Located just inside the larger surrounding labia majora, the labia minora appear as smaller “lips” surrounding the vaginal opening and the urethra, the tube that releases urine from the body. Typically soft, smooth, and self-lubricated, the labia minora are an intimate area of a woman's exterior anatomy.
The Labia Minora and its Anatomy
The labia minora is typically quite small; however, they may range up to two inches in size. Each woman's labia minora should appear to be uniquely different in size, shape, and other factors. The labia majora are found just inside the lips of the labia minora, as they also extend to surround the clitoris. In examining the labia minora up close, one should notice two distinct portions:
- The upper division – This area passes above the clitoris, allowing each labia minora “lip” to meet and connect above the clitoris. The area wherein these minora “lips” connect should form a fold. This fold hangs over the clitoris.
- The lower division – The lower area passes below the clitoris. The two labia minora “lips” meet under the surface of the skin, forming together to create the frenulum clitoridis. This region is typically the smooth area just below the vaginal opening. For some women, the frenulum, when stimulated, can arouse great feelings of sexual pleasure.
The Duties of the Labia Minora
The labia minora ultimately can play quite a large role in a woman's sexual experiences. As the labia minora longitudinally connect both above and below the clitoris, these minora are surrounding one of the most sensitive regions of a woman's body. Maintaining a proper release of natural lubricants, the labia minora are incredibly smooth areas on a woman's body, as the minora are comprised of many sebaceous follicles. These sebaceous follicles typically hold and / or excrete tiny drops of moisture. By maintaining moisture while also surrounding the clitoris, many women are often sexually aroused by intimate massage and strokes on the labia minora region.
When exploring the area inside the labia minora, one should notice the clitoris as it rests just near the anterior region of the labia minora. When stimulation is applied to the clitoris, many women are able to experience an array of reactions. Specifically, arousing the clitoris can evoke responses such as:
- An orgasm from stimulation
- An intensified orgasm when stimulation is applied to the clitoris during intercourse / penetration
- Increased vaginal contractions and blood flow to the vagina, resulting in a greater supply of natural vaginal lubricants. The boost in lubrication typically provides women with a greater feeling of comfort and pleasure during intercourse
The Labia Minora and Maintenance
Women may occasionally notice a buildup of gel-like or lubrication-like substances. These are typically remaining residues from the vagina's normal processes and excretions. To maintain the health of the labia minora, women can simply wash this region with water and / or with a mild, gentle soap.