Do you have “vaginal fat” and want to know how to lose it?
Don’t worry, you are not alone!
First, you have to know the difference between a FUPA (aka fat upper pubic area) and mons pubis fat.
After reading this post, you’ll learn:
- What a FUPA is,
- How it’s different from mons pubis fat, and
- How to get rid of them safely.
Keep reading to learn more.
Although I am a doctor, I am not your doctor. This information is for informational purposes only and should not substitute the advice from your healthcare professional. All kinds of exercise and dietary changes are potentially dangerous, and those who do not seek counsel from the appropriate health care authority assume the liability of any injury which may occur. Please read my full Disclaimer for more information. Also, this post may contain affiliate links: meaning I may receive a commission if you use them.
Ok, moving on.
What Is a FUPA?
FUPA is short for “fat upper pubic area.”
This is the excess fat that is present below your belly button and above your vagina.
The actual medical terminology for this is “panniculus” or pannus for short.
Below the pannus is the mons pubis.
What is Mons Pubis Fat?
The mons is the fatty tissue directly anterior to your vagina, right where your pubic symphysis and your labia majora are located.
This is also the area where your pubic hair is distributed.
It is not uncommon to have a decent amount of fat in the mons pubis.
In addition, the fat on your mons pubis has a purpose. It acts as padding/cushioning for any impact on your vaginal area.
Why do I have FUPA and/or A Large mons pubis?
The shape of your mons pubis, vagina, and labia is largely determined by your genetics.
And unfortunately, genetics is not something you can change.
These just so happen to be the places where your body stores fat.
Many women will develop stubborn fat in these areas after childbirth. This is especially true if you had a significant amount of weight gain during pregnancy.
How do you lose FUPA fat?
To lose fat in your upper pubic area and mons- you have to lower your total body fat percentage.
Unfortunately, exercise alone won’t help you lose fat in these areas.
In addition, these areas tend to have stubborn fat cells. This means that you may not lose fat from these areas at all, even with weight loss.
Now, that’s not to say you can’t try!
The best way to decrease your body fat percentage is through your nutrition.
With that said, targeted exercises can strengthen and develop the muscles in the lower abdominal region. As a result, this can improve your abdominal appearance after a trial of weight loss.
Let’s discuss the best exercises you can do to target the FUPA area.
The Best Lower Belly Exercises
The Modified Mountain Climber
The mountain climber is a great exercise to target the lower rectus abdominis from a safe position.
Here is what the exercise looks like:
Feel free to start the exercise on an incline as shown in the image above, or even against a wall, before getting into the full mountain climber on the floor.
When performing this exercise it is important to get into a posterior pelvic tilt first and bring your knees to your chest (or as high as you can go).
You want to keep your core engaged the entire time and do not let your spinal alignment change.
The only part of your body that should be moving is your legs.
Lying Leg Raises
The lying leg raise is another exercise to target the lower belly from a controlled position.
Here is what the exercise looks like:
Lie down on the floor with your feet straight out in front of you.
Now posteriorly tilt your pelvis by flattening out your low back on the floor.
This will activate your deep transverse abdominal muscles.
From here, brace your core and lift both legs up to the ceiling.
Slowly lower both legs down without touching the floor and repeat.
The dead bug is a fun exercise that engages the entire abdominal region. It also targets the FUPA from a lying position.
Here is what the exercise looks like:
Lie down on the floor with both knees bent and both arms perpendicular to the floor.
Next, posteriorly tilt your pelvis.
From here slowly lower one leg and the opposite arm down to the floor, without ever actually touching the floor.
Now, bring that leg and arm back to the starting position, and repeat using the opposite leg and arm.
Remember, keep your core engaged the entire time.
Don’t underestimate this exercise!
Flutter kicks look easy but will have your lower abdominal muscles burning!
Like the lying leg lifts, you will lie down on the floor with your feet straight out in front of you.
Get into a posterior pelvic tilt and brace your core.
Now lift one leg up.
As you start to lower that leg down to the ground begin lifting the other leg up.
Repeat for the desired number of repetitions without letting your feet touch the floor.
In and Outs (Single Leg)
In and outs are a great way to target the lower abdomen using one leg at a time.
Here is what the exercise looks like:
Sit down with your hands flat on the floor and your feet straight out in front of you.
Bend one leg (while keeping the other leg straight) and try to bring it to your chest.
Slowly reverse the movement, and repeat with the other leg.
Just make sure that you keep your core muscles engaged the entire time and do not let your feet touch the floor.
Seated Leg Raises
The seated leg raise is another amazing exercise to target the entire abdominal area from a seated position.
Here is how the exercise looks:
Sit down on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you.
Keep your hands at your side or wherever feels comfortable. (The further back you place your hands the easier the exercise.)
Now brace your core and lift both your legs up off the ground.
The farther back your hands are from your hips, the easier the exercise.
Hold the top position for 1 second and slowly lower your legs and repeat.
Okay, so those are the best exercises to target the FUPA.
But remember, exercise alone will do nothing for fat loss. You must improve your nutrition to decrease your body fat percentage.
Here are some tips.
How To Eat For Fat Loss
In addition to performing the exercises mentioned above, it is important you maintain a healthy diet because let’s face it, no amount of exercise will help you lose weight if you don’t monitor your food intake.
A healthy diet contains balanced amounts of both macro and micronutrients.
The three macronutrients I am referring to are:
- Carbohydrates, and
Let’s discuss each one in detail.
Protein is one of the most important macronutrients for building and maintaining lean muscle tissue. It also has a lot of research supporting its weight loss benefits as well.
One of the reasons is because protein helps keep you full.
Good protein sources include:
- Lean meats
Learn more about protein in pregnancy here.
