Aesthetic Plastic Surgery

, Volume 41, Issue 3, pp 714–719 | Cite as

Anatomy and Aesthetics of the Labia Minora: The Ideal Vulva?

  • C. ClericoEmail author
  • A. Lari
  • A. Mojallal
  • F. Boucher
Review Body Contouring


Female genital cosmetic surgery is becoming more and more widespread both in the field of plastic and gynaecological surgery. The increased demand for vulvar surgery is spurred by the belief that the vulva is abnormal in appearance. What is normal in terms of labial anatomy? Labia minora enlargement or hypertrophy remains a clinical diagnosis which is poorly defined as it could be considered a variation of the normal anatomy. Enlarged labia minora can cause functional, aesthetic and psychosocial problems. In reality, given the wide variety of vulvar morphology among people, it is a very subjective issue to define the “normal” vulva. The spread of nudity in the general media plays a major role in creating an artificial image and standards with regard to the ideal form. Physicians should be aware that the patient’s self-perception of the normal or ideal vulva is highly influenced by the arguably distorted image related to our socio-psychological environment, as presented to us by the general media and internet. As physicians, we have to educate our patients on the variation of vulvar anatomy and the potential risks of these surgeries.

Level of Evidence V This journal requires that authors assign a level of evidence to each article. For a full description of these evidence-based medicine ratings, please refer to Table of Contents or the online Instructions to Authors


Labial hypertrophy Labia minora Labia minora reduction Vaginal rejuvenation Cosmetic vaginoplasty Aesthetic genitalia surgery Vulva Vulvar perception Labia minora anatomy Labiaplasty 



None of the authors has a financial interest in any of the products or devices mentioned in this article. Funding was provided by CLERICO Cyril (Grant No. 06 66 82 68 63).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York and International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Plastic and Reconstructive SurgeryCroix-Rousse HospitalLyonFrance

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