Often referred to as the vaginal “lips,” the labia are two pairs of skin folds that make up part of the female vulva (the external structures that surround the vagina). Their purpose is to protect the vagina and clitoris.

The outer folds (labia majora) have more fatty tissue and are usually larger than the two inner folds (labia minora). The two inner folds swell slightly during arousal.

Labia vary greatly in size and shape. Touching or licking the labia can be pleasurable for some women.