Carbohydrates are the macronutrient that fuels our body with energy.
When ingested, carbohydrates are broken down to glucose and either used up at that moment or stored for times of food scarcity.
You should do your best to avoid simple carbohydrates which provide little nutritional value like white bread and white pasta and opt for complex carbohydrates like whole grains, sweet potatoes, and vegetables.
Unfortunately fat has gotten a bad name for itself in the media but it is actually good for you!
It is super important in producing hormones, keeping your energy levels high, and providing your body with thermal insulation.
You just need to make sure you consume the right types of fat and avoid the bad ones, aka trans fat.
The best types of fat include:
- Nut butters
- Olive oil
- Nuts and seeds
I go over a simple process to help you incorporate all the nutrients you need to aid in fat loss in my Fit Mom Nutrition Guide For Fat Loss!
Another Overlooked Strategy For Losing Excess Body Fat
Stress is another factor that can cause you to store excess fat, especially in the mid-abdomen.
As your stress level increases, your cortisol levels increase.
This is why it’s important to learn ways of dealing with and managing your stress.
There are several things you can do such as:
- Practicing gratitude
- Getting adequate sleep every night
- Learning how to deal with stressful situations
- Taking a daily walk
- Finding an activity you enjoy
Give one of these a try every day, for 7 days, and see how you feel.
When Should You Consider Surgery?
If you have been consistently exercising and improving your nutrition for at least 6-12 months, and you haven’t seen any progress, then you may need surgery.
Diet and exercise can work for many people, but not everyone.
Just make sure you do your own research before undergoing a surgical procedure as they all have risks.
The different types of surgical options include:
1. Monsplasty or pubic lift: Which is a type of surgery to remove your excess mons pubis fat.
2. Abdominoplasty or tummy tuck (with or without panniculectomy): Which is a type of surgery to remove excess fat on your lower abdomen.
3. Coolsculpting: A newer non-invasive, non-surgical method of removing excess skin from your abdomen.
These procedures fall under the hood of “cosmetic surgery,” so your insurance might not cover them.
Other related questions
How do I get rid of extra skin near my vagina?
Loose skin in the vagina and your lower abdomen is very difficult to reduce, and often don’t go away on their own.
There are a few conservative measures you can try (which I describe in my post: loose skin after pregnancy).
However, many people need surgical correction of excessively loose skin.
Will a panniculus go away with weight loss?
In some cases, a panniculus can go away with weight loss.
With that said, you must achieve a significant transformation to get rid of it completely.
This is not an overnight process. It will takes months of consistency!
You must find a dietary and exercise routine that you find enjoyable and sustainable.
This will be different for everyone
What if I have a hanging stomach?
A hanging stomach also known as mommy tummy overhang or apron belly is when subcutaneous fat in your abdomen drapes over your waistline.
This is common in the postpartum period due to the rapid weight loss that occurs.
To get rid of a hanging stomach you must lower your body fat percentage through your nutrition. Check out my post on the hanging stomach to learn more.
Final Words On Vaginal Fat
Excess fat in unwanted areas can definitely decrease your self-esteem and confidence.
But you are not alone.
You have the tools to do something about it!
Start with small changes in your diet and fitness routine and get started today!
I promise you won’t regret it.
Now I want to hear from you.
Were you able to get rid of FUPA or mons pubis fat?
Did you ever get plastic surgery?
Comment below and let me know.
Get Started With A Free Postpartum Workout Plan To Rebuild Your Pelvic Floor, Heal Your Mommy Tummy, & Tone Your Arms & Legs!
Brittany N Robles, MD, MPH, CPT
Brittany N Robles is a full-time OBGYN, a NASM certified personal trainer, and health & fitness expert. She holds a Masters of Public Health degree in maternal health with a special interest in exercise and nutrition. She is also the co-author of The White Coat Trainer. Learn more about her here.
Sharing is Caring – Send This To A Mom In Need!
- Ramírez-Campillo R, Andrade DC, Campos-Jara C, Henríquez-Olguín C, Alvarez-Lepín C, Izquierdo M. Regional fat changes induced by localized muscle endurance resistance training. J Strength Cond Res. 2013 Aug;27(8):2219-24. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31827e8681. PMID: 23222084.
- Vispute SS, Smith JD, LeCheminant JD, Hurley KS. The effect of abdominal exercise on abdominal fat. J Strength Cond Res. 2011 Sep;25(9):2559-64. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181fb4a46. PMID: 21804427.
- Leidy HJ, Clifton PM, Astrup A, Wycherley TP, Westerterp-Plantenga MS, Luscombe-Marsh ND, Woods SC, Mattes RD. The role of protein in weight loss and maintenance. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Jun;101(6):1320S-1329S. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.114.084038. Epub 2015 Apr 29. PMID: 25926512.
- Kamba A, Daimon M, Murakami H, et al. Association between Higher Serum Cortisol Levels and Decreased Insulin Secretion in a General Population. PLoS One. 2016;11(11):e0166077. Published 2016 Nov 18. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0166077
- Hewagalamulage SD, Lee TK, Clarke IJ, Henry BA. Stress, cortisol, and obesity: a role for cortisol responsiveness in identifying individuals prone to obesity. Domest Anim Endocrinol. 2016 Jul;56 Suppl:S112-20. doi: 10.1016/j.domaniend.2016.03.004. Epub 2016 Mar 31. PMID: 27345309.
- Moyer AE, Rodin J, Grilo CM, Cummings N, Larson LM, Rebuffé-Scrive M. Stress-induced cortisol response and fat distribution in women. Obes Res. 1994 May;2(3):255-62. doi: 10.1002/j.1550-8528.1994.tb00055.x. PMID: 16353426.