Are My Large Inner Labia to Blame for Chronic Vaginal Thrush?

Profile picture for user Betty Dodson

Betty Dodson

Dear Dr Betty,

I am 24 and for the last 5 years or so have suffered what I initially believed to be recurrent thrush. I do everything I can to avoid it, e.g. use soft sea sponges soaked in tea tree oil for menstrual protection, wear only cotton panties (and no underwear whenever I can get away with it!), wash my vagina with water only and make sure to dry it thoroughly. These measures have helped a little, but I still frequently have a sore and itchy vulva. It doesn't respond to anti-fungal treatments and I have realized that it is not usually due to thrush at all, but something more like a skin irritation.

My question is, could it be related to the shape/size of my inner labia? They are quite large and so stick together, rub against each other and against my outer labia etc. I am perfectly happy with the appearance of my vulva and hate the idea of surgery, but this recurrent irritation is incredibly annoying and affects my sex life as the friction of penetrative sex exacerbates the problem. Is labiaplasty something I should consider or do you think there is some other way around this?!

Would really appreciate your advice on this!


Dear A,

Google "thrush" which is an overgrowth of yeast and very common. There is a copious amount of material available. My first line of attack is always diet. We are all too acidic and need to eliminate processed foods and refined sugars in all forms to be more alkaline.

Your skin irritation might also simply be the negative attention your vulva has been getting with the anti-fungal treatments. I'm sure it has nothing to do with the size of your inner labia so do not consider plastic surgery! To avoid your inner lips from becoming irritated during intercourse be sure to use a clean massage oil to keep them moist. I do not know your method of birth control but avoid water based lubes that are full of chemicals. Also a vulva massage with a massage oil containing vitamin E while loving and appreciating your sex organ is a nice healing ritual especially when you end with a happy orgasm.

Dr. Betty

Mentions And Related Topics