The female genitals are an intimate, delicate area, and the labia provide protection and coverage for the vulva. The labia are the two folds of skin that surround the vulva, and there’s a tremendous range in the size, shape and color of labia in each woman. Some women have cosmetic concerns about their labial appearance.
Women may be troubled by labia that are asymmetrical, oversized or aesthetically unpleasing. Their labia may have always appeared this way or may have changed as a result of childbirth, aging or hormone medication. Enlarged vaginal lips may cause pain or discomfort or can interfere with a woman’s sex life.
Labiaplasty is a vaginal rejuvenation surgery that trims and reshapes the tissue to improve comfort and help a woman feel more confident about her appearance.
If you’re considering labiaplasty, there are a few things to know before your procedure.
1. Make the Most of Your Consultation
You want to feel as comfortable and as prepared as possible before your labiaplasty, and having a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon is the first step. You’ll likely have questions about labiaplasty, such as what kind of anesthesia will be used and how long the procedure will take. No question is off-limits, and you should feel that you have a trusting rapport with your plastic surgeon so you can go into the procedure feeling assured.
2. Downtime after Your Labiaplasty
It’s common to experience mild swelling and bruising immediately following your labiaplasty, and there are ways that you can control these side effects. Staying off your feet for the first few days after your procedure can help the swelling to resolve more quickly. Applying ice packs to the surgical site can also help.
3. Preventing Against Infection
It’s important to keep your surgical site as clean as possible after your labiaplasty. One way to ward off infection and invest in your hygiene is to use a spray bottle and sitz bath after you go to the bathroom. For your sitz bath, you can use a large basin or simply fill your bathtub with enough water so that you can sit in it.
4. Lounge in Loose Clothing
It may go without saying, but loose clothing is your friend. In the days following your vaginal rejuvenation procedure, you’ll want to avoid restrictive or tight clothing. Now’s the time to break out the lounge wear, sweatpants or even muumuu.
5. Taking Time Off from Sex
You’ll need to avoid intercourse for 4 to 6 weeks during recovery. It’s important to honor this timeline as your labia will need this time to heal. What’s more, your surgical site will be vulnerable to infection during the healing stage, and sex can increase the chances for infection.
6. Returning to Work
Most women are able to return to work and resume their regular activities within 3 to 4 days after labiaplasty. In the meantime, any pain or discomfort may be controlled with pain medication and ice. Some women choose to include labiaplasty as part of a mommy makeover, in which case more time off work will be necessary.
7. Enjoy Newfound Confidence and Comfort
Before having a labiaplasty, many women feel self-conscious about their genital appearance, which may negatively impact their sex life. Other women may actually find that oversized labia can make some physical activities difficult, uncomfortable or even impossible. Additionally, women with labia that are too large may have to avoid wearing certain garments.
After labiaplasty, many women enjoy newfound confidence and ease of mind. Labiaplasty can restore a more pleasing, feminine appearance as well as improve physical comfort.