close menu
What we offer

Treatment for vaginal dryness, painful sex, frequent UTIs, and urgency.


Learn
+

Patient Login
Vaginal moisturizer.

Why is My Labia Disappearing?

When your labia shrinks and disappears, you may feel perplexed or blindsided. It’s common after menopause, but changes to the labia can also start in the years leading up to menopause. At first, you may notice itchiness and irritation on the labia majora or labia minora. With time, the labia minora can become thin and flat or disappear entirely.

Interlude’s medical providers are here to share what we know about changes to the labia - so you can make good decisions for your health and well-being. And if a prescription medication is needed, which it often is, our doctors offer estradiol vaginal cream or estradiol vaginal suppositories to help make the tissues plump and healthy again.

The cause is low estrogen

Around the time of menopause, your body experiences a drop in estrogen levels which can cause changes to the vagina, bladder, and vulva - and this can include the labia majora and labia minora.

The labia majora can become dry and wrinkly. The labia minora can lose plumpness and fullness. Sometimes, the labia minora will disappear completely.

The medical term for this is vaginal atrophy or the genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM). GSM is very common - it affects up to 85% of postmenopausal women. Symptoms can begin in your 30s and 40s in the perimenopausal years.

GSM is chronic and progressive. This means that what might start as an itchy vulva or itchy labia in perimenopause can slowly progress to the point where your labia shrinks and disappears.

You may have symptoms besides changes to the appearance of your labia

When the labia disappears, it isn’t just a cosmetic issue. When the body produces less estrogen, this means less moisture in the vagina and vulva. This can affect your daily life - from your everyday comfort to your enjoyment of sex.

The genitourinary syndrome of menopause affects everyone differently. Symptoms are wide-ranging and varied. Along with changes to your labia, you may also notice other signs and symptoms like an increase in UTIs, painful sex, itchy and dry vulva, urgency to pee, or increased frequency of peeing. But the good news is that these physical changes, signs, and symptoms are all highly treatable and even reversible!

Moisturizers and lubricants

There are over-the-counter options that can help. A good moisturizer can help restore moisture to the labia. And if you’re sexually active, a lubricant can be used to help make sex more comfortable. If you want to address the root cause of changes to the labia, then prescription treatment with a low-dose topical estrogen is the way to go.

Low-dose topical estrogen

Hormone-based vaginal estrogen creams and suppositories are a highly effective prescription treatment for the vaginal and urinary changes that happen when the body produces less estrogen. With consistent use, the skin around the labia will become less dry and the labia will start to plump up again.

  • Estradiol vaginal cream is applied 1-3 times a week using a plastic applicator. It can also be applied externally.
  • Estradiol vaginal suppositories are applied twice a week using a pre-filled plastic applicator.

These treatments are applied only to the affected area of the vagina and vulva. They deliver less estrogen and have fewer risks than full-body hormone therapy for menopause. This means you can take low-dose topical estrogen at any age and for as long as you need. It’s also a great option for women with a history of breast cancer - just make sure you clear it with your oncologist first.

Getting the help you need

A medical provider will have the tools and know-how to treat changes to the labia that may be causing distress or discomfort. At Interlude, our board-certified doctors offer medical guidance that’s not just about managing symptoms but also about improving your overall vaginal and urinary health for the years to come.

We offer prescription treatments like estradiol vaginal cream with an easy online consult that you can complete without leaving home. Plus, you can message your doctor through your Interlude account with any questions and receive a response within 24 hours or less.

Remember, vaginal atrophy or the genitourinary syndrome of menopause is a chronic and progressive condition. The sooner you get professional help, the better. Early intervention can help prevent labia changes getting worse, and ensure you’re giving your future self the proper care you deserve.