How well do you know your lady bits? Here are 11 things you should know in honour of Vagina Appreciation Day.
First things first. Did you know your vagina isn't actually what we commonly refer to as our vagina?
It's a common misconception that the outer parts - including the labia, urethra, clitoris, and vaginal opening - are our vagina.
But that's in fact our vulva, and the vagina is a 3- to 6-inch-long muscular canal that runs from the cervix to the outside of the body.
11 things you should know about your lady bits
Now that we've got the basics out of the way, let's explore 11 other things you should know about your lady bits.
- The vagina is self-cleaning: Yes, vaginas have a smell (see point 2). But it's actually caused by the bacteria that exists to keep it clean. That's why you often see discharge - which may be thin or thick, clear or whiteish - in your underwear at the end of the day. This is the result of your vagina’s cleaning efforts.
- The vagina has a smell: As explained above, the smell comes from the bacteria that keep your vaginal pH healthy and balance. Trying to cover it up with scented body washes actually does more harm than good. But obviously if you smell a new, pungent odour, visit your doctor.
- What you eat affects that scent: When it comes to the scent of your lady bits, there is anecdotal evidence that we are what we eat.
- Vaginas get deeper when you're aroused: Bodies are amazing, and the vagina is no exception. When you're aroused, the upper portion of the vagina elongates, pushing the cervix and uterus slightly deeper into your body to make room for penetration.
- Vaginas can tear during childbirth: This can be a minor tear or a longer cut (called an episiotomy) made intentionally by a healthcare provider to help the delivery.
- The clitoris has twice as many nerve endings as the penis: The penis has around 4,000 nerve endings. The clitoris has 8,000!
- Vaginas change colour: When you're aroused, blood rushes to your vulva and vagina. This can make the colour of your skin in that area appear darker.
- Your vagina can benefit from a workout: Pelvic floor exercises, otherwise known as kegel exercises, are normally done to help manage urinary incontinence. But research has shown that they can also help to improve sexual satisfaction because they help to tighten the vagina, making sex more pleasurable and more likely to lead to orgasm.
- G-spot or A -spot: You've probably never heard of the A-spot but it's also known as the anterior fornix erogenous zone and is believed to be located deep inside the vagina, between the cervix and the bladder. A study found that stimulating your A-spot is an easy way to create more lubrication in the vagina, and a quicker way to orgasm.
- Your vagina is set at a 130-degree angle: The vaginal canal rests at an angle in your body, so that's why you have to point a tampon toward your back for easier insertion, instead of inserting up and in.
- Even vaginas need a rest: After birth, vaginas need a rest. Regardless of whether your have a vaginal birth or a C-section, doctors advise women to avoid penetration for six weeks after giving birth.