Labium (plural labia) is a Latin-derived term meaning "Lip". Labium and its derivatives (including labial, labrum) are used to describe any lip-like structure, but in the English language, labium often specifically refers to parts of the vulva.
The labia minora (obsolete: nymphae) are two soft folds of skin between the labia majora and to either side of the opening of the vagina. The clitoris is anterior to the vulva where the labia minora meet superiorly. The visible tip of the clitoris, the clitoral glans, is entirely or partially covered by a "hood" of tissue (the clitoral hood).
The coloration, size and general appearance of the labia can vary extensively from woman to woman. In some women the labia minora are almost non-existent, and in others they can be fleshy and protuberant. Usually, but not always, they are symmetrical. Some differences are purely personal, while others may be genetically linked; a striking example of the latter is the elongated labia minora of the Khoisan peoples, whose "khoikhoi aprons" can hang down up to four inches past their labia majora when they are standing.
In some cultures, any of several areas of the female genitals are surgically altered or removed for religious, cultural, or hygienic purposes. Terms for these types of procedures include female circumcision, Pharaonic circumcision, intubation, infibulation, and female genital mutilation or cutting. In many parts of the world the practice is believed to have ancient origins, but even in countries where it has been widespread in the past, it is now mostly illegal.
Labia piercing is a cosmetic piercing, usually with a special needle under sterile conditions, of either the inner labia (labia minora) or the outer labia (labia majora). Jewelry is worn in the resulting opening.