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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

You can share your experiences and thoughts with other Embarrassing Bodies site-users below. Comments & Questions are reviewed by moderators, but if you see anything on the site that worries you, please report it and one of our moderators will look at it as soon as possible.
Please note: Unfortunately Channel 4 cannot respond to individual inquiries. If you have any concerns, you can check out NHS Choices, but ultimately it is always best to check with a health professional.

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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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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I wonder if it makes it more difficult to have an orgasm with just penetration with a large labia?





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Most women do not achieve orgasm from penetration alone, regardless of the size of their labia, whatever that may be. But, there is evidence that women with larger labia have an easier time achieving orgasm in general, owing in part to the fact that the labia connect to the clitoris and the clitoral hood, and movement of the labia leads to movement of the clitoris. So, when you have larger labia, friction of the clitoris during intercourse may be greater and thus help you achieve orgasm easier. Also, larger labia means a larger amount of sensitive erogenous tissue, more flesh to become engorged during arousal, and more nerve endings.

I'm 18 and I was so embarrassed and self conscious about my labia until about a year ago. I stayed away from boys because I was afraid they'd try something and find out. Then finally I met this guy and I thought to my self "screw it." After months and months of dating I finally let him go down on me, I don't think I had ever been more nervous about anything in my life. Wanna know the funny thing? He thought there was nothing wrong or weird with me. I had spent years being overly careful when changing with my friends or feeling self conscious if I was in a bikini. But really I had made it a much bigger deal than it really is. Embrace it. You're beautiful just the way you are.





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all labia are different, the most important thing is that you are healthy, i am sure you are beautiful, and your large labia is too

I am 14 years old and I'm so self conscious about my large labia. When I was younger I noticed that my inner lips were considerably larger than my outer ones. All my friends go swimming or to the beach and I never go with them because when I wear tight clothes you can see the abnormality. Sometimes I sit there and cry to myself because I don't feel as beautiful as a young girl should feel. Do people really notice things like that? What can I do to boost my self confidence?





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I am also 14 and find myself in the same situation. I know how it feels and your not alone. If nothing changes thought out puberty you may want to think about surgery like I am . If it is something you feel strongly enough about.

It's not quite the same but I have a very large clitoris. When I was younger (about the age of 14, like you) I was extremely worried and self conscious - I felt like a had a tiny penis! Did not make me feel very feminine at all. I also felt uncomfortable wearing swimsuits because I thought everyone could see. Fact is I only could 'see' because I knew it was there and focused on it. Unless someone were to stare intently at my crotch (which would be creepy anyway) they wouldn't see anything unusual. Now I am 21 years old and I love it. I used to be so worried about what boys would think of me but no one I've ever been with has ever said anything negative. In fact my boyfriend loves it! Please don't think you are weird and please don't consider surgery for things that don't actually inhibit your health. You may find that you grow to love your large labia. When you're older and find someone you want to be intimate with, you may find that sex is that much better for it as well - not just physically but also because of the trust and intimacy involved. Simply - no, people don't notice things like that, and the only ones who will ever see it will love it! For the mean time to boost your confidence with swimming you can get swim shorts which are looser fitting than bikini styles, might make you feel more comfortable. Remember - no two women are the same! Love your uniqueness! :)

I'm 14 too and I feel the exact same here I cried and cried and eventually confronted a doctor if it's bothering you that much you should probably do the same, I'm now being referred to a specialist and all set for surgery :)

all labia are different, the most important thing is that you are healthy, i am sure you are beautiful, and your large labia is too

Every girl and woman should learn to LOVE her body and its all its unique features. No two people are the same and whoever loves you, will love your large (or small) labia, along with your large (or small) breasts, nose, or anything else about you. Its YOU they want to be with. And any guy that makes a negative comment is an idiot who should be never get the privilege of seeing/touching your body again! Please STOP mutilating your body with ridiculous surgeries!





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This really helps- my labia minora are a little big, and I wondered if it was unhealthy. I was really self-conscious and worried about it until I read this.





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My girlfriend is absolutely beautiful, and she has labia minora that are EXTREMELY large, both long and VERY distended! They hang down easily at least an inch or more when she's standing and viewed from behind. Let me articulate that I have never seen anything soooo beautiful and precious! I love her to bits, and her MASSIVE sweet lady parts add to the allure of a most special lady! It turns me on like nothing I've ever experienced before, and I am fiercely proud to be in her company.

I actually have my vagina lips pretty long !! When I was 12 I saw that my lips were different from my moms and sisters! I didn't tell them, but then they would get very uncomfortable to walk in in skinny jeans so I told my mom. At age 15 my mom took me to see a gynecologist and she suggested for me to two shorten them because they were really long. So I did becouse I just thought that they were iweird. I still have enlarged labias but they are not extremely long as they were before. I am a teenager so I am still very self conscious !! I just feel that I ever want to have sexual relations with someone that he will find it weird or gross and leave me so I stead clear of any potential boyfriends..





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It looks like no one else has asked this question, so please fill in the rest of your details below.





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