“Is this normal?!”
Then we spoke with board-certified gynecologists Dr. Mary Jane Minkin, clinical professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive science at Yale School of Medicine; and Dr. Alyssa Dweck, a Westchester-based OB-GYN and co-author of The Complete A to Z for Your V (Fair Winds Press, 2017), to get their expert responses on these questions.
And here's what they had to say:
Is a bumpy inner labia normal? –Kara Shank, Facebook
Dr. Minkin: "Absolutely, yes. The remnants of the hymenal ring are what you may actually be feeling – it’s pretty bumpy. Carunculae Myrtiformes is the fancy word for the little bumps on the hymenal ring."
Dr. Dweck: “If all of a sudden you have bumps, that’s not normal. But in general, inside skin of the labia is smooth, but not necessarily flat. If you’re growing teeny bumps that look like cauliflower or warts, that’s a different story and should get checked out. But skin, especially where there’s hair, will not be 100% smooth. Also, after having kids, sometimes that can create scar tissue and may cause some peaks and valleys.”
Is it common to get multiple hair strands (like two to four) growing out of one hair follicle in the pubic area? And is there a way to fix that? –LaSangronaCabronaMasChingonona
Dr. Minkin: "Just leave them alone, it’s totally fine."
Dr. Dweck: "With shaving, you can get ingrown hairs. These sometimes can look like they’re two or three hairs coming out of one follicle, but usually it's just one folded on itself. Yes, you can get more than one hair growing out of the same place. Also, be mindful of the way you remove pubic hair. Hydrocortisone cream and Bikini Zone can help prevent this problem."
Is it normal for my labia to be sticking out? –Anonymous
Dr. Minkin: "Absolutely. Looking at the vulva has grown out of the trend of waxing/shaving. Everything you see is normal."
Dr. Dweck: “Labias come in many shapes, sizes, and forms, so, is it normal? Sure. What is NOT normal is if there is discomfort from chafing or discomfort with intercourse or inserting a tampon, but this can be addressed by a surgeon. There is no 100% ‘normal.’”
Panel 1 of 10 from The Great Wall of Vagina by Jamie McCartney. ©Jamie McCartney / Via greatwallofvagina.co.uk