The Size of Labia Minora and Perception of Genital Appearance: A Cross-Sectional Study

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Abstract

Objectives

The aims of the study were to describe and to assess the size of labia minora in normal women, including the women's perception of their genitals to offer better counseling to the women seeking for labiaplasty.

Materials and Methods

This cross-sectional study was undertaken in the outpatient clinic at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Kolding Medical Center between May 2012 and October 2013, when study participants were recruited in connection with their routine visits. Main outcomes of interest were visibility and width of the patients' labia minora. In addition, women were asked whether they perceived their genitals as being normal. Information about age, body mass index, and parity was also collected. We used descriptive statistics and paired t test to compare the clinical measurements.

Results

In total, 244 women were included in the study. The median width of labia was 15 mm, and 90% of labia were less than 26.5 mm. Fifty-six percent of the women had visible labia minora. Regarding perception, 86.5% considered their labia as being normal. Within the group of women who perceived their genitals to be abnormal, 73.3% had visible labia minora. Among women with the largest labia (>26.5 mm), two thirds considered themselves normal. There was no statistically significant association between the measurements of labia minora and age, body mass index, or parity.

Conclusions

One of 10 women had a measurement of labia minora of at least 26.5 mm in width. It is just as common to have visible labia minora as hidden labia minora. Women who considered their genitals to be abnormal more often had visible labia minora than women who considered their genitals to be normal.

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