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The Guide to The Vagina –

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The function of this information is to inform both men and women concerning the female genital anatomy and physiology (functioning). It incorporates 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 female reproductive tract. The assets web page has hyperlinks to other pertinent web sites, and our record of really helpful readings.

This guide is split into a variety of sections. To get probably the most from the information, we advocate you begin with the Introduction part and proceed down the listing so as. You’ll be able to move from section to section by clicking on the subjects to the left body. In case you don’t see the chapter record, 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 the image for more info.


The Vulva and Inner Genitalia

A lady’s vulva is definitely a grouping of a lot of the external 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
8: 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 smooth tissue above the pubic bone and known as the mons veneris (1) (Latin for “mountain of venus”). In mature unshaven ladies, the pubic hair continues down and around the vulva to the anus (6). The anus is the opening of the rectum and colon. Click on here for a detailed drawing of the external genitals. The hair coated area between the mons and the anus can also be made of sentimental fatty tissue (just like the mons). This is the outer lips of the vagina, or labia majora (5) (Latin for major lips). The labia majora are outstanding in some ladies and minimal in others. For some, the pores and skin of these outer lips is darker. The outer lips (labia majora) surround some gentle flaps of skin which are hairless. These internal lips are referred to as the labia minora (4) (Latin for minor lips). With sexual stimulation, they swell and turn darker as they get crammed with blood. The area between the inside lips and the anus known as the perineum (8). If the inside lips are unfold apart (as seen in the image), one can see that they shield a delicate space between them. This area known as the vestibule. On the prime of the vestibule, right under the mons space, the internal lips are joined to type a gentle fold of skin, or hood (2), that covers the clitoris (3). The clitoris (pronounced KLIT-or-iss [no, it doesn’t rhyme with Dolores]) is probably the most delicate spot in the complete genital space. It is made up of erectile tissue that swells during sexual arousal. Under the clitoris is a small slit referred to as the urethra (11) opening. The urethra is a thin tube about an inch and a half lengthy that connects to the bladder. This is where urine comes out. Under the urethra opening is the bigger opening of the vagina (10) (also 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 front and the rectum in the again. If nothing is in between the vaginal partitions touch one another. When something is contained in the vagina, (e.g., tampon, finger, penis, baby), the walls spread and “hug” the item .

The walls of the vagina are literally composed of 3 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 can chill out or constrict.

The vagina varies in size from lady to lady, however is usually 2.5 to four inches long (from vulva to cervix). In addition, the vagina has the power to stretch fairly a bit, thus allowing 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 thin membrane that covers the vagina opening. That is referred to as a hymen. Intact hymens differ extensively in shape from lady to lady. For most girls, the hymen stretches simply, but even after being stretched, little folds of hymen tissue remain (under, right).

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Though it was long believed the absence of a hymen meant sexual intercourse had occurred (i.e., the lady was not a virgin), this is not necessarily true. The hymen is a delicate piece of pores and skin that may stretch and break from sexual activity, using a tampon, or even vigorous exercise. 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.


Through the pubertal years (often between ages of eight and 13, average age is 11), the vulva and inner genitals develop and change to their grownup measurement. Simply as breast improvement is staged, the medical approach 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 positive “peach fuzz” physique hair.

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

In Stage 3, the pubic hair becomes darker, coarser, and curlier. It now grows sparsely over the mons veneris space.

In Stage four, the hair grows in additional densely. It becomes as coarse and curly as in the grownup, but 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 ultimate amount, 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 considered one of many inner organs, as only 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 needed 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.) Like the partitions of the vagina, the inside walls of the uterus contact until pushed apart by a fetus or abnormal progress. These inside partitions grow thick and wealthy each month ; this progress peters off with menstruation (the interval). The uterus is related to the inside finish of the vagina by way of 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 shape of unshelled almonds, and are held in place by ligaments that attach to the general public bone. A layer of fats surrounds and protects these valuable organs. Each ovary itself accommodates tons of of eggs, one in every of which is launched every month throughout ovulation. The egg travels down the four inch lengthy fallopian tube where it is fertilized by a sperm (if a sperm occurs to be present). A fertilized egg will turn into buried in 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 number of the commonest illnesses are caught from a associate during sexual contact (e.g., Chlamydia, Herpes, Vaginal Warts, AIDS, and so forth.). An in depth take a look at these illnesses transcends the scope of this guide, and is obtainable in our Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Online Guide. The information exhibits pictures and provides detailed info on detecting, curing, and preventing the ten commonest sexually transmitted illnesses. In addition to the STDs, there are lots of other sicknesses that may affect the feminine genitalia. These could be grouped depending on whether or not they affect the exterior genitalia (vulva) or the interior organs.

