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Embarrassing Bodies, 1:20am Sunday 5th July 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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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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I am 16 and extremely self-conscious about my enlarged labia. This video has at least put me at ease that i am not the only one. Is any one else (at a similar age) doing anything about this... 'altering' themselves so to speak?





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I'm 16 and i have the same issue. It makes me feel self conscious but its good to know I'm not the only one.

yes i am 15 and am seriously thinking of getting the surgery done (hopefully off NHS) but i feel too embarrassed to ask/talk to my parents about it. You defiantly aren't the only one but i know, this has really affected my confidence when it comes to boys.

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I really dislike and disagree with the way this advice has been given on the video, she is told that her large labia is perfectly normal as if she has nothing to be ashamed of, but also tells her it doesn't look like a 'normal vagina'. One side of my labia lips is larger than the other, and I am extremely self conscious about it, although my boyfriend has never made me feel self conscious I know that he would prefer a 'normal' vagina, I look to videos and pages like this to make me change my mind about wanting surgery as I am only 19, but the comments on this video are exactly why I feel that my vagina is not normal and is ugly, making me feel 10x worse about myself. I am terrified at the thought of having sex with new people incase of their reaction to my vagina people my age seem to only be interested in the perfect 'tidy' vaginas you see on porn, i can't see me ever going to feel comfortable about my body.





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its a turn off to me as a man if a woman does NOT have a large labia. Large Labia are the most sexiest thing on the entire planet and are the biggest turn on to most men. I would love to know who put this ridiculous notion into any woman's brain that this is not good. A plain vagina looks like something out of a vaginal circumcision or something





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thankyou!! (jared)

I am 20 years old. I have only had 2 sexual partners. The first one was in love with my large labia. He would make jokes about them towards me, but it never bothered me because he always showed them much love. The guy I'm with now (for 2 years) still doesn't know about them. I self taught myself how to hide it and tuck them in. Especially when he goes down on me. It sucks that I am embarrassed about this, I want to have fun and be comfortable like I was with my first especially because I really love this guy. I know that even if I told him, he would still love me and all but goodness I just cannot! I hate them soooo much. And the sad thing is they have gotten larger since I turned 18.





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The woman in the video looks not only quite normal but many of the women I know have bigger Labia Minora. To me as a guy, she looks quite appealing before and after. I don't know of any men who have ever complained that a women's Labia Minora were too large, but I assume there may be a few out there. Then again I suppose there may be a few women that don't prefer large penises, but I've never heard of a woman saying no to one, lol. That said, I don't think it would be worth the risk of surgery. The risks of any surgery should only be taken in the event of a dire illness or mutilation as a result an accident. In closing, I found it funny that here was a woman that was embarrassed to show her natural vagina to a prospective lover, but was willing to bare it all so easily in front of her doctor and the film crew and then allow a video to be posted for all the world to see.





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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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