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What are the labia majora?

Jan L. Shifren, MD
Reproductive Endocrinology
The outer lips (labia majora) are the fleshy folds of skin, fat tissue, and smooth muscle that enclose the vaginal opening. Pubic hair, which may be plentiful or sparse depending on the individual, grows along the outer edges of the labia.

The outer, hair-covered genital lips are called the labia majora. They are mounds of fatty tissue covered by normal, hair-bearing skin. Before puberty, the labia majora are hairless and nearly flat. When estrogen, progesterone, and androgens are produced at puberty, the labia majora develop fatty tissue and hair. When hormone levels are low for a prolonged length of time, the labia majora may become flatter, or lax, with less hair. This is a sign of atrophy, or thinning, of the genital tissue.

Our Bodies, Ourselves: Menopause

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Our Bodies, Ourselves: Menopause

FROM THE EDITORS OF THE CLASSIC "BIBLE OF WOMEN'S HEALTH," A TRUSTWORTHY, UP-TO-DATE GUIDE TO HELP EVERY WOMAN NAVIGATE THE MENOPAUSE TRANSITION For decades, millions of women have relied on Our...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.