I Got Labia Fillers — & My Sex Life Has Never Been Better

Photographed by Nicholas Bloise.
Michelle is a 37-year-old woman living in North Carolina who decided to get labia injections for cosmetic reasons. The following story was told to Refinery29 and edited for length and clarity.
I've never been 100% happy with the way that my vagina looked, but after having a child three and a half years ago, things definitely changed. Childbirth affected the elasticity and made my labia lips look a little funny — they lost some of that plumpness. I became really insecure, mostly about the way I look if I'm standing and someone is looking at me.
Obviously, my husband loves me, but because I wasn't mentally in the right place during sex, I wasn’t allowing myself to release and have orgasms. I didn’t want him to go down on me; I was like, "Ew no, it's ugly now." I know that any guy who cares is a jerk and my husband doesn’t — but this is about me and how I feel.
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I've been going to Urban Skin Solutions for laser hair removal and cosmetic injections for so long that the staff kind of feels like family. I was talking to the aesthetician while I was getting my laser treatment —I do it around my vagina and my underarms — and telling her how insecure I am about the appearance down there. She told me they were doing this new vaginal rejuvenation procedure (they also do girth on the penis), so I set up a consultation with Kristin Cabeda, who normally does my cosmetic face injections, and she went more in-depth about the procedure and reassured me that I'm not alone and there are a lot of women experiencing these feelings, especially after having children.
I had gone to my gynaecologist and heard about vaginal rejuvenation surgeries, but I was like, Oh hell no. I've already had a baby — I don't need any more pain. So when I found out you can get a certain amount of filler instead, I thought that was the better way to go. I'm a pretty open person; I told my closest friends and my mom and my partner. Some people looked at me like I was crazy, but I don’t really care.
Because I had gotten cosmetic injectables in my face before, I kind of knew what to expect. You should avoid drinking alcohol before and go in clean and shaven, or lasered in my case. In my consultation, I had told Kristin what I wanted and showed her pictures and she was very honest and realistic with me. She was like, "That’s not the way your body is made, so it won't look like that, but I can get you to look like this."
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I saw the way my vagina looked immediately after and it was perfect.

Kristin gave me some topical Lidocaine numbing cream and directed me where to put it. I let it sit there for 15-20 minutes, then I asked for a couple shots of Lidocaine, too. I was comfortable with my decision, but still a little nervous. After that, I felt absolutely nothing. She used four syringes of Juvéderm [each costs £519 at Urban Skin Solutions] and I could see the results instantly. No waiting, no downtime — I saw the way my vagina looked immediately after and it was perfect. Kristin is like an artist.
There was the tiniest bit of swelling, but as women, we heal very, very fast down there, so it was only like three days. It was a little sore, but it wasn’t unbearable at all. I kind of patted instead of wiped when I went to the bathroom, but it wasn’t painful when I sat down or anything. The only downfall was that I had to wait to have sex. I couldn’t have sex for a week to two weeks, which was hard because I was like, "I'm ready!"
When my husband saw me, he was like, "It's beautiful!" I do think it's had an impact on our sex life because I feel better and am just so much less insecure. I personally love it and am going to keep doing it. I might go back in soon and have them plump up the inside a bit, which they can do. I'm still thinking about it. But for the outside, I was told I would probably have to come back in once every six months, but since you form collagen even after the filler wears off, that means some of it will stay plump, so that makes me happy.
This is something I think that people don’t really talk about because it is so private, but I hope that speaking about my experience will give someone the courage to go do it if they're insecure because it's been such a positive thing for me.
Editor's note: Juvéderm and other cosmetic fillers are not currently FDA-approved for use in the labia majora, but plastic surgeon Joshua Zuckerman, MD, says, “Hyaluronic acid fillers in this area, while 'off-label,' are indeed quite safe in the hands of an experienced practitioner, ideally a board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist.” Dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD, agrees, and notes you should consult your gynaecologist and a board-certified doctor who specialises in this area before getting the procedure.
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