I am on my 2nd marriage, 60 yrs old,  and wonder if the size of labial lips enlarges after childbirth? I do not remember if I have ever been different, but my 2nd husband asked about it. I have always had a difficult time coming & wonder if this is the reason why. I recently saw a notice for labial reduction at a spa/cosmetic center I have used for facials. Is this cosmetic or clinical? If it would have helped, I would have done it years ago.


  • Michael Castleman says:

    The size of women’s vaginal lips, the labia, may change a little as a result of delivering a baby, but the change, if any, is temporary. In the weeks after delivery, the labia revert to normal. The same thing happens during sexual arousal. The labia become engorged with extra blood and appear larger, but this, too, is temporary. After orgasm (or after cessation of lovemaking without orgasm), they quickly revert to normal. I know of only one reason the labia would become permanently enlarged–weight gain. If you gain weight, the labia might become fleshier.

    You ask if the size of your labia might be responsible for the difficulty you have with orgasm. When it comes to matters sexual, I never say never, but the chance of your labia being related to your orgasm difficulty, if any, is very small. Some women have unusually thick clitoral hoods, which may interfere with arousal and orgasm because a thick hood shields the clitoris from loving touch. The clitoral hood is the uppermost extension of the labia, so in that sense, perhaps your labia might play a role. But as I mentioned, that’s unlikely. You might ask your physician or gynecologist to examine your clitoral hood. I’m guessing it’s normal.

    For your orgasm difficulties, I urge you to consult a sex therapist. Sex therapists enjoy great success helping women with orgasm difficulties, even if the problem has occurred for decades. I bet that after a few months of weekly consultations with your and your husband, a sex therapist could help you have orgasms more easily. For more about sex therapy, read the article in the Info Library An Intimate Look at Sex Therapy.

    Now about labial surgery: It’s cosmetic, not therapeutic. Some women have different-size labia and want them symmetrical. Others have labia that appear “too large” and want them smaller. Others have fluted labia and want them less so. A surgeon might tell you that labial surgery might possibly help your orgasm situation, but please please don’t have surgery until you’ve consulted a sex therapist. I’m confident you can learn to have orgasms more easily without surgery. To find a sex therapist near you, visit the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists, the Society for Sex Therapy and Research, or the American Board of Sexology. Good luck!

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