There really is no ‘normal’ vagina is the conclusion of the largest study ever conducted on vulvas and their dimensions in a bid to identify what other medical papers mean when they refer to ‘normal’ vulvas.
Swiss researchers measured the inner and outer labia, clitoris, vaginal opening and perineum of 650 white women between the ages of 15 and 84 and came to the conclusion that there was so much variation in every category that even offering an ‘average’ would woefully misrepresent most women.
The findings have been hailed important for women amid a steady rise in the rate of labiaplasties – surgical operations on the female genitalia, usually to reduce the size of the labia.
The rate of women getting operations to nip and tuck their vaginas has boomed in recent years.
A labiaplasty is performed on the external part of the vagina, sculpting and removing excess tissue, as well as evening out the labia minora (inner lips). Some doctors remove excess tissue around the clitoris (called prepuce reduction), though most avoid this due to the risk of nerve damage.