want to do (my advice would be nothing) but I REALLY would not look to this video for advice - I was absolutely horrified when I saw it - I don't know what kind of 'doctors' these ladies are but trust me its not the sort of advice that would usually be given out - it's perfectly normal and you have NOTHING to be embarrassed about. Hope this helps you a little :)

I know saying 'don't worry' is not helpful, but there is no reason to worry about either of these things. I used to worry about the size of my breasts when I was younger ( i am now 30 i am an A cup too) but I realise now that there was no reason for this at all! I have been with a number of people sexualy and many times my partners have expressed either a a liking for smaller breasts or like them however they come. There are some great pros to having smaller breasts too! Bigger breasts are totally over rated and I really believe that in reality people like them however they come. Same goes for the labia. Only reason to see someone about them is if they cause you any problems like pain of in sport etc. Love your body and remembered that it is constantly changing and will never stay the same!

this is crazy.. my fiance has much larger labia than the lady in the video.. I think they are just great!.. Why on earth has a culture developed where people want to have parts of their normal bodies lopped off!!! it's insane.. if, perish the thought, we separated, i'd really miss my wife's gorgeous labia.. if a future partner had smaller, non-protruding labia I'd find it a disappointment!.. this lady should be proud.. we are all different, but larger is not odd or abnormal, it's just a matter of taste and there are a hell of a LOT of men/people that think small labia are child-like, very un-attractive.. to see a lovely asset being surgically removed is nothing short of a crime in my eyes, I have talked to male friends and they all say the same thing..





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I actually think this video is damaging and i'm appalled at the way her 'condition' is handled here. vulvas come in all shapes colours and sizes, and this sends the message that longer/larger inner labia is unnattractive. She obviously feels self-concious that she isn't 'normal' down there, because we are only shown 'neat' tucked in vulvas in the media. instead of refering to her appearance as a problem she should have been reassured that she is beautiful, healthy and normal. Many men find a larger labia sexy, and the better solution is to work on confidence issues and show that there is no shame in the way she looks. What kind of message are we sending when healthy women are sent to have there bits chopped off when they are coming for reassurance that they are normal? surgery should be a last resort here. that tells everybody watching with labia that isnt neatly tucked in (which is probably most women) that they look abnormal and should have it 'corrected' when that isn't an option for most people...it's total rubbish. you have a bump on your nose? get a nose job! you have small boobs? get a boob job! big boobs? get a boob job! sticky out ears? get them pinned back!larger labia? chop it off!....how about promoting self confidence and stop body shaming. we don't need to look a certain way to be healthy, beautiful and attractive. Channel 4 you should be ashamed.





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