23 vagin* Facts You’ll Want to Tell All Your Friends (2024)

23 vagin* Facts You’ll Want to Tell All Your Friends (1)Share on Pinterest

Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to vagin*s. But there’s a lot of misinformation out there.

So much of what we hear about vagin*s growing up — they shouldn’t smell, they get stretched out — isn’t only inaccurate, but it can also make us feel all sorts of unnecessary shame and stress.

So we put together a bunch of totally true facts about vagin*s and vulvas to help you navigate the labyrinth of lies and appreciate your body in all its glory.

The vagin* is a 3- to 6-inch-long muscular canal that runs from the cervix, the lower part of the uterus, to the outside of the body. The vulva is all the outer stuff — including the labia, urethra, cl*tor*s, and vagin*l opening.

You should know the difference because it’s empowering to understand your body’s anatomy and because it might be helpful or even necessary to distinguish between the two — for example, when fooling around with a partner.

But if you find yourself casually referring to your whole area down there as your vagin*, don’t sweat it. Language is fluid after all.

Sorry, Freud. A little over 18 percent of vagin* owners say they can reach org*sm from penetration alone. For the other 80 percent, the key org*smic ingredient is the cl*tor*s.

Some people can experience both a vagin*l and cl*toral org*sm at the same time, also called a “blended org*sm,” which may sound rare but it’s totally achievable. There are also plenty of perfectly healthy bodies that rarely or never get all the way to org*sm.

Genitalia is not an indicator of gender and it can be harmful to assume so.

There are many people who have a vagin* who aren’t women. They may identify as a man or nonbinary.

Hold the horror movie instrumentals — this is a normal part of childbirth and your body is designed to bounce back.

Upwards of 79 percent of vagin*l deliveries include tearing or require an incision. These “injuries” can be minor tears or a longer cut (called an episiotomy) made intentionally by a healthcare provider when, for example, the baby is positioned feet-first or the delivery needs to happen faster.

Scary? Yes. Insurmountable? Not by a long shot.

Your vagin* is resilient and, due to ample blood supply, actually heals quicker than other parts of the body.

Pop culture has been obsessed with the G-spot for decades, leading many to feel pressure to find the supposed erogenous hotspot.

But then a 2017 study failed to locate the G-spot and another large study found less than a quarter of people with vagin*s climax from only penetration. So there isn’t strong evidence of the G-spot’s anatomical existence.

If you love having the front wall of your vagin* touched or stimulated, your cl*tor*s’s internal network is probably to thank.

Historically, the cl*tor*s was understood to be a pea-sized collection of nerve endings tucked away under a fold of skin called the cl*toral hood that, as many a bad joke goes, men had a very hard time finding.

The actual dimensions of the cl*tor*s went largely unacknowledged by the public until 2009, when a group of French researchers created a life sized 3-D printed model of the pleasure center.

Now we know the cl*tor*s is an expansive network of nerve endings, the vast majority of which exist beneath the surface. Reaching 10 centimeters tip to tip, it’s shaped like a four-pronged wishbone. It looks very hard to miss.

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The anterior fornix, or the “A-spot,” is a little alcove that sits way back on the belly side of the cervix, a good distance deeper in the vagin* than the G-spot.

According to a 1997 study, stimulating your A-spot is an easy way to create more lubrication in the vagin*. Not only that, 15 percent of participants in the study reached org*sm from 10 to 15 minutes of A-spot stimulation.

Most people with vagin*s are born with a hymen, a thin piece of skin that stretches across part of the vagin*l opening.

Despite what you may have heard, at no point in your life will this piece of skin ‘pop.’ It’s not a piece of bubble gum, after all.

Hymens often tear before a person ever has penetrative sex, during some unsexy activity like riding a bike or putting in a tampon. But it’s also common for the hymen to tear during sex, in which case a bit of blood is to be expected.

The famously sensitive penis has around 4,000 nerve endings. The famously “hard-to-find” cl*tor*s has 8,000.

All the more reason to give your cl*tor*s the attention it deserves.

This should be common knowledge by now but it’s not. The bottom line? The vagin* contains a highly specialized army of bacteria that work ‘round the clock to keep your vagin*l pH healthy and balanced.

And like other bacteria, these do have a smell.

So that oh-so-special tanginess you occasionally get a whiff of is totally normal and nothing that needs to be covered up by scented body washes or perfumes. Of course, if you’re noticing a new scent that’s odd or pungent, see a doctor.

The aforementioned army of specialized bacteria exist for the sole purpose of keeping your vagin*l pH at an optimal level to ward off other hostile bacteria.

It’s totally normally to see discharge — which may be thin or thick, clear or whiteish — in your undies at the end of the day. This is the result of your vagin*’s cleaning efforts.

