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This blog is driven by submissions from users of their pictures, experiences and stories. Submissions are a huge help to others who may be going through the same struggles. To make a submission, e-mail clare@labiaproject.com

All submissions are treated with the strictest discretion and confidence, and your name will never be published on the site.

Is my vagina normal? Dr Zoe talks about designer vaginas

One of the questions most frequently asked by women who write to me is “is my vagina normal”?

The fact that there is a need to ask the question shows how little women are taught about what is normal when it comes to their vulvas. This has led to an increase in genital cosmetic surgery around the world.

Watch this short video of an interview with Dr Zoe (a medical doctor who practices as a GP). In the video, she covers the topic of genital cosmetic surgery and explains (with illustrated pictures) what is normal when it comes to variations in womens’ genital anatomy…

Never been comfortable with my labia

Never been comfortable with my labialarge labia garter stockingsbig labia lips garter   shiny labia spread long labiaI am a 47 yo female from Norway. I have never been comfortable with my labia and with my body in general. But after i lost some weight and got a new job i realized that my boyfriend had been right all the time: i am unique, i am beautiful the way i am. After i had discovered this and with my new and better self confidence i could go on becoming a whole women: experiencing sex between to women. I am now a very happy mother of 2 and i am completely relaxed and comfortable with my whole body and the way i look.

Thank you for your wonderful story and for sharing your beautiful pictures. I’m so happy that you have managed to overcome your insecurities, and that you now enjoy a more fulfilling sex life.

Body issues prevent many women from the full enjoyment of intimacy. It’s truly a tragedy. Your experience shows that it is possible for women, at any stage of their lives, to triumph over deep-set insecurities regarding their vulvas.

Clare xo

Never really even gave the look of my vagina a second thought

the look of my vaginaCould you please post my picture? I’ve never really even gave the look of my vagina a second thought.. I think all vaginas are beautiful and if a guy ever said anything about how my vagina looks (in a negative way) to me.. well then that’s on him, not me.

I’m loving your positive attitude! All vaginas are unique and beautiful in their own way 🙂 Thank you for submitting!

Clare xo

Proud of my labia

Proud of my labia Proud of my labia 2Just wanted to show that I am proud of my Labia! I always look at them in the mirror especially when I have an orgasm and love how they get so big and swell! I actually cum by just gently tugging at my lips!! God,I really don’t understand why woman don’t love them when they feel so good!! Thank you for letting me share my photos 😄 xx

Thank you for your lovely submission!

Clare xo

My clitoral hood is larger than average

My clitoral hood is larger than averageI’m an 18 year old lesbian, and i hate how i look. Ive always hated the way my vulva appears, and a doctor has commented my clitoral hood is larger than average when i was younger. Ive found that my friends who are girls are very judgemental over how vulvas look, with my closest 2 friends saying they hated how “outies” looked, and how they hated “beef curtains” like mine, but i was too scared to tell them to stop as that’s unfortunately what i look like. As a lesbian i have been eaten out before, and although she didn’t comment she seemed to be not enjoying it, and never did it again, and i’m worried this is due to my vulvas appearance, and im afraid to ever be intimate with another girl again, as i’m too poor to afford labiaplasty.

Every time I read a submission such as yours, I wonder what I’m going to see when I view the attached photo. And every time I am awestruck—because what I see is a lovely example of a beautiful labia and clitoral hood made by mother nature. Your labia and clitoral hood are perfect. Comments your friends have made about vulvas are not only cruel and unfortunate, they reflect a lack of maturity and understanding: labia and clitoral hoods come in all shapes, sizes and colors and your only assignment is to ignore the voices of ignorance and to love yourself just as you are. These comments also reflect a shallow culture that somehow believes it has the right to criticize and judge our vulvas based on appearance. Whole industries have arisen in recent years with the sole mission of getting perfectly made women to believe they are defective so they’ll pay thousands of dollars to be “fixed.”

