Have you ever wondered if your nether regions are normal? Well you’re certainly not alone.
More women than ever are unhappy with the way their vagina looks, according to data from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
This may be because many women are misinformed about what a “normal” vagina looks like.
While porn and various media tend to only present ladies with “barbie-esque” vaginas, where the labia is neatly tucked away, this isn’t actually the most common type of vagina.
Superdrug’s online doctor said: “There are two sets of lips or labia, the outer and inner. They vary so much between people, that there is no such thing as ‘normal’.
“Women search magazines, paintings, films, and of course the internet to try and figure out if they are ‘normal’ but in reality there is a huge variation.
“If the labia are longer the skin may be darker and slightly more stretchy, which people worry about but it’s perfectly natural.”
But that hasn’t stopped when feeling self-conscious about their lady bits. In fact there was a 39% increase in women opting for labiaplasty surgeries in 2016, with more than 12,000 procedures taking place.
To find out the extent of women’s insecurities we asked our readers “Are you happy with your vagina?”.
More than 10,000 women took part in the confidential poll and the answers were eye-opening.
A whopping 36% admitted they hated the way their vagina looked, saying “No – It’s ugly and too saggy”.
A further 26% said they only liked the look of their vagina after a wax.
And only 38% of ladies said they were happy with the way their vagina looks, opting for the answer “Yes – My lady bits are beautiful”.
Period subscription service Betty looked into women’s options about their lady bits in more detail and found mixed results.
Sorrel, 31, said: “I was never sure if it was the right shape or size”
“I was always a little self conscious of my labia as I didn’t have a solid comparison.
“I was never sure if it was the right shape or size until it came up in conversation once and my bestie announced she’d seen mine on many occasions and thought it to be ‘neat’.
“After the confirmation that I was ‘normal’ I haven’t really given it a second thought.
While Amber, 24, commented saying: “They aren’t 100% symmetrical, but neither are my eyebrows
“I’ve just learnt to love them over time – I’m way more confident in the bedroom too now as I don’t squirm and cringe when someone gets a little close and personal down there.
“I used to be far more self-conscious about my labia when I was a teen, however since blossoming into a much more self-assured young woman, they really don’t bother me as much.”
Roxy, 21, admits to struggling with a larger inner labia. She said: “My labia sticks out really far. I am a regular cyclist and they often get numb when I ride my bike.
“Wearing a bikini is uncomfortable because sometimes my labia won’t fit in.
“When my boyfriend and I are having sex, I have to guide him in because it can really hurt which totally kills the mood.
“Each birthday I beg my parents to help me get a labiaplasty as it isn’t something I could currently afford myself but they keep telling me to love my body the way it is. I think about it every day and it does really get me down.”
Claire, 30, says she used to be self-conscious of her nether regions but has learnt to love them over time.
She said: “I have learnt to love my vagina. The lips stick out and I used to be seriously self-conscious about the way it looked until I saw one of my best friend’s labias when I was about 14.
“Hers was also an outie, but she was totally and utterly confident in her naked body (like, loved getting starkers in the swimming pool changing rooms while we were all trying to master the knicker trick).
“I saw how her confidence only enhanced her beauty and how empowering it was not to give a f***.
“It made me decide I was going to give mine the same love and respect that she gave hers. Now I whip my clothes off in the changing rooms with pride.”