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The Vulva & Vagina Explained

November 26, 2018 11 min read

The Vulva & Vagina Explained

Come with us on a fantastic journey through the original tunnel-of-love - the vagina!

Anyone can go to school and study a bunch to become a gyno. But you don’t need to do all that to be a vaginal expert. All you need is love and respect for that fleshy luge we all entered this beautiful world through and a desire to learn.

So whether you were born with one, went to a surgeon to get one or are just an enthusiast, this article is for you.

No judgements here, all vaginas are welcome! Shaved, waxed, that-time-of-the-month-ing, battling a thong wedgie, it’s all good.

Affectionately known as a pussy, a cooter, a snatch, a snapper, a vajayjay, or the not so flattering c u next Tuesday, the vagina goes by many names. But what’s in a name, William Shakespeare once wrote. Vaginas are a flower by any other name, and they have also been compared to all manners of floral doppelgangers. And when you look at them (and you really should) they are quite pretty. With petal soft labias, a rosy pink clit and a puckering vulva, what’s not to admire? Some of the names a vagina is called aren’t pretty, but a rose by any other name… would still look kinda like a vagina.

It’s more like a pink orchid, a rosebud ready to bloom, a friendly lily or a blush colored carnation. Call it what you would want it to be called and you’ll be doing it justice.

The Vagina is Magic, Here is Proof

Vaginas are pretty (and) amazing! They can go from the width of a finger to the size of a baby, are self regulating, have their own defense mechanism and can deliver multiple kinds of orgasms.

No wonder the vagina has been worshiped, revered, feared and symbolized since humanity began! You’ll even find an elegant painting of a vagina (Origin of the World by Gustave Courbet) in the world famous Musee d’Orsay. Now that’s quite a compliment.

With Valentines day fast approaching, we can all reflect on how much the vagina means to all of us, and the ladies who come with them. February 14th is also V-Day, an organized movement to end the exploitation of women, and a reminder of what love truly has to do with it. So whether you have a vagina, or you’re just an enthusiast, this article is an ode to our first home, our baby makers, and the world’s first love-tunnel.



O, Yeah!

The vagina has not one, not two, but three erogenous zones, that we know of, and is capable of multiple orgasms! Can a penis do that? No really, can it?

But before we put the cart before the horse, what leads the vagina to that miraculous O moment we all love? Orgasms belong to the parts of the vagina that make it magical to the ladies.

The Love ‘Button’

The clitoris has one job, to send a lady to the moon and back. The highly sensitive zone is a lot bigger than you think, with a crowning nub and two legs that extend down either side of the inside of the labia minora, like a wishbone. Most women experience orgasm only through clitoral stimulation, sexologists have found that this may be due to the size and location of the clitoris. Either way ladies are able to climax through clitoral stimulation from sex or from masturbation.

Clitoruses can come in different sizes as well, kinda like penises. Also like penises the clitorus has foreskin, glans, a shaft and a hood. It also gets a little erection when aroused. The super powered orgasms are a result of the Dorsal Nerve, which is the common nerve of the penis and clitoris. This special nerve is connected to the whole system, which is why a clitoral orgasm spreads through the whole body, curling your toes and catching your breath.

Even though the clitoris is pretty amazing, it can get over stimulated. The maximum pleasure point can turn painful if the clitoris is stimulated aggressively for too long. When this happens, it means the clit needs a break, and that’s when you can focus on the other zones.

The G-Spot(s)

The G-Spot (or the Grafenberg spot, named for the German gynecologist Ernst Grafenberg who first hypothesised about its existence) is an erogenous area between the pubic bone and the cervix. When stimulated, women can experience wonderfully powerful sensations or a mind blowing orgasm. I’ll have what she’s having!

The U-Spot, WHAT?

Turns out the urethra is special. It is snuggled between the clitoris and the vagina and it is surrounded by erectile tissue. Some anatomists refer to this spongy tissue (Skene’s glands) as the female prostate and may be the source of the elusive and mysterious female ejaculation (which is still a bit of a medical mystery). This tissue is very sensitive, but when arousal is introduced the area floods with blood and becomes super sensitive and erect. So, gents, when you are giving your lady oral, be sure to give this area a nice swirl and get yourself some sexual bonus points.