As you are experiencing already, lack of self-love (especially around appearance of genitals) is a libido-killer. The research on this is crystal clear. So here is what I recommend for you. Take some time to look at lots of labia. The labia library on this site is a great starting place. If you like books, you can also check out Joani Blank’s Femalia, Nick Karra’s Petals, or Rufas Camphausen’s, The Yoni: Sacred Symbol of Female Creative Power. Spend time looking at your labia in a hand-held mirror (5 minutes daily for 60 days) and sending her love. Touch your labia as you look and feel the pleasure she gives you. Look at her with reverence, kindness and tenderness. She is the seat of your pleasure. Accept her as she is!

As for a partner’s response to oral sex, from what you have written, it is impossible to tell what your partner’s issue was with oral sex. You’ve told yourself a story that her reaction was about your labia/clitoral hood. I’d encourage you to re-write that story: her reaction may have had nothing whatsoever to do with you—so make a choice that you do not have to take that on.

And finally, labiaplasty has to be one of the most bizarre surgeries out there with increasing numbers of women maiming themselves so that their labia have a porn-perfect look. Labiaplasty comes with all sorts of risks, including lasting vulvar pain, diminished sexual/sensual pleasure, and a look that is even less pleasing than before. Giving up a lifetime of pleasure for a porn-perfect labia can be a tragic choice for women. I hope you choose the path of self-acceptance!

xo, Coach Jane

Scientific study of variations in female genital dimensions

With so much misinformation out there about what is “normal” when it comes to womens’ vulvas, I decided to do some research to get to the hard facts around this issue. This included a poll that I ran on the Labia Project to establish what proportion of visitors have “innie vaginas” and “outie vaginas”. I also located an academic article about a scientific study of variations in female genital dimensions.

The results of the Innie vs Outie Vagina Poll (which had over 500 participants) showed that around 80% of women have outie vaginas (inner labia that protrude through the outer labia), compared to around 20% who have innie vaginas (inner labia that are not visible through the outer labia).

With regard to the academic article, it is entitled “Female genital appearance: ‘normality’ unfolds”. It was authored by Ms S. M. Creighton of the Department of Gynaecology at Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital in London, and it was published in 2004 in the International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

The objective of the study was to describe variations in genital dimensions of normal women, and it involved a physical observational study of 50 pre-menopausal women, to establish variations in various parts of their vulvas including clitoral size, labia length, width and color and vaginal length.

The study found that there was no statistically significant association between different labia sizes and colors, and womens’ age, ethnicity, or history of sexual activity. It found that women vary widely in genital dimensions.

The study found the following range of dimensions among the participants:

Range Mean (Average)
Clitoral length (mm) 5–35 19.1 [8.7]
Clitoral glans width (mm) 3–10 5.5 [1.7]
Clitoris to urethra (mm) 16–45 28.5 [7.1]
Labia majora length (cm) 7.0–12.0 9.3 [1.3]
Labia minora length (mm) 20–100 60.6 [17.2]
Labia minora width (mm) 7–50 21.8 [9.4]
Perineum length (mm) 15–55 31.3 [8.5]
Vaginal length (cm) 6.5–12.5 9.6 [1.5]

I was self conscious about my vulva and labia

The man involved can make all the difference… I’m 58 years old, have been self-conscious about my vulva and labia for my entire adult life… until 2 years ago when I took a lover, and due to past history with this lovely man (not a sexual history, BTW), I decided to tell him about my insecurities, and why I wanted the lights off, all the time. We talked frankly, he told me that I was normal (why does this man know more about me, than me?), pointed me to The Labia Project (again, why was I so uninformed), and in fairly short order, my comfort zone expanded in a way I’d never realized was possible. Neither of my other long-term lovers (yeah, not much experience here), ever said anything and I enjoyed in the dark oral sex with both, but I never, ever wanted the lights on… I’m totally OK with it now, thanks to one frank, informed and generous man.

