Could Large Labia Be the Cause of UTIs?

Thu, 02/19/2015 - 09:39
Submitted by Betty Dodson

Hi there!

Ever since I achieved menarche at the tender age of 9 years old, I have had larger labia minora. Now I know this is a common "complaint" of women because so many people act absolutely repulsed by the sight of "meat curtains," "roast beef pussies," or any other demeaning, mostly meat-related titles given to longer labia minora... I even remember my sister asking me at age 12 "what is wrong with your JUNK??" like I was some sort of freak because my labia didn't look like hers (she's 3 years older than I am, but didn't have her first period until 6 months after I did)

It took me many, many years to accept myself and realize I look NORMAL "down there." In fact, I didn't become completely comfortable with it until just recently and I've been sexually active for 8 years (I'm 26) and I have a child --both things that I believe are important to note because I've had that time to learn more about my vagina and vulva.

So now that I've finally decided NO on getting a labiaplasty or any kind of cosmetic work done on my vulva (hooray for me!) I've noticed I keep getting UTIs, and pretty severe ones nowadays. I have a lot of sex, granted, but with one partner and we're both clean. I'm a neat-freak but I don't use soaps or solutions that disrupt my normal vaginal flora, all that good stuff. I'm basically the poster-child for vaginal and external urinary health. An emergency room nurse tried to give me the whole "wipe front to back" speech and everything, and then I started to wonder: is my "extra" labia minora skin causing me to retain more bacteria? It seems to make sense because they stick out about 1/8-1/4" of an inch (I'm guessing here) and they provide a warm environment for bacteria to cultivate and I think it would be less likely if they weren't as long.

Silly question, I think, because I'm probably never going to alter my labia, but if it's causing these horrible urinary infections I would like to know so I could find ways to remedy the situation. I eat healthy, I drink water, juice, no coffee --again, healthy gal here for the most part :/ So I just can't imagine it being anything else. I'm actually just getting out of the hospital for a very severe renal infection, so that's why I'm so concerned. I'm getting really tired of abstaining because I keep getting sick!


Do you think the way a woman's vulva looks should be taught more in schools for sex ed? My sex ed class was basically just: where babies come from, STDs and prevention, and how to check for breast lumps. Not a single word was uttered about how large of a variety of vulva "styles" there are in the world... So I had to learn from, you guessed it, pornography... I think for both boys AND girls there should be emphasis on how genitalia looks because once a child is shamed for how theirs looks, it can affect him/her for life like it did for me. Boys should learn their penises come in all shapes and sizes, and girls should learn they aren't dirty or weird because their vulva looks a little different.

Dear J,

The lovely petals of your inner lips have nothing to do with getting UTI's. Since you have been somewhat obsessed with your large inner lips, it makes sense you would suspect them with so many UTI's. I too have large inner lips. The one time I had a series of UTI's, I was experimenting with anal sex and since I liked Doggie Style, that meant the lube would run down into my urethra.

What about hubby? Does he have a foreskin? During penetration sex are you sufficiently lubricating? Do you urinate after he's come inside you? What kind of birth control are you using? If condoms are involved, some of us are allergic to latex. I'm just throwing out other possible causes here.

Yes we need to teach boys and girls far more than the bird's and bee's of procreation. Teens need to know far more about their sexual bodies including genital styles and sexual pleasure. They need to know that masturbation is a healthy and important way to enjoy safe orgasms until birth control is mastered. But as you see, America is still quite backward when it come to healthier attitudes about sex and pleasure thanks to our Puritanical heritage and fundamentalism in religion that is the source of sexual problems today. Hopefully your children will have a healthier attitude thanks to a sexually enlightened mom.

Dr. Betty

Liberating women one orgasm at a time

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Hi If you and hubby are into

NOWHARD's picture
Fri, 02/20/2015 - 15:27

Hi If you and hubby are into oral sex this is a great way to get a UTI, the next thing is pubic hair, to schools of thought, one is just get them shaved off, there a great way of holding moister, for a yeast infection or UTI.
Then the other school says we need them as a barrier, its a personal thing, and also how you feel about your bush.
For me and my wife they went years ago, she never gets any kind of problems.
But keep having sexual fun.


Sat, 02/21/2015 - 17:55

One: does she pee after sex? It naturally flushes the urinary tract. Always drink a lot and pee after sex. Furthermore, does your husband wash his penis before you do it? It's the most obvious source of foreign bacteria.

Two: concerning NOWHARD's advice above - there's no such thing as two "schools" of thought on the subject. There is fact - that your pubes protect your sensitive skin, which prevents irritation and infection. It's why they're there. The other theory presented is fiction. Furthermore, you're much more likely to get a UTI from penetration or fingering than oral sex. 

Three: It may be that you had a primary infection that didn't heal out properly, leaving you vulnerable. Also note that even though you've been on antibiotics before perhaps the dose wasn't big enough OR that you need to try a different antibiotic. I hope you see the same doctor every time and keep track of what kind of medicin they give you. And that you always go through with taking the medicine for the ENTIRE PERIOD perscribed. It will feel better quickly, but that doesn't mean you're healed. 