Cleaning techniques like douching are a bad idea because they can throw off this natural balance, leading to problems like bacterial vaginosis and infection.

When a vagin* is wet, the person must want to have sex right? Wrong. vagin*s can get wet for a bunch of reasons.

Hormones cause cervical mucus to be excreted daily. The vulva has a high concentration of sweat glands. Also, vagin*s can automatically produce lubrication when they’re touched, regardless of arousal. (A phenomenon called arousal non-concordance, that’s more common in women.)

Remember: vagin*l wetness should never be considered a signal of consent. Consent has to be verbalized. Period.

Oh, and pee often finds its way onto the vulva.

With sex on the mind, the vagin* opens its doors.

Normally, the vagin* is somewhere between 3 to 6 inches long, and 1 to 2.5 inches wide. After arousal, the upper portion of the vagin* elongates, pushing the cervix and uterus slightly deeper into your body to make room for penetration.

When you’re horny, blood rushes to your vulva and vagin*. This can make the color of your skin in that area appear darker.

Don’t worry though, it’ll go back to its normal shade after sexy time is over.

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The media’s overly theatrical portrayal of what it looks like to have an org*sm has created an unrealistic standard for what an org*sm should be. The truth is, org*sms come in all shapes and sizes — and that means intense lip-biting or back-arching doesn’t have to be involved.

Many org*sms are short and sweet, while others feel more powerful and profound. Try not to get too fixated on the size of your org*sm. Remember, sex is a journey, not a destination.

vagin*l weightlifting — the act of inserting an ‘anchor’ into the vagin* that’s attached to a weight on a string — is more than click bait, it’s actually a way to strengthen your pelvic floor.

Sex and relationship coach Kim Anami is a vocal advocate for the exercise. She says stronger vagin*l muscles can make sex last longer and feel better.

Due to a rare abnormality called uterus didelphys, a very small number of people actually have two vagin*l canals.

People with two vagin*s can still get pregnant and deliver a baby, but there’s a much higher risk for miscarriage and preterm labor.

In the beginning, all fetuses have what’s called a genital ridge. For both male and female fetuses, the ridge is indistinguishable.

Then around the 9th week after conception, this embryonic tissue begins to develop into either the head of a penis or a cl*tor*s and labia majora. But the point is, we all start off in the same place.

In the days directly after giving birth vagin*lly, your vagin* and vulva will likely feel bruised and swollen. It’s also common for your vagin* to feel more open than normal on account of the human that recently passed through.

But don’t worry, the swollenness and openness subsides within a few days.

Then there’s the dryness. The postpartum body makes less estrogen, which is partially responsible for vagin*l lubrication. So you’ll feel drier overall after giving birth, and especially when breastfeeding because this further suppresses estrogen production.

Although your vagin* will likely remain a little wider than it was pre-birth, you can keep your vagin*l muscles toned and healthy by practicing regular pelvic floor exercises.

That moment of panic during sex when you realize you definitely put a tampon in that morning? Yeah, we’ve all been there. But don’t worry, your tampon will only go so far.

At the deep end of your vagin* is your cervix, the bottom portion of your uterus. During childbirth, your cervix dilates — opens up — as the baby passes through. But the rest of the time your cervix stays closed, so you can’t really get anything accidentally lost or stuck in there.

However, what’s common is forgetting about a tampon for days or even weeks. In which case it might start to give off a rotten, dead organism-like smell.

While it’s totally safe to try to extract a forgotten tampon yourself, you may want to see a doctor to make sure you get all the pieces.

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According to a 2014 study, the reason some people with vagin*s have trouble org*sming during penetrative sex could be because of a relatively small cl*tor*s that’s located a bit too far from the vagin*l opening.

In order to protect you and the little human growing inside you from infection, your vagin* goes on a cleaning spree resulting in a semi-constant stream of discharge. Expect the amount of discharge to keep increasing as your pregnancy gets further and further along.

You can expect the discharge to be thin and clear to milky colored up until the final week of pregnancy when it’ll take on a pinkish hue.

It shouldn’t ever smell pungent or fishy, or have a chunky texture, so if it does it’s best to see a doctor.

Try giving yourself an org*sm to stimulate the release of feel-good chemicals like dopamine and serotonin. The natural pain-relieving effects of these chemicals can ease pain from menstrual cramps, and the afterglow of an org*sm relaxes muscles.

When masturbating, some people enjoy using a vibrator or watching something sexy to get in the mood. And if you’re curious about touching yourself in new pleasurable ways, check out our guide on female org*sms.

Ginger Wojcik is an assistant editor at Greatist. Follow more of her work on Medium or follow her on Twitter.

23 vagin* Facts You’ll Want to Tell All Your Friends (2024)

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