Thank you for sharing – it’s always wonderful to hear stories like yours which prove that it is possible to achieve self-acceptance and to overcome insecurities and body issues at any age and stage in life 🙂

Clare xo

I put tea tree oil in my vagina

I recently put tea tree oil in my vagina and on my vulva, which made my lips inflate. Now the lips both minor and major are extremely wrinkled. I feel self conscious, but want to love my body, even though I’ve damaged it. Thanks for all the support here on this site.

After receiving your submission, I googled the phrase “I put tea tree oil in my vagina” and found that a disturbingly large number of women say that they have done the same thing. The conventional wisdom around this is that because tea tree oil is natural, it must be safe and healthy.

This is not the case – it is not safe to use tea tree oil to clean the vaginal canal, and this can lead to serious problems.  Undiluted tea tree oil can burn the mucosal lining of the vagina which is very sensitive. Tea tree oil is also not pH-neutral, and can disturb the delicate pH balance in the vagina.

Other natural oils such as coconut oil and olive oil are pH-neutral, but even then, they are not recommended for use inside the vaginal canal. The vaginal canal is a self-cleaning and self-regulating environment, and anything that is used to remove or disturb the fluids in there (including soaps) can affect it. This includes douching with plain water, as this can flush out the healthy bacteria and dilute the fluids that maintain the necessary pH-balance in the vagina.

It would be a good idea for you to see your gynecologist so that she can examine you and determine whether you have suffered any damage to the mucosal lining of your vagina or to your vulva. Your gynecologist may also be able to prescribe something to soothe any burning or irritation caused by the tea tree oil.

Clare xo

Natural remedies to make my vagina lips smaller

natural remedies to make my vagina lips smalleruntidy vagina lipsI’m 19 years old and this is kinda personal but since I can’t ask my friends about it because we’re too close and it’d be embarrassing, I decided to come on here… My vagina is my problem. I’ve had a lot of sex growing up but I don’t think that’s the reason… Anyways, my vagina lips are really big and flappy. It’s really bugging me because I want a smooth vagina outline when wearing bikinis or underwear. I’m thinking of surgery but I can’t afford it and wouldn’t know where to go. Do you know of any natural remedies to make my vagina lips smaller? The first picture is of me standing up straight and the second picture is sitting with my legs open. Thanks!

Thank you for your submission.

I’ve got good news and bad news. The bad news first: there are no natural remedies to reduce the size of your labia. There are companies which claim to offer products that do this, but most (if not all) of them don’t sell products that are safe and effective.

Now for the good news: your labia is completely normal and you are 100% correct that sex has not caused your labia to change size. There is a big spectrum of what is considered “normal” when it comes to labia size, and yours is well within that spectrum. Please take the time to look through the hundreds of submissions from ordinary women on this site. This will give you a good idea of the variety that exists in “normal” labia physiology.

Clare xo

Vaginal changes after giving birth

vaginal changes after giving birth post partum vaginaI noticed some vaginal changes after giving birth to 2 very large babies (8.5 lbs and 10.5 lbs). I feel loose and I can no longer feel any friction during sex. This has affected my sexual confidence and also the enjoyment and pleasure I usually experienced from sex before having children. I want things to go back to the way they were before and I really don’t want any type of surgery. Is there a non-surgical way to increase the tightness?

It is not uncommon to experience some vaginal changes after giving birth where you have opted to have a natural birth. An entire human being has had to squeeze out of your vagina after all. In many cases, the stretching is not permanent, but some women experience permanent changes.

Kegel exercises can often help to increase tightness and strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. Here’s a quick guide on how to do kegel exercises:

  1. Identify your pelvic floor muscles by stopping urination in midstream – the same muscles used to control the flow of urination are your pelvic floor muscles.
  2. Tighten your pelvic floor muscles, hold the contraction for five seconds, and then relax for five seconds. Repeat this five times.
  3. As you get more used to the exercises, try doing the same, but contracting and relaxing for 10 second periods.
  4. Do this thrice a day.

I hope this helps!

Clare xo