Four: Are you also having anal sex? Be EXTREMELY observant of how you touch eachother. The lube easily spreads to the vulva, especially if you're also fingering it. NOT a good idea.

Five: It could be your husband has been cheating and that you actually have a STI. Get tested.

Elin, Seems there’s far more

NOWHARD's picture
Sun, 02/22/2015 - 06:56

Elin, Seems there’s far more to wiki than you have read, or it just cross’s itself?

This below is from the same.

Often a sudden increase in sexual activity triggers symptoms ("honeymoon cystitis"). While this "sexual activity" is very often PIV sex, it can be anything that involves friction in the vulvovaginal area and might push bacteria into the urethra. This would include oral sex, manual stimulation (your own fingers or a partner's), and toy play.


This is from shaving down there.

1. Reduce the vaginal odour

This is the first reason why people love shaving their hair located on the bikini area. Vaginal hairs usually cause bad odours on the vagina. The pubic hair tends to hold any sweat or odours produced by the bikini area. If you notice some bad odours coming from your vagina, you should think about removing your pubic hair. It can be the most effective method to get rid of unwanted vaginal odours. There are a lot of odour causing bacteria that can live on the pubic hair.

2. Improve your sexual pleasure

This is another reason why you should shave your pubic hairs at the bikini area. Shaving them can help you increase your sexual pleasure. It can help your partner find your best spot. Some doctors also believe that shaved bikini area can increase the sexual pleasure in both men and women. As the result, you and your partner are going to enjoy your sexual activities without having to be annoyed by your pubic hair. Having sexual activities with your pubic hair shaved is proven to be very effective to help you reach your orgasm quickly.

3. Prevent any health problems

You should shave your bikini area because it can prevent any health problems related with your vagina. Removing all hair from the bikini area can reduce the symptoms of yeast infection. This is one of the most common infections that may happen in almost everyone. Pubic hair is the best place for any yeasts to grow and multiply exponentially. By removing your pubic hair, you can reduce the possibility of getting a yeast infection. There are many other health problems that can be prevented by removing your pubic hair. It is easy to clean your vaginal area. That is the reason why you are able to prevent any micro organisms from causing any infections around your bikini area.

Those are some reasons why you have to shave your pubic hair regularly. Cleanliness is the most important factor that you should consider when you want to remove hair from your bikini area. It is very easy to keep your vaginal area clean, especially if you have shaved bikini area. There are several ways that you can follow in order to shave your pubic hair. You can shave your hair using electronic trimmers, razors, or any other hair removal products.

Now all you see, written above is in a lot of places and when it comes to yeast infections even more so, as you should know the vagina is a lovely moist area and the one thing a YI loves is just that and thrives in it, so one of the best ways to prevent them is just keep it shaved, my wife has been since not long after we married and loves it, always wish’s she had started as a young women, it’s a great to keep it fresh and far easier to clean, and me I’m the shaver, so it gets lots of loving attention.

So yes the are two schools of thought, yours and lots of others.

Also have a look through this, go ask if they did to be photographed or are they like that all the time?


This may just help you


Beautiful Labia

Sun, 02/22/2015 - 14:55

Your vulva is beautiful, with lovely generous labia. Our bodies are all made wonderful, whatever the shape and style. They all work well.

Assuming basic hygiene, there is nothing about your body that is causing you to have recurrent UTIs. They're also not something you're having in isolation. If you have a UTI then I'd expect your partner to also have an infection. It's very simple for a UTI to be passed from person to person, each one thinking they're in the clear but the timing being slightly "off" each time.

So though it may be heresy on this website, I'd consider slowing down or stopping penetrative partnersex until the UTIs were sorted for both of you once and for all.

Elin's advice sounds good. Think about the way you're having sex, the use of lubricant, toys and touch which may all be ways of passing UTIs from one to another. Make sure that your doctor has prescribed antibiotics that work for you and follow the course through to the end. Make sure that your partner is as thoroughly clean as you are.

PS I've been having sex for many years, having never felt a need to shave my vulva. I've never had a UTI. Shaving is a personal choice, all to do with personal aesthetic preferences, nothing to do with health.


Mon, 02/23/2015 - 18:51


What a tirade of unsubstantiated bullshit. Since Wikipedia can be edited by anyone you need to be alert when it comes to info and sources. However, you're not even linking to the regular Wikipedia, but some hobby page with no references at all. Give me one credible source that links not shaving to a lesser frequency in UTIs and yeast infections, that it "reduces odor" (and please, explain to me why a vagina's natural odor would be a problem), increases sexual pleasure (that one really takes the price) or is easier to clean. Your pseudo-scientific theories on the subject are not interesting. A natural vulva is not a trap for growing infections. Skin irritation due to hair removal, however, is (many health authorities actually advice against shaving). And your wife's personal experience and your sexual preference is irrelevant in the matter.

You're also arguing against yourself in the matter of UTIs and oral sex. First you actually highlighted it as a "great way" of getting a UTI, and now it's about anything that causes friction. Obviously, oral sex causes nowhere near the friction of a penis, fingers or toys.

Furthermore I don't see why you link to a tumbler page with images of vulvas. What has that got to do with anything? And what is it that it may "help" me with?