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The Guide to The Vagina –

The Guide to The Vagina –

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The function of this information is to inform each men and women concerning the feminine genital anatomy and physiology (functioning). It accommodates info on the vulva (exterior genitals), vagina, hymen, pubic hair improvement, the interior organs of the pelvis (together with the ovaries and uterus), and customary illnesses of the feminine reproductive tract. The assets web page has hyperlinks to different pertinent web sites, and our listing of beneficial readings.

This information is split into numerous sections. To get probably the most from the information, we advocate you start with the Introduction part and proceed down the listing so as. You’ll be able to transfer from part to part by clicking on the subjects to the left body. When you don’t see the chapter listing, click on on giant title above.

The paintings above, L’Origine du Monde (The Origin of The World), was painted in 1866 by Gustave Courbet. Click on on the image for extra info.


The Vulva and Inner Genitalia

A lady’s vulva is definitely a grouping of a lot of the exterior sexual organs of the crotch. The vulva consists of the vagina opening, the clitoris, the labia (majora and minora), the urinary opening (urethra), and the world over the pelvic bone that will get coated with pubic hair at puberty (referred to as the mons veneris).

1: Mons veneris
2: Hood of Clitoris
three: Clitoris
four: Labia minora
5: Labia majora
6: Anus
eight: Perineum (aka ‘taint‘)
10: Opening of Vagina
11: Opening of Urethra
The most blatant function on an grownup lady is the pubic hair. It grows from the gentle tissue above the pubic bone and is known as the mons veneris (1) (Latin for “mountain of venus”). In mature unshaven ladies, the pubic hair continues down and across the vulva to the anus (6). The anus is the opening of the rectum and colon. Click on right here for an in depth drawing of the exterior genitals. The hair coated space between the mons and the anus can also be made of sentimental fatty tissue (just like the mons). That is the outer lips of the vagina, or labia majora (5) (Latin for main lips). The labia majora are outstanding in some ladies and minimal in others. For some, the pores and skin of those outer lips is darker. The outer lips (labia majora) encompass some gentle flaps of pores and skin that are hairless. These inside lips are referred to as the labia minora (four) (Latin for minor lips). With sexual stimulation, they swell and switch darker as they get full of blood. The area between the internal lips and the anus is known as the perineum (eight). If the internal lips are unfold aside (as seen within the image), one can see that they shield a fragile space between them. This space known as the vestibule. On the prime of the vestibule, proper under the mons space, the inside lips are joined to type a gentle fold of pores and skin, or hood (2), that covers the clitoris (three). The clitoris (pronounced KLIT-or-iss [no, it doesn’t rhyme with Dolores]) is probably the most delicate spot in all the genital space. It’s made up of erectile tissue that swells throughout sexual arousal. Under the clitoris is a small slit referred to as the urethra (11) opening. The urethra is a skinny tube about an inch and a half lengthy that connects to the bladder. That is the place urine comes out. Under the urethra opening is the bigger opening of the vagina (10) (additionally referred to as the introitus). The vagina is the delivery canal, and connects the surface world of the vulva to the womb (or uterus).


The vagina is a muscular tube-like construction that connects the outside of the vulva to the interior organs of copy (i.e., the cervix and uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries). The vagina is tucked between the urinary bladder within the entrance and the rectum within the again. If nothing is in between the vaginal partitions contact one another. When one thing is contained in the vagina, (e.g., tampon, finger, penis, child), the partitions unfold and “hug” the thing .

The partitions of the vagina are literally composed of three tissues. The inside wall known as mucosa and is analogous to the within of your mouth. Slightly below the mucosa is a layer of tissue that fills with blood. That is the erectile tissue and it swells when a lady is sexually aroused. The deepest layer is a coat of muscle, and this muscular coat is a wrap of tissue that may loosen up or constrict.

The vagina varies in size from lady to lady, however is usually 2.5 to four inches lengthy (from vulva to cervix). As well as, the vagina has the power to stretch fairly a bit, thus permitting an erect penis in and a child out (see our Male Genitalia Package for particulars on common erection measurement and form).


Women are usually born with a skinny membrane that covers the vagina opening. That is referred to as a hymen. Intact hymens differ extensively in form from lady to lady. For most girls, the hymen stretches simply, however even after being stretched, little folds of hymen tissue stay (under, proper).

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Although it was lengthy believed the absence of a hymen meant sexual activity had occurred (i.e., the lady was not a virgin), this isn’t essentially true. The hymen is a fragile piece of pores and skin that may stretch and break from sexual activity, using a tampon, and even vigorous train. The stretching and tearing of the hymen is what causes bleeding to typically happen after intercourse. “Popped her cherry” is slang describing the breaking of the hymen.


In the course of the pubertal years (often between ages of eight and 13, common age is 11), the vulva and inner genitals develop and alter to their grownup measurement. Simply as breast improvement is staged, the medical means to gauge improvement is  Tanner s Sexual Naturity Score. Tanner’s classification of sexual maturity seems at pubic hair progress to decide improvement degree.

