Even as a woman with a vagina, there could still be many facts about the muscular canal lined with nerves and mucus membranes you do not know. This may be as a result of misconceptions or ignorance due to growing up in a society that does not encourage discussion of such topics.
Whichever one it is, here are 12 facts to enlighten you more about the vagina.
When you say vagina, you probably mean vulva.
More than 90 percent of the time, when people make mention of the vagina, they actually mean the vulva. The vagina is actually the part inside the body. It is a muscular canal that connects the uterus to the outside of your body. To make this simpler, the “hole” a penis and tampon goes into is the vagina. What you see outside that touches your underwear is the vulva.
You don’t pee from your vagina
This would be shocking news for some men. If you’re a man who stumbled upon this, you’ve learned something new. You’re welcome. Some women, however, also do not know this. While men pee from their penis, women pee from their urethra. The urethra is the first hole (looking from up to down), in your vulva before your vagina.
Your vagina cleanses itself
Many women clean their vaginas by douching with soap and water, steaming, and using wipes. This is absolutely unnecessary. The vagina is lined by a variety of glands that produce the fluids needed to both lubricate and cleanse the vaginal area. Asides from being unnecessary, cleaning the vagina is dangerous as it can make you more prone to infections. While taking in this fact, bear in mind the difference between a vagina and a vulva.
Few women reach orgasm from vaginal penetration alone
In a 2017 study, just a little over 18 percent of women said they can reach orgasm through vaginal penetration alone. The majority of women achieve orgasm through clitoral stimulation or a mixture of vaginal penetration and clitoral stimulation. Not being able to orgasm through penetration is normal.
Women can get ‘erect’ too
Just like a man’s penis builds up with blood and becomes erect when aroused, a woman’s clitoris can become erect too. When a woman is sexually aroused, blood flows to her clitoris, causing it to swell and become even more sensitive than it already is.
The size of your vagina is not related to your body size or shape
The length of vaginas varies significantly so a taller woman can have a shorter vagina and vice-versa. Your vagina length has absolutely nothing to do with your body size, shape, or height.
Your vagina is more acidic than the rest of your body
This may sound unhealthy, but the acidity of your vagina is quite important. The normal pH for vaginas is 3.8 to 4.5 which is more than the rest of your body. The acidic environment in your vagina helps to protect it from infection and prevents the growth of bad bacteria and yeast.
The clitoris is more than you see
If you think the clitoris is just the small bean-shaped spot you see at the top of your labia, think again. The clitoris is much more than that. The majority of the clitoris is hidden in your body, encircling the vagina.
With an estimated 8,000 nerve endings, the clitoris is even more sensitive than a penis. This may explain why most women achieve orgasm through clitoral stimulation.
Your vagina changes as you get older
Just like your other body parts, the vagina can be affected by changes due to age and different life stages.
Some of these changes include thinning of the vulval skin due to the hormonal changes of menopause, or a darkening of the vulval skin during pregnancy.
The vagina is filled with bacteria
Not to fret, this is actually good bacteria. There are colonies of these good bacteria that live inside your vagina which are collectively called microbiome or vaginal flora. The vagina flora mostly contains lactobacillus species.
Lactobacilli help to keep the vagina healthy by inhibiting the growth of unwanted organisms and maintain a healthy pH balance.
Vaginas are supposed to have a smell
No, vaginas are not supposed to smell like roses. The bacteria contained in the vagina like other bacteria have a smell. The tanginess that can occasionally be smelt from the vagina is normal and nothing to be covered up with perfumes or soap.
Vagina smells also change periodically depending on hormones, menstrual cycle, and other changes in the body. If a foul or pungent smell is noticed, however, see a doctor as it could be a sign of an infection.
Things can’t get lost in your vagina
You may have heard a few scary stories about things like condoms and tampons getting lost in someone’s vagina. It’ll relieve you to know that nothing can get lost in there. Your vagina is not a black hole that makes things disappear forever.
The only other opening is through your cervix at the top of your vagina. But this opening is too small for anything to pass through. Although it is possible to get a tampon stuck in your vagina, you can get it out by squatting and reaching for it. If that doesn’t work, seeing a gynecologist is your easiest bet.
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