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Embarrassing Bodies, 12:15am Tuesday 4th November 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

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.

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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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's so sad that this video is allowed online to promote this silly idea that women with large lips are somehow abnormal and that they need surgery to be beautiful, sadder still that 2 female doctors on here are perpetuating this negativity against women. Instead of listening to them check out this blog featuring photos of NORMAL labia in many different shapes and sizes: lovelargelabia.tumblr. com (no spaces) I was paranoid about mine for years and was scared people would notice when I was wearing a swimming costume and it made me self conscious during sex and didn't want to receive oral sex. This has all changed recently, not because I've fallen victim to propaganda like this and had my lips removed, but because I have come to realise that all variations in the human body are normal and beautiful. This is some kind of weird western self-inflicted genital mutilation. We need to learn to love ourselves!





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In my view long labia are beautiful, almost like the petals of a flower. I think some woman are convincing themselves they are not normal if they have large labia, whereas they should consider they are lucky to be in the few percent with truly gorgeous sexy lips. Such a shame that people resort to such drastic measures.





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hi I'm 24 years old male, I have a problem about sexy, I can't do more time for sexy , I don't know what's problem, and my sexy after two minutes it's finch, I want help please My problem is that I do not appreciate that I possess me obd period long, the memory of the piece is not to shelve after a period piece obd long, not as much unprotected sex, I do not drink alcohol but I drink cheacha this is my problem.





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I'm a guy and if u ask me how I like I'll answer u small and even. Although it really depends on what each person thinks. Some friends r telling me they don't care as long is not too long like more than 3 inches. Some other they care about details like short or pink or dark and so on. So bottom line everyone is a world so it depends on each person. Now, I had girlfriends with uneven, even, long labia (but not 3inches long) and probably I thought about it the first month or less but after some time didn't care. Only 2 girls were in the even & short labia team and I really enjoyed it but It didn't make me stay with them only for that attribute. So probably it is only good for attraction and sexual enjoyment but nothing else. Besides is probably impossible to know how is the labia of any girl before u date her (probably in future generation it will be) but for now it is private. Contradictory I had the best sex ever with an uneven labia type of girl and it was because her vagina canal was suitable for my size and type of penis. And it is exactly the same how is happens in women, if the penis is too long it can give u pain instead of pleasure or if is too thick same. Same as penises, vaginas have internal sizes and thickness so it is all about chances to find the one that give u the most pleasure. Also it depends of what culture you're in. For instance I'm latin and in lationamerica guys care about symmetry so the girls, that's is why esthetic surgeries r really common in this culture, many girls r thinking about bust surgery, labioplastia and so on. Venezuela is really famous for esthetic surgeries and people really care about symmetry or Colombia another example. You can see 95% percent of people using mouth braces at young age because of our mentality of symmetry. Nowadays I'm living in Canada and it is totally different kind of history. Guys don't care too much about labia size or type or symmetry. So I found out it is basically an individual and cultural thing. Also as I mentioned before it is all about chances to find the one that give u the most pleasure (penis or vagina). Girls if you want to care about something care about vagina hygiene and not esthetic.





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I hated mine too, but I did some research, read these comments and now I'm not really fussed about! If a guy doesn't like it then you shouldn't be with him! It's very normal to have a longer labia and yeah, some guys do like it! I imagine it sure as hell feels better too, since the clit isn't exposed!





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im 14 years old and have the same problems but i never told anyone and i have a boyfriend and im scared that he maybe dump me because of it and i feel so depressed about it and different-_-





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If someone dumps you for something like this then they aren't worth being with, I also wouldn't recommend having sex at your age.

I've considered getting labiaplasty, I am 17 and a virgin, i'm very scared of having sex because of my insecurity, my left side is much longer, and I have a rubbing sensation because of this, and at times makes me very uncomfortable.





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Do men really notice?





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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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