As women, we expect to see changes in our body over the years. Our skin may lose elasticity and sag, wrinkles form, and isolated pockets of stubborn fat appear. Although these changes are frustrating, they are generally anticipated. Unfortunately, one change that can be surprising, and therefore intimidating, is a change in the size or shape of the labia.
The labia majora, the two fleshy, cutaneous folds that extend from the mons pubis to the perineum, make up the visually noticeable “lips” of the vulva. Pregnancy, childbirth, hormonal shifts, and the aging process can all cause the tissue of the labia majora to become lax and stretched. Once misshapen and lengthy, the labia majora can suddenly become painful as it is easily pulled during intercourse or rubs under clothing. A a natural decrease in tissue volume can affect the labia majora, as well, taking away its youthful aesthetic appeal.
Improving the Labia Majora
For some women, changes in the labia majora may not cause any physical difficulties. However, others struggle with discomfort and embarrassment. For these women, there are simple and effective procedures available to restore a healthy, proportionate labia majora that require little downtime and have little chance for complications. Depending on the individual patient and the extent of correction required, these techniques can be custom-tailored to achieve desired results, as well as paired with additional treatments, such as a vaginoplasty, for optimal benefits.
Fat Transfer – As the body gets older, the production of collagen – a building block of healthy skin – ceases. At the same time, the natural stores of fat, responsible for tissue shape and volume, will also decrease. If the labia majora loses volume, it may become misshapen and ‘flat’. Using a fat transfer, small amounts of fatty tissue can be injected into the labia majora, restoring a natural, youthful appearance. The procedure is performed in the office and the injections take only minutes, with benefits seen right away.
Labia Majoraplasty – If too much skin or excessive tissue present, a surgical procedure can be used to reshape the labia majora. During a labia majoraplasty, excess, sagging skin is excised, and the remaining tissue is reshaped for an aesthetically pleasing look. The outpatient surgery takes less than an hour, performed under general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation. Healing takes from one to two weeks, although sexual intercourse will need to be postponed for six weeks.
RF and Laser Energy – For those women experiencing mild to moderate volume loss or excess skin along the labia majora, noninvasive RF or laser energy treatments can offer exceptional results without surgery. Using cutting-edge radiofrequency, RF treatments require no anesthesia, incisions, or sutures. Safely heating the tissues, RF increases collagen production and cell rejuvenation. Results from RF can be seen immediately. Laser energy can also be used to kickstart cell grown, however may require a few days of recovery. While the recovery period is generally mild, intercourse and tampon use should be postponed for the first four to five days.
Begin Your Genital Rejuvenation Journey with Dr. Heather Furnas
If you are struggling with pain during intercourse, friction under clothing, or are unhappy with the appearance of your labia majora, schedule an initial consultation with Plastic Surgery Associates’ Dr. Heather Furnas. At this time, she can evaluate the labia majora to determine if there is indeed a loss in volume or an excess of stretched skin. After thoroughly explaining your treatment options, both noninvasive and surgical, Dr. Furnas will create a unique female genital rejuvenation treatment plan, based on your individual needs.
Call Plastic Surgery Associates to find out more on female genital rejuvenation techniques. Confidential consultations can be scheduled with Dr. Furnas at the Santa Rosa office, by calling 707.537.2111, or the Novato office, by calling 415.895.5032.