The vagina is a very important part of the female body, how well do you know yours?
The vagina is a tube of muscle inside a woman’s body that runs from the cervix (the opening of the womb) to the vaginal opening.
- Vaginas vary in size and shape and colour
- The external sex organs, are called the vulva, surround the vaginal opening
You can’t lose something in your vagina (like a tampon).
The vagina is bound at the inner end by the cervix and is not connected to another area of your body so don’t worry about anything going missing!
All women aged from 25 to 64 are invited for cervical screening.
Being screened regularly means that any abnormal changes in the cervix can be identified early on and, if necessary, treated to stop cancer developing.
Pelvic floor exercises can help keep your vagina in shape.
Normal exercise also helps maintain good vaginal function, as walking and running helps the pelvic floor tone up and helps ensure good general health
The vagina will clean itself inside your body with natural vaginal secretions (discharge).
- Discharge from the vagina is completely normal. The fluid helps to keep the vaginal area moist, and protects it from damage or infection.
- Perfumed soaps and shower gels can affect the healthy balance of bacteria and pH levels in the vagina, and cause irritation.
- Use plain, unperfumed soaps to wash the area around the vagina (the vulva) gently every day.
- You can protect your vagina against STI’s by using a condom every time you have sex.
- Female condoms can be worn inside the vagina to prevent semen getting to the womb.
- The clitoris is a small fleshy bump above the vaginal opening.
- The clitoris is extremely sensitive and it’s main purpose is for sexual pleasure.
- There are over 8000 nerve endings in the clitoris!
- Pubic Hair is there to protect the vagina.
- Some women worry about the size of their labia (the lips outside the vagina), but there isn’t usually any cause for concern. Labia vary from woman to woman, so don’t judge yours by anyone else’s standards.
The hymen is a membrane that surrounds or partially covers the external vaginal opening. The hymen can range from thin and stretchy to thick and somewhat rigid; or it may also be completely absent. The hymen might stretch or tear the first time a female engages in penetrative intercourse, or other activities such as sports or using tampons.