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Embarrassing Bodies, 11:20pm Tuesday 2nd September 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 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.

I'm really worried. I have loads of extra skin around my vagina which makes it uncomfortable to wear pants. It feels as though I wouldn't be able to have sex in the future and I'm really,really worried!! please reply if you know what I should do





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My minor labia lips are odd in size... One is big and hangs downs whilst the other is tiny! I hate it. I wouldn't mind if they were both the same size but they're not. It makes me self-conscious and I feel so unattractive. This has really affected my sex life which makes me feel depressed. Why can't I be normal?





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im 17 and have at least 3 inches of skin either side which i hate, however my boyfriend loves it so i don't feel too self-concious anymore. the thing that i hate almost as much as the size, it that theyre so big that they are actually starting to rip away from my outer labia which can sometimes be agony if im trying to walk





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I'm 16 and I have enlarged Libia, when I was 15 I went to visit my GP who told me it was completely normal, I believed her but it didn't change anything. Because the Libia actually comes of my vagina I find it uncomfortable to wear tight underwear or even underwear at all.. I'm now also in a relationship and I'm scared that my boyfriend might want sex or something anytime soon but I don't want to show him my vagina, I feel like a freak! But I'm worried that the NHS won't fund a operation and I can't afford it myself, I'm 16..





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Hi 18 year old guy here men love enlarged labia if you've ever worn tite clothing he will already now about them being larg

Hi I'm 32 yrs old I want to ask what should I do cuz I have an problem I have something come out right side of my pussy they called labia minora I really don't know what to do I thought it will be gone by self but I was wrong it's become big like a pimple it's so so painful can't give me peace all the time day and night. And it's so so bothering to me and problem I couldn't walk, sit, n when I'm sleep too. I'm really really badly need help plz. Hope you reply Me asp I'll wait your reply anyway have a nice day.





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You should go to the doctor because i had something like that it turned out to be staff infection. You can get it by sitting on something dirty it is common but needs tocbe treated.

i was just want to that is there any effect of large libia minora,majora and Clitoris on women's pregnancy???? plz tell i'm realy worried about my future life because i'hv a large libia minora,majora and Clitoris.





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I suffer with that problem. I have been embarrassed since I discovered it. It is horrible, it looks ugly and it is also painful. The NHS have declined me getting the operation. I now have to save up £3,700 so that I can feel normal. I've not enjoyed my teenage years and I cannot get them back now. It has affected me in relationships and I don't want a relationship now until it's gone. I can't wait to be made normal because it is depressing for a woman if she doesn't want it. To all the ladies out there who are not comfortable I really do feel for you because I feel the same. Its not nice to live with and the NHS should pay for the operation, they do breast reductions, liposuction...

I have a large labia and I was never concious about it until my first boyfriend at the age of 15. I thought I was normal and when we broke up he made a very horrible comment saying that his new girlfriend doesn't have a fanny down to her knees. Obviously since then I have been very self concious. I am now 21. I doubt I will ever be able to shake the feeling of having a horrible vagina. Although these comments may help now; I doubt when I am next in the bedroom with someone I will be confident. I just need someone to give me some kind of advise. I've never spoken to anyone about it and am seriously considering surgery as I love the rest of my body.





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Channel 4 should be ashamed for this episode. The doctor saying "there is too much tissue", that will knock young girls and older women's confidence all over the UK. Every vagina is different, there are women who have more skin than the woman in the video shown above and are happy with the way they look. Deep down it is a personal and mental issue why women do not feel comfortable with a large labia. There is nothing abnormal or weird about having a larger labia, I believe society has a big part to play as to why women feel so self conscious about their vaginas. Shocking.





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Hiya wondered if anyone can help? im 23 and have become very conscious about my labia I hate it they hang down and sometimes I have tuck them away so to speak. Iv spoken to the doctor and they said they cant do anything :( please help its causing me relationship problems





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lady I love large labia and if u consider surgery you are making a big mistake adore what god gave u its for a reason

I have been married for years to a wonderful woman with this"problem"....kit is so sexy! I love it! Guys who don't are lying.

I had a hysterectomy when I was 43 years old for fibroid tumors. I remember when I was on the table, the doctor was about 3 feet away as she was standing by the door with a horrific look on her face as if seeing the most grotesque thing in her life. I've always been very self conscious of it and refused to have oral sex so no one would see it.I want it removed. Can someone give me a doctor who can do this for me?





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Just do a search on big labia minora on google. You'll be amazed on how much we guys go bonkers about it. It's such a beautiful sight for many men. I personally have lost my breath every time I've encountered myself with a situation like what you tell. I married my wife in part because of it (so much fun!!!!). The thing that I love most is "going down" on a woman, and if she has more to "go to" the best. Don't EVER be self-concious about it. It's the best physical attribute a woman can have, compared to maybe, I don't know, a guy having a appropriately (not small) sized penis.





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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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