Dear Dr. Kate,
My inner labia hangs down lower than my outer labia. I’ve always been self-conscious about this. You don’t see it very often in porn. How common (or freakishly uncommon) is this? And what do you think about labiaplasty to tidy them up?
— Hanging Out
Dear Hanging Out,
Actually, most women’s labia minora (inner lips) extend beyond the outer lips. It’s also common to have one labia that’s longer than the other — like our boobs and feet, we don’t always have the same sizes of our matched sets. So why don’t we see this reflected in porn? For the same reasons that most women have stretch marks and cellulite but you’ll never see them on a model: ads and porn are simply not meant to reflect reality. So please don’t have a doctor take a knife to your lady parts in pursuit of some ideal. Labiaplasty puts you at risk of bleeding, infection, scarring, and chronic pain…not the things you want to associate with your genitals. And there’s no need to take that risk when there’s nothing wrong with you.
— Dr. Kate
Dr. Kate is an OB/GYN at one of the largest teaching hospitals in New York City. She also lectures nationally on women’s health issues and conducts research on reproductive health.