‘I regret my labia correction’

We are all insecure sometimes. Usually we outgrow it over the years, but Maria (35) could not accept her body and underwent a labia correction. More than ten years later, she regrets it.

“Unfortunately, that wisdom came with age. I can’t reverse the procedure.”

Always been insecure

“Actually, I’ve always been insecure. In primary school I was heavier than my peers. I also had glasses, and in seventh grade I got braces. Now my hormones were really out of control at the time, so I had regular pimples. In second grade I completely changed course. After school I would go jogging outside for hours, and I would drink liters of water. I left the desserts, and lost quite a bit of weight. I also stopped wearing my glasses, started wearing different clothes and dyed my hair. I remember it very well. I came back to school after summer vacation and suddenly I was being checked by boys. The ‘popular’ girls also suddenly wanted to be friends. That gave me a huge confidence booster.

But there was one big uncertain point that I couldn’t change. My inner labia were larger than my outer lips, and stuck out a bit. As a child I didn’t think much about it, but from high school I became very aware of this. In biology class I saw pictures of other labia, and I just thought it all looked very different on me.

Labia correction

I discussed this uncertainty with my mother, and I really wanted a labia correction. My mother was sorry I felt so insecure, but she told me to wait until I was eighteen. She wasn’t crazy, of course, and knew exactly when I was lying. Then when I complained that I was in pain while cycling, she knew I was exaggerating.

As I got older, that uncertainty increased. I got plenty of attention from guys, and I dated a few times. But as soon as I noticed it was getting more intimate, I stopped the boat. I didn’t want others to see it. I was not only ashamed of my boyfriend, but also of friends. When a friend asked if I was going to the sauna, I always immediately checked whether it was swimwear day. If it wasn’t, I often made up an excuse and said, for example, that I had my period.

I had to get that labia correction.

I had two older brothers, who often invited friends. I used to have conversations. I remember very well that one of those friends was sitting at our house and telling me about a girl he had had sex with. ‘Man, man, man…. She just had a roast beef sandwich,” he said of her pussy lips. That was confirmation for me. I had to get that labia correction.

When I was seventeen I got into my first serious relationship. I was with him for a year and felt very comfortable. I finally told him that I felt very insecure. This boy was a little older and studied medicine. Because he knew a lot about anatomy and the female body, he managed to reassure me. He told me that it was quite normal for the inner labia to be longer. In the end I lost my virginity because of him, and we had a very nice time together. During the relationship I didn’t think about it much anymore.

Until it went out. After a year of heartbreak, I started dating again. And now the uncertainty was playing up again. I got a new boyfriend. Such a very hip boy from the big city. He was extremely popular and modeled. In my eyes he was perfect. He made me very insecure again. He was always complimenting me, and especially when he saw pictures from before, he thought I had blossomed pretty well. Wait until you see me naked, I thought. But I didn’t tell him about my insecurity.

I never dared to undress in front of him. He then went abroad for an internship, and I saw the perfect opportunity to (unbeknownst to him) do a labia correction. I had done a lot of research in the meantime, and had a good feeling about the clinic I chose. The consultation and surgery were incredibly uncomfortable. There are three women around me, all looking at my labia. Such a consultation is of course in consultation. Together we looked at how much I wanted off, and they made something beautiful out of it.

Recovery

After my recovery I looked in the mirror and could only think: this is not right. This is not me. It looked very nice, and the surgeon did a great job. But I didn’t recognize myself. I thought I had to get used to it. My boyfriend meanwhile came back from his internship, and soon we had sex. In my enthusiasm I had expected him to give me compliments, or to take a very good look. A crazy expectation of course, because he didn’t know I had an operation. Let alone what my labia looked like before the operation.

The operation is now about ten years ago and I must admit that I regret it. As I get older I realize very well that there are a lot of different labia, and that I should have accepted myself the way I was. I wanted so badly to be considered ‘beautiful’. I changed myself for others, not for myself. Unfortunately, that wisdom came with age. I can’t reverse the procedure, and I’m used to it, but I would never go under the knife again.

Linda has endometriosis: ‘That same afternoon I was on the operating table where my ovary was saved’

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Maria (35): ‘I regret my labia correction’

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