The Stage 1 preadolescent has no pubic hair apart from a high quality “peach fuzz” physique hair.

In Stage 2, there’s sparse progress of lengthy, barely darkened, downy hair principally alongside the labia. This hair is often straight or solely barely curled.

In Stage three, the pubic hair turns into darker, coarser, and curlier. It now grows sparsely over the mons veneris space.

In Stage four, the hair grows in additional densely. It turns into as coarse and curly as within the grownup, however there’s not as a lot of it.

The mature grownup, Stage 5, has the basic coarse and curly pubic hair that extends onto the inside thighs.

The last quantity, colour, and distribution of pubic hair surrounding the vagina is sort of variable. About 90% of lady aged 18 and older have a “horizontal” sample diagrammed under (far left). Different hair patterns are additionally depicted.



The inner organs that make up the feminine pelvis are the vagina, uterus (womb), fallopian tubes, and ovaries. (The vagina is taken into account one of many inner organs, as solely the opening of the vagina is a part of the exterior genitalia.)

The uterus in a non-pregnant lady is concerning the measurement of an orange. It has thick muscular wallsthat are wanted throughout being pregnant to push the infant by way of the vagina and out into the world. (“Contractions” refer to the tightenning of the uterus throughout supply.) Just like the partitions of the vagina, the within partitions of the uterus contact until pushed aside by a fetus or irregular progress. These inside partitions develop thick and wealthy every month ; this progress peters off with menstruation (the interval). The uterus is related to the within finish of the vagina via the cervix. The cervix has the consistency of your nostril, and is the tissue that’s checked by a pap smear.

The ovaries are concerning the measurement and form of unshelled almonds, and are held in place by ligaments that connect to the general public bone. A layer of fats surrounds and protects these valuable organs. Every ovary itself accommodates tons of of eggs, certainly one of which is launched every month throughout ovulation. The egg travels down the 4 inch lengthy fallopian tube the place it’s fertilized by a sperm (if a sperm occurs to be current). A fertilized egg will develop into buried within the wealthy tissue of the uterus (endometrium) and develop right into a fetus.


Many several types of illnesses have an effect on the feminine genitals. A few of the commonest illnesses are caught from a companion throughout sexual contact (e.g., Chlamydia, Herpes, Vaginal Warts, AIDS, and so on.). An in depth take a look at these illnesses transcends the scope of this information, and is accessible in our Sexually Transmitted Illness (STD) On-line Guide. The information exhibits pictures and provides detailed info on detecting, curing, and stopping the ten commonest sexually transmitted illnesses. As well as to the STDs, there are numerous different sicknesses that may have an effect on the feminine genitalia. These might be grouped relying on whether or not they have an effect on the exterior genitalia (vulva) or the interior organs.

Sexually Transmitted Illnesses (STD) generally trigger an infection and injury to the vulva space. Condyloma (vaginal warts) is a standard STD brought on by the Human Papilloma Virus (or HPV for brief). The photograph to the left exhibits a lady with vaginal warts (arrows) on her labia majora. (The affected person can also be on her interval and has a tampon within the vagina.)


Bartholin’s Cysts are infectious lumps that seem if the Bartholin’s glands get clogged up. The opening of those glands is situated on both aspect of the vagina. Each sexually transmitted illnesses and non-STDs may cause swelling that leads to this abscess. The photograph exhibits yellow pus being expressed from a lady with an contaminated Bartholin’s gland. The swollen gland could be very tender and heat to contact. Remedy is with antibiotics and sometimes requires an incision to permit the contaminated gland to drain.

Vulvar Most cancers often impacts lady of their 60s, and is usually triggered by HPV (Human Papilloma Virus). Any non-healing space across the vagina or vulva should to be checked by a physician to ensure it isn’t cancerous.

Most of the STDs additionally trigger an infection and injury to the interior organs. These infections can typically lead to sterility (the lack to ever get pregnant) if  undiagnosed and handled. Far more info on this and different causes of pelvic inflammatory illness is in our STD on-line information.


The entrance to the uterus from the vagina is known as the cervix, and is taken into account part of the uterus. Cervicitis (irritation and swelling of the cervix) might be brought on by many issues, together with infections (e.g., chlamydia, HPV) and most cancers. A pap smear ought to be achieved recurrently in lady 18 and older or every time sexual relations begin as a result of it has been confirmed that HPV can lead to cervical dysplasia (precancerous modifications) and cervical most cancers. Danger elements for cervical most cancers thus embrace first intercourse at an early age and a number of intercourse companions. As anticipated, research have proven that there’s a a lot decrease fee of cervical most cancers in nuns and virgins. Except for sexual abstinence, the common and proper use of condoms is the easiest way to keep away from this and lots of different sexually transmitted illnesses.