The Sum of Its Parts

The vagina is an essential part of a woman’s reproductive system and includes parts on the outside and inside of the body. The short and elastic canal consists of multiple muscles, soft tissue, the vulva, the cervix, the labias and all of its inner workings. In short the vagina is the access point to the uterus at its most basic and a very complex organ at the most.

The Vulva and it’s Labias

If you are a lady, then you have two types of labia. Lucky you! Both help keep your lady bits safe and moist as part of the structure of the vulva.

Labia Minora

These are the little wings on either side of the vestibule of the vagina. The labia minoras are hair-free, smooth, pink and come equipped with sweat glands that secret moisture, especially during arousal. In other words these are the wings that fly you to sexual bliss, like little angels!

Labia Majora

The Labia Majora are the immediate folds that make up the ‘lips’ of the vagina and they run from the top (mons pubis) to the anus. The Labia Majora multi tasks by housing sweat glands, some fatty tissue, ligaments, muscles, nerves, and lymphatic vessels. The Labia Majora also helps protect the clitoris, you know, the homecoming queen of the vagina.

Hey Man, That’s My Hymen

The hymen is a thin strip of tissue that partially spans the opening of the vagina. There are several different kinds of hymens, but most young ladies have a crescent moon shaped membrane at the bottom of the entrance of the birth canal.

Treat Your Girl Right - Vagina Maintenance !0!

No two vaginas are exactly alike, therefore seeing a specialist is vital to maintaining the health of the special area is key.

Certified Vagina Experts

Yearly exams are highly recommended for anyone with a vagina for many reasons. Pap smears (recommended every 3 years, or annually if you have multiple partners) are important for early screening for cervical cancer, and the doctor can keep an eye out for signs of STDs, STIs, infections and a lot of other things we could live without.


Certified gynecologists like  Dr. Marjorie Dixon are used to performing exams and tackling common vaginal issues. But there are a lot of things gynecologists wish women knew to help spread awareness of good vagina habits. So have a dialogue with your gyno, they are your vagina’s biggest advocate after you!


An obstetrician is the medical usher who oversees pregnancy, birth and aftercare. They are the experts who can help women get or be pregnant. An obstetrician will know about the anatomy of the vagina and the whole reproductive system.

Since obstetricians help with pregnancy, they are the folks that will help the vagina return to normal after birth, if necessary. Childbirth can be vaginal or through C-section in special cases. The majority of live births are vaginal which means the baby passes from the uterus to the world via the vagina. To do this the vagina dilates and lubricates while pushing with super-powered muscles. Sometimes the vagina will develop some trauma from vaginal birth, but the Obstetrician can help ladies find ways to help the vagina heal if that happens.

pH Balance  - A Vagina Is Anything But Basic

The vagina is naturally between 3.8 to 4.5 pH, but before you stick a litmus test in your who-ha, the vaginal pH is self-regulating and if you leave your lady well alone, there shouldn’t be a problem. Gynos may recommend avoiding certain vaginal hygiene products and habits, especially if you are prone to infections or wonky bacterial issues.

  • Wipes - Some gentle wipes are ok to use externally, just be sure that there are no added fragrances, and ask your gyno what they would use.
  • Douching - Doctors do not recommend douching for vaginal hygiene. This is for a number of reasons but the most cited is that the vagina doesn’t need it. It’s self cleaning! The mucous and sweat naturally produced by the vagina ‘washes’ away anything that you would want washed out.
  • Special Soaps - Soap of any kind can cause vaginal dryness and a change in PH that can lead to conditions like vaginitis. No thanks!

What’s That Smell?

Some smells are normal and natural, especially given all the changes the vagina can go through during menstruation, pregnancy, or postpartum changes. Believe it or not, some soaps and behaviors can affect the aroma and make it unappealing. If you notice anything suspicious, like a smelly green discharge, or a burning sensation with pink discharge, you’ll want to make an appointment with the gyno to get it sorted out.

