Self conscious about my protruding vagina

Firstly, I’m so glad I found this page. I used to scroll through ‘real self’ to find images that would reassure me that my vulva was normal yet everyone on that website wanted theirs to change. Here I’ve learnt that actually not everyone with a visible / protruding vagina wants it altered. I’m 22 and I have always had one labia minora longer than the other, yet over the last year or so it has started to hang lower than my outer labia. At the same time, over the last 12 months excess skin has appeared next to my clitoris- separate from the hood. This is constantly visible which I’ve never had before and I’ve struggled coming to terms with it. (It’s also starting to happen on the other side). I used to have the implant (implanon) and I noticed the changes a few months after I took the implant out and changed to the combined pill. Is there any chance that an increase in oestrogen levels could have caused the excess growth? I also entered into a serious relationship at the same time I noticed the difference and wondered if because I was having sex more than once a day it could have affected the skin sounding my vulva. I ask myself these questions everyday and often blame taking the pill or the way I have sex on this new altered appearance. Are my lifestyle changes purely coincidental or the cause of this new excess skin? My boyfriend says it’s normal and it doesn’t seem to bother him but it really affects me. Not only in appearance but also comfort. I have a longer SUPER SENSITIVE left Labia which means that it’s constantly rubbing on clothes and I can feel it from the moment I get out of bed to the moment I get back in. Sitting down, walking or running I can feel my protruding vagina, while it isn’t painful it is uncomfortable and reminds me that it’s there and it’s not attractive. Most of my friends have very tucked up vaginas and I’m constantly wondering if they have to go through the same discomfort as myself and others with protruding labia. I’ll consider surgery depending on whether the excess skin continues to grow or my labia get longer. Right now it’s manageable but I’m at breaking point. I just hate how uncomfortable I always am!! This website has been incredible and i appreciate the chance to share my thoughts. I’ve come to realise that all vulvas are beautiful in their own right, and it’s so sad that we all have these complexes. Xxx

Thank you for sharing your story and picture.

The vulva can undergo changes throughout your lifetime. Some of these changes are linked to hormonal levels, so it is possible that this has contributed to the changes you are experiencing. Increased sex would not have caused physiological changes to your labia or vulva. The tissue down there is very elastic and does not permanently change through sex (other than the hymen being broken the first time you have intercourse if it is still intact at that point).

With regard to the sensitivity and discomfort you are experiencing, have you tried underwear made from elasticated fabric? This can often help to reduce chafing and discomfort. Keeping the area dry can also help. Talcum powder absorbs moisture well and can reduce friction. You may want to apply it to the external area (take care to ensure that it does not go inside the vulva, as this can affect the PH level down there).

I do hope that you are able to find a non-surgical solution, as surgery should be a last resort when all else fails.


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