If you have an 'outie' vulva, you're not alone — here's what it looks like and other vulva variations
- An "outie vagina" is a term that refers to a vulva with the inner lips visible
- It is completely normal and very common — about 56% of people with vulvas may have an "outie."
- It's also normal to have outer labia that stick out, asymetrical labia, a larger clitoris, and more.
Just as belly buttons can be innies or outies, so can vaginas — or more medically accurately speaking, vulvas. The vulva refers to the external, visible parts of your genitals, including your labia, aka vaginal lips.
There are many types of vulvas, and no two vulvas look exactly the same. Here's what an outie vagina is, as well as a run-down of other vulva variations.
What is an 'outie vagina'?An "outie vagina" refers to when the labia minora (the inner lips) are longer and protrude out of the labia majora (the outer lips), says Marsha Granese, MD, and OB-GYN at Providence Mission Hospital.
As a result, the labia minora can be seen or felt from the outer labia. While it's common for people with outies to feel self-conscious about their protruding inner lips, it's important to note that this is the most common type of vagina, according to a 2017 study.
About 56% of participants in the study had outie vulvas. And the majority of participants (73.3%) who reported that they felt their genitals were "abnormal" had outies as opposed to innies.
Remember, vulvas and their parts can vary greatly in size, shape, and color, Granese says. And your value and self-worth as a person is in no way affected by the shape of your genitals, outie, innie, or otherwise.
Note: In some cases, a disproportionately large labia minora can cause medical issues. This is called labial hypertrophy. "People with this condition can experience changes in sensation including pain during sports and other activities, and an increased likelihood of infection and irritation," says Granese. If your labia interferes with your life, see a doctor to get evaluated.
Types of vulvas
Just as every person is unique, every vagina owner's vulva is unique. Aside from outie vulvas, some other different types of vulvas include:
- Asymmetrical labia: This is when one labia is larger than the other. As with many parts of the body that are asymmetrical, such as breasts, this is a normal variation, says Christie Messenger, MD, board-certified OB-GYN at Kindbody.
- Small labia: When your inner labia don't extend past the outer labia, they tend to tuck inside, and may only be visible if the labia majora are separated, Messenger says.
- Outer labia that stick out more: In this case, the outer labia are more pronounced than the inner labia. This can occur in combination with small labia minora that are tucked in, says Messenger.
- Big or small clitoris: Messenger says the variation in the size of the clitoris is similar to the size variations of any body part we have, and your clitoris can range in size from the size of a pencil eraser to the size of a dime.
- A vagina that isn't pink: Vulvas come in all different shapes, sizes, and even colors. As long as your skin and mucosa (the mucous membrane of the vagina) don't look or feel irritated, Messenger says color variations outside of pink are normal.
An outie vagina is a nickname for when the inner labia stick out further than the outer labia. This is a type of vulva that is completely normal and should not be a medical cause for concern.
"Each has its own shape, size, and color. Unless you notice a significant change, you can rest assured that yours is normal and perfect just the way it is," says Messenger.