Meanwhile, the vulva has a naturally occurring probiotics called Lactobacillus, and their job is to defend the vagina against pathogenic microorganisms (like yeast) from moving in and taking over. It’s your body’s natural flora, and maintaining a healthy balance of probiotics means the smell will be more neutral as well. So let the flora flower naturally and everything will come up smelling like, well, a vagina.

Why does it smell fishy? I’m asking for a friend…

Don’t be shy, this is a common question and it can have a pretty unexpected answer. If your vagina is smelling a little or a lot like a fish market, you could have a fungal infection. Your gynecologist may do something called a KOH test, a reliable way for doctors to test for an overgrowth of unfriendly fungus anywhere in the body. The good news is most fungal infections are 100% curable and preventable. And no, avoiding eating fish will not make your vagina smell better, so chomp away at that fish filet!

Tips for Good Landscaping

Whether it’s bald as a heal or hairy as a head, here are some tips for making sure whatever method is used will not result in some unsightly and uncomfortable reactions.

  • Waxing - If you home wax, make sure you do your research to do it right. Not only is there the risk of tearing the tender flesh, but without proper prep and aftercare you can develop ingrown hairs or follicle infections. Plus using hot wax may result in a burn, so be careful! Also, use a cornstarch based powder if you chose to use any powder at all.
  • Shaving - Shaving is the most common method and if done right can be very effective at maintaining a trimmed bush. Some women use a razor, a trimming razor, or an electric razor. The best way to prevent razor burn down there is to use a mild shaving cream with no added fragrances, since this may seep down into the vagina and cause problems. The best way to avoid ingrown hairs is to not shave all the way down to the root. When you shave can make a difference too. Showering before shaving can soften the skin and clean away any bacteria that may move into a nic or open follicle and cause havoc.
  • Depilatories - You may want to avoid using hair dissolving lotions on your bush if you have sensitive skin, otherwise it could result in a chemical burn. Ouch! Read the label to make sure you’re using a hair remover recommended for use on the bush, and test it first on a non-vaginal part of your body. Just in case!
  • Electrolysis and Laser Hair Removal - These methods may last a long time, and some women will swear by them, but they can also be painful and expensive. If that isn’t an issue for you, than it shouldn’t be for anyone else.


Talc a mineral cousin to asbestos, and just like asbestos; talc has been connected to certain types of cancer. In fact 16 studies since the late 80s have made the connection between perineal talc dusting and ovarian cancer. That being said, talcum powder is best avoided down there, and your gynecologist will be happy to fill you in on the best way to keep your vagina ‘fresh’ that won’t put you at risk.

Safe Sex Equals A Happy Vagina

Nobody wants an STD or STI, even a curable one. That is why it is so important to do what it takes to be safe. Luckily there are many safer sex methods that, when used correctly, can help prevent the spread of most sexually transmitted ailments.

That being said, the hands down best way to reach climax is to take matters into your own hands, or hand, even a finger or two will do! Try a clitoral stimulator if self satisfying is lack luster. A major bonus to masturbating is it keeps the ducts flowing and helps clean your muffin. As if you needed a reason to want to orgasm; it’s good for you!

Types of Contraception and Finding What is Best for You

Your gynecologist will be happy to fill you in on your options, and the truth is that no one form of birth control will be the absolute best, but the doctor can help you navigate which methods are not preferable. For instance women who have yet to quit smoking will be advised against most forms of hormonal prevention (like the pill, or the nuvaring) because there is an increased risk of stroke. Likewise, women who are allergic to latex will have to avoid latex condoms. Women who are sensitive to certain metals may have to forgo a metal IUD for a plastic one.

The bottom line is that the doctor is the best resource for finding what is best, and will be the only source for prescribed contraception.


‘Aunt Flo’ is not always the most welcome guest, but from early adolescence to late adulthood, everyone born with a womb will have at least one period in their life. Women have many ways to catch the flow during that time of the month. Some women will use one or more methods especially if they are caught by surprise and need to borrow or improvise.

These methods include tampons, pads, period undies, and special diaphragms that catch the blood right out of the cervix. What you use is up to you.

Toxic Shock is Truly Shocking

Toxic shock syndrome is an extreme reaction to an acute bