Did you ever know the function of your inner labia? These shy intimate organs are situated inside their ‘big sisters’, the outer labia, spreading from the clitoris back several centimeters. Did you know that, as well as protecting the vagina, they have as many sexual functions as the outer labia? Lets have a look back over this discreet organ, which doesn’t often get much of a mention.
1/ The inner labia used to be called the “nymphae“
In medical jargon, the inner labia, or labia minora, used to be called the nymphae. Yes, in reference to the Greek gods of fertility. Poetic or what?
2/ They are not the same size
Just like with the outer labia, there is always one bigger than the other, in terms of length, width or thickness.
3/ The colour depends on the colour of your skin
The colour of the inner labia varies depending on your own skin colour. They can be pink, grey or black.
4/ They can often protrude outside the outer labia
In most women, the inner labia protrude outside the outer labia. A completely natural phenomenon that however many women may feel misguidedly self conscious about!
5/ They get bigger during puberty
During adolescence, when the body is inundated with hormones, the inner labia rapidly grow bigger and protrude outside the outer labia.
6/ It is a very sensitive erogenous zone
Very sensitive to touch, the inner labia can bring certain women to a state of optimal sexual arousal. They can also often be used to mindblowing effect during foreplay!
7/ They swell up when you become aroused
When the female body becomes aroused, the inner labia swell up, sometimes doubling in volume: they have an ‘erectile’ style capacity meaning that they increase in volume when aroused by stimulation. They go back to their normal size a few minutes after sex.
8/ They lubricate the entrance to the vagina
The Bartholin glands are found just inside the inner labia, which are indispensable to sexual activity: they lubricate the entrance to the vagina, allowing for penetration. When they are stimulated, they produce a lubricating liquid. Sometimes, these glands can become blocked which leads to swelling. In such cases, consult a gynaecologist, because it could be bartholinitis.
9/ Certain women resort to cosmetic surgery to change the look of their inner labia
More and more women are resorting to cosmetic surgery to reduce the size of their inner labia, because of feeling self-conscious about them or owing to discomfort. In other parts of the world, depending on the culture and the religion, the inner labia can be completely removed, as well as the clitoris. This is known as female genital mutilation.