Ihe internal lining of the uterus (endometrium) also can get infections and cancers. Endometritis is the irritation and illness of this tissue. Once more, the most typical culprits are sometimes the STDs (Chlamydia and Gonorrhea) however different issues may also trigger this critical an infection. Endometriosis (not to be confused with endometritis) is a illness the place the endometrium inappropriately finally ends up on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and different locations within the pelvis. It’s unclear how and why it finally ends up outdoors the uterus. This tissue thickens and experiences  significantpain and cramping through the hormonally-driven menstrual cycle. Sure medicines that have an effect on hormone ranges (like the contraception capsule) can typically be used to deal with this drawback.


Way back to 1350 BC, there are data of Egyptian males sporting sheaths as ornamental covers for his or her penises. Within the eighteenth century, condom use turned well-liked for cover towards infections and undesirable pregnancies. The condom is often made from latex rubber (one other identify for it’s “a rubber”) and is supposed to match an erect penis. Many condoms come lubricated and/or premedicated with spermicide (a chemical that kills sperm cells on contact). Different condoms made from lamb intestines are costlier and should not shield as properly towards sexually transmitted illnesses. Condoms are designed to maintain semen from stepping into the lady’s vagina. To maximise the protecting advantages of condoms, they have to be used appropriately.

Condoms often come rolled up in a package deal that may unroll to about 7 half inches, although one shouldn’t unroll it till placing it on the erection. A 1 three/eight inch ring is discovered on the open finish helps forestall the condom from slipping off throughout use. The closed finish typically has a nipple reservoir that catches semen and helps forestall the condom from breaking. A high-quality latex condom has a failure price of 1% – 2%, which means that one can anticipate their condom to break, burst, include a minute gap, or slip off, a few times each 100 occasions of use. Due to this, solely abstinence is actually efficient at stopping STDs.

To make use of a condom appropriately, pinch the top (the nipple) to get the air out prior to putting it on the top of the penis. This pinched-off area can be the place the ejaculate collects and minimizes the danger of bursting the condom. Roll the condom down the shaft of the erection, masking as a lot pores and skin as attainable (many STDs can unfold from pores and skin to pores and skin contact even when there are not any open sores or rashes current). The condom have to be unrolled onto the erection earlier than any intercourse happens as it’s common to leak a small quantity of semen from the stimulated penis prior to ejaculation. In case you are not utilizing a lubricated condom, you need to put Okay-Y Jelly or a spermicide onto the condom as soon as it has been positioned on the erection to lubricate and therefore reduce the danger of tearing the condom throughout sexual relations. NEVER use Vaseline (petroleum jelly) on the condom as it might dissolve the latex. When withdrawing the condom-covered penis from the vagina or mouth, be certain to maintain the rim to forestall it from slipping off and spilling sperm onto mucous membranes. In case of an unintentional spill round or within the vagina, insert spermicide cream, jelly, or foam gently in and across the vagina. Don’t douche.

Condoms may be purchased at any drugstore, and often come packaged in units of three to 12. To order condoms-by-mail, discretely and inexpensively, take a look at our hardcopy male genitalia package, or click on on the condom image.


This on-line information has answered a few of the many questions has been requested concerning the genitals. Its function is to function an introduction and a primary information to the anatomy and physiology of those organswhile serving to you keep away from illness. When you have questions or considerations about your well being and physique, we advocate asking your doctor. Most docs talk about these “personal” questions each day, so don’t be afraid to ask.

For extra detailed info on this subjects, please go to the next hyperlinks. A lot of the knowledge on this information is from a superb guide referred to as Our Our bodies, Ourselves: a e-book by and for ladies. As well as to primary anatomy and performance, Our Our bodies, Ourselves incorporates detailed info on sexuality, together with masturbation, heterosexuality, homosexuality, being pregnant, and contraception.

Different beneficial studying on this matter:

Our Our bodies, Ourselves for the older lady. Gilda Radner, who died from ovarian most cancers in 1989, wrote a terrific and shifting autobiography referred to as It’s All the time One thing. What’s Occurring to My Physique? A Guide for Women, A Rising Up Guide for Mother and father and Daughters. Modifications in You and Me A Ebook About Puberty, Principally for Boys.

CancerNet has detailed info on primarily all cancers, together with breast, ovary, uterine, and extra. The American Academy of Household Physicians has info in addition to an inventory of certified physicians in your space. And, in fact, our Sexually Transmitted Illness Guide is a wonderful useful resource for info and pictures.

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L’Origine du Monde (The Origin of The World), was painted in 1866 by Gustave Courbet. Click on right here for extra info on this artist and his paintings.


M: Mons veneris
A: Hood of Clitoris
B: Clitoris
C: Opening of Urethra
D: Labia minora
E: Labia majora
F: Opening of Vagina
G: Vestibule (Bartholin’s Glands
H: Anus