Innie vs. Outie: What does it mean?

Posted by Christine Jurzenski on

No, we aren't talking about belly buttons - but the concept isn't far off.

When we talk about innies versus outies we are talking about the vulva. Every vulva is unique, just like their owners. But what do those differences mean for each vulva?

First, let's get into the explanation. Whether you have an innie or an outie is actually determined by the the length of the labia minora and labia majora. Well, what the heck are those? As described by Dr. Karthik Kumar, MBBS;

  • Labia minora (inner labia): Protects the clitoris and can vary in color, shape, and size. Because there are blood vessels surrounding the inner labia, they are darker in color. They grow larger with increased stimulation during sex.
  • Labia majora (outer labia): Equivalent to the male scrotum and protects the rest of the sexual organs. They produce sweat to help regulate the body's temperature. 

"When the labia minora protrudes out of the labia majora, a person is said to have an outie vagina." This is actually more common with over 56% of women having an outie, according to a 2017 study

CRANEL vulva innie versus outtie

Does having an innie or outie affect your health?

Well according to Dr. Mary Jane Minkin, MD, a clinical professor of obstetrics, gynecology, reproductive sciences at Yale University. "It certainly doesn't make any difference that I know about, and I've only been in practice for about 40 years," she says. "Some people have very prominent labia majora; others have very prominent labia minora, and it's all normal." Phew. 

Another study looked at varying labia sizes and set out to understand if there were any material differences across pH levels and UTI frequency. "It was observed that the vaginal pH was significantly more alkaline in group 1 [with larger labia majora] compared with group 2 (6.11 vs 4.48)." Meaning those that had a larger labia majora had a more alkaline vulva which may lead to more frequent UTIs.

CRANEL vulva innie versus outtie

Of course, remember the old tricks to keep your pH balanced; 1) use condoms, 2) probiotics 3) weekly CRANEL which has a pH of 4.0 to bring your urine back to acidic levels.  

One thing we strongly believe at CRANEL is whether or not you have an innie or outtie, each vulva is unique, beautiful and to be celebrated. The focus on labia size might have something to do with the introduction of the bikini in 1946 followed by the introduction of waxing in the 1960s. But let's not forget the purpose of our labia is to help lubricate during sex, secrete sweat to cool us down and most importantly to protect our sexual organs. 

So the next time you get the chance take out your compact mirror and take a good hard look at your innie or outie and say "thank you."

CRANEL vulva innie versus outtie

 

Sources:

1) Medical News Today

2) Women's Health Mag

3) "Do variations in labial anatomy have an effect on recurrent urinary tract infection?"

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