Labia minora

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Labia minora
Vulva and shaved pubic area.jpg
Labia minora (inner labia)
Latinlabium minus pudendi
Gray'ssubject #270 1265
PrecursorUrogenital folds
Dorlands/ElsevierLabia minora pudendi
 
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Labia minora
Vulva and shaved pubic area.jpg
Labia minora (inner labia)
Latinlabium minus pudendi
Gray'ssubject #270 1265
PrecursorUrogenital folds
Dorlands/ElsevierLabia minora pudendi

The labia minora (singular: labium minus), also known as the inner labia, inner lips, vaginal lips, or nymphae,[1] are two flaps of skin on either side of the human vaginal opening, situated between the labia majora (outer labia, or outer lips). Inner lips vary widely in size, colour, and shape from woman to woman.

The inner lips extend from the clitoris obliquely downward, laterally, and backward on either side of the vulval vestibule, ending between the bottom of the vulval vestibule and the outer lips. The posterior ends (bottom) of the inner lips are usually joined across the middle line by a fold of skin, named the frenulum labiorum pudendi or fourchette.

On the front, each lip divides into two portions. The upper part of each lip passes above the clitoris to meet the upper part of the other lip—which will often be a little larger or smaller—forming a fold which overhangs the glans clitoridis; this fold is named the preputium clitoridis. The lower part passes beneath the glans clitoridis and becomes united to its under surface, forming, with the inner lip of the opposite side, the frenulum clitoridis.

On the opposed surfaces of the labia minora are numerous sebaceous glands not associated with hair follicles.

Contents

Size and shape

Human vulva with anatomical feature labels

In or around 2004, researchers from the Department of Gynaecology, Elizabeth Garret Anderson Hospital in London, measured the labia and other genital structures of 50 women from the age of 18 to 50, with a mean age of 35.6. The results were:[2]

MeasuringRangeMean [SD]
Clitoral length (mm)5–3519.1 [8.7]
Clitoral glans width (mm)3–105.5 [1.7]
Clitoris to urethra (mm)16–4528.5 [7.1]
Labia majora length (cm)7.0–12.09.3 [1.3]
Labia minora length (mm)20–10060.6 [17.2]
Labia minora width (mm)7–5021.8 [9.4]
Perineum length (mm)15–5531.3 [8.5]
Vaginal length (cm)6.5–12.59.6 [1.5]
Tanner stage (n)IV4
Tanner stage (n)V46
Colour of genital area

compared with surrounding skin (n)

Same9
Colour of genital area

compared with surrounding skin (n)

Darker41
Rugosity of labia (n)Smooth14
Rugosity of labia (n)Moderate34
Rugosity of labia (n)Marked2

Gallery

See also

References

  1. ^ nymphae. Dictionary.com. Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary. Merriam-Webster, Inc. (accessed: November 24, 2007).
  2. ^ Lloyd, Jillian et al. "Female genital appearance: 'normality' unfolds", British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, May 2005, Vol. 112, pp. 643–646. PMID 15842291

External links