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Embarrassing Bodies, 10:25pm Saturday 19th April 2014 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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Please don't concern yourself with your vulva & those delectable long hanging inner LIPES or the Puffey long Lipes that protrude out beyond the level of the OUTER LIPES. From a Man's perspective , a large number of MEN Truely APPRECIATE this uniqueness that lies between your legs. AS a Councillor, I have counciled maney Females from te enages to Mature Women and I teach them to see themselves in a more Positive Way.I strongly suggest that you obtain the D.V.D.,SELFLOVING by Betty Dodson PH;D. Only a portion of this DvD is applicable, eventhough it is an interesting DVD.





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My girlfriend too have the same issue with her vagina..But,believe me,I even haven't been able to think about the difference ever while we were making love..i just love it and really an asset for foreplay...be confident ladies





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Hello my name is Nicole im 23 years old I have the same issue all of you have. Yes it sucks but you just have to deal with it and be confident unless you want to pay thousands of dollars to get surgery. I have been with my boyfriend for 5 years now and he is 26. The first time him and I had sex I was a little shy.... but if you act confident it doesnt even phase them. Its not that its not "normal" either. There are so many woman out there that have this problem. I have the fat vagina lips and the saggy inner labia and I weigh about 140lbs so you can definitely tell every time I wear any pants and definitely can tell in bathing suits. My trick is to wear yoga pants often and the part you fold usually covers my vagina. Also when it comes to bathing suits stick to a black color bottom and maybe even a skirt type. Thats what I do and I feel comfortable!! I hope this helps you younger girls out there worrying about this at such a young age but just remember it might be displeasing to the eye, but you are who you are and that is beautiful!





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Wow, I cant believe the comments by women, especially you young ones. I will tell you straight, MOST men are DYING To find those special women with large labia, that are beautiful to watch. You are all So special. Why in the World would you want to cut off those female assets? Big lips are so womanly and fertile AND such a great foreplay thing. If they rub together, well that what pubic hair is for!!! Pubic hair protects down there. Dont get me started on that stupid "Brazilian look" too. Yes its suppose to smell, that musky smell are pheronomes and attract males. Keep yourself clean and hygenic and it wont smell bad. Lots of men pong too you know, you young girls...sometimes worse than women :). Keep the lips and hair, ditch the boyfriend if he doesnt like it, cause many millions of men DO like it!!! No Surgery Ok.

Hi my name is Jewls. And ive been having this problem with my inner labia. They rub against my clothes and can be very irratating and they seem to get stuck on clothing. I noticed i had big labia and a very young age about 8 years old. I felt like a deformed freak and ever since I've noticed them i never felt normal or comfortable about my private area. When i was 8 i asked my mom if she looked like me. She said every girl is different. My mom looked normal to me. No hanging lips. I've been thinking about surgery but im not sure if its safe for a woman my age. Im 38 and ive been thinking of this surgery for about five years now. My husband likes how i am but i dont.





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Uhm hi... im jean and how do I say this? Well I also have an enlarged labia..minor labia to be exact and I am very shy to tell my mom about it or to anyone.. also she wants me to go to an obygyne for me to know why I havent had my period for 1 year and 7 months now ..so she's kinda worried.. but I refused coz. Im afraid that she might find out that I have an enlarged labia.. also Im worried because unlike other girls.. its color is black-ish and im afraid that maybe I have a serious disease. . Anyway im 17 and I have noticed this labia problem when I was 13. Pls help me.. I dont know what to do..





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Go to a doctor and get it checked out.

my girlfriend has huge lovely lips that hang and it took a while for her to understand i know she's perfect and its the best sex I've ever had. you shouldn't worry because the right guy will love you for who you are and stop watching porn or where you think Vaginas are supposed to look like, because you're not alone and your most likely a lovely person too.. hope that helps. (relationship 1 year and now she feels comfortable and proud)

I have had an enlarged labia since I was 12 I an now 20. I have to say sex is quite difficult as I feel uncomfortable getting undressed. There is a constant smell and when I have my periods I find it hard putting a tampon in. I can't wear anything nice as I am constant inching my way out of them. I can't wear nothing to bed as it rubs together and on my legs. I would love to have surgery so I can feel like a women and not be scared of getting naked in front of my partner.





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My daughter is nearly 17. We got referred and went through 2.5 years of visits to our local NHS doctor, which were mortifying for my daughter back then, and we were finally told that it wasnt available on the NHS, and that was over a year ago. I am now trying to get her help again. I do believe it is, in exeptional circumstances, available on the NHS since doing more research now. She has been seriously affected by this in physical, emotional and psychological ways. Can you help me to get her the help she needs? Or refer me to someone who can. Thanks so much.





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Im 13. i just noticed that my labia minora was a little longer than usual. i looked up "oversize labia minora" and mine looks a lot like some in the pictures. i wish it was normal but i guess im ok with it bc it doesn't make a bulge in tight clothes and causes minimal discomfort





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I don't really know how to word this.. but am 17 and have quite big vagina lips and it hangs down a lot, makes me feel uncomfortable wearing tiet clothing and when am wearing knickers I have a bulge doesn't look very attractive. It can be uncomfortable with it being in the way. I seen the episode when that woman got hers reduced wondering if that could be a option for me, bearing in mind am only 17. Is it classed as plastic surgery or.. I spoke to my gp about it but didnt really take me seriously I don't think..





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I am 45 and my labia hangs down around 2 inches out my outer labia.Not only does it looks terrible and ugly, it folds inside when I have sex, my underwear rubs it I get a lot of thrush and it protrudes when I wear swimwear Can I get this procedure done on NHS? How long does it take to heasl? I don't want it all cut off really short as I hear that can cause as much problems Just enough to make me feel normal. Please help its distressing me.





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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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