Sexually Transmitted Illnesses (STD) commonly trigger an infection and injury to the vulva area. 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 in the vagina.)


Bartholin’s Cysts are infectious lumps that appear if the Bartholin’s glands get clogged up. The opening of those glands is situated on either 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 Cancer often affects lady in their 60s, and is usually triggered by HPV (Human Papilloma Virus). Any non-healing area around the vagina or vulva should to be checked by a physician to be certain it isn’t cancerous.

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


The entrance to the uterus from the vagina is known as the cervix, and is taken into account part of the uterus. Cervicitis (inflammation and swelling of the cervix) might be brought on by many issues, together with infections (e.g., chlamydia, HPV) and cancer. A pap smear ought to be finished often in lady 18 and older or every time sexual relations begin because it has been confirmed that HPV can lead to cervical dysplasia (precancerous modifications) and cervical cancer. Danger elements for cervical most cancers thus embrace first intercourse at an early age and multiple intercourse partners. As expected, studies have shown that there is a a lot lower fee of cervical most cancers in nuns and virgins. Except sexual abstinence, the common and proper use of condoms is one of the simplest ways to avoid this and lots of different sexually transmitted illnesses.

Ihe internal lining of the uterus (endometrium) may also get infections and cancers. Endometritis is the inflammation and illness of this tissue. Once more, the most typical culprits are often the STDs (Chlamydia and Gonorrhea) but other things can even trigger this critical an infection. Endometriosis (not to be confused with endometritis) is a illness the place the endometrium inappropriately ends up on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and different locations in the pelvis. It is unclear how and why it ends up outdoors the uterus. This tissue thickens and experiences  significantpain and cramping in the course of the hormonally-driven menstrual cycle. Certain medicines that have an effect on hormone levels (like the contraception capsule) can typically be used to treat this drawback.


Way back to 1350 BC, there are data of Egyptian men sporting sheaths as decorative covers for their penises. In the eighteenth century, condom use turned common for cover towards infections and undesirable pregnancies. The condom is often made from latex rubber (one other identify for it is “a rubber”) and is supposed to fit an erect penis. Many condoms come lubricated and/or premedicated with spermicide (a chemical that kills sperm cells on contact). Other condoms made from lamb intestines are costlier and should not shield as nicely towards sexually transmitted illnesses. Condoms are designed to maintain semen from moving into the lady’s vagina. To maximize the protecting benefits of condoms, they have to be used appropriately.

Condoms often come rolled up in a package deal that may unroll to about 7 1/2 inches, although one shouldn’t unroll it till putting it on the erection. A 1 3/eight inch ring is found on the open finish helps forestall the condom from slipping off during 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 every 100 occasions of use. Due to this, solely abstinence is actually effective at preventing STDs.

To use 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 might be the place the ejaculate collects and minimizes the danger of bursting the condom. Roll the condom down the shaft of the erection, overlaying as much pores and skin as potential (many STDs can unfold from pores and skin to pores and skin contact even when there are not any open sores or rashes present). The condom have to be unrolled onto the erection earlier than any intercourse happens as it’s common to leak a small amount of semen from the stimulated penis prior to ejaculation. In case you are not utilizing a lubricated condom, you must put Okay-Y Jelly or a spermicide onto the condom once it has been placed on the erection to lubricate and therefore reduce the danger of tearing the condom during sexual relations. NEVER use Vaseline (petroleum jelly) on the condom as it may possibly dissolve the latex. When withdrawing the condom-covered penis from the vagina or mouth, make sure to maintain the rim to forestall it from slipping off and spilling sperm onto mucous membranes. In case of an unintentional spill around or in the vagina, insert spermicide cream, jelly, or foam gently in and across the vagina. Don’t douche.

Condoms might be purchased at any drugstore, and often come packaged in units of 3 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 online guide has answered a number of the many questions has been asked concerning the genitals. Its objective is to function an introduction and a primary guide to the anatomy and physiology of these organswhile serving to you keep away from disease. When you have questions or considerations about your health 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 visit the next links. A lot of the knowledge on this guide is from a superb ebook referred to as Our Our bodies, Ourselves: a guide by and for ladies. As well as to primary anatomy and performance, Our Bodies, Ourselves accommodates detailed info on sexuality, together with masturbation, heterosexuality, homosexuality, pregnancy, and contraception.

Different really helpful studying on this matter:

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

CancerNet has detailed info on primarily all cancers, including breast, ovary, uterine, and more. The American Academy of Household Physicians has info in addition to an inventory of qualified physicians in your area. And, in fact, our Sexually Transmitted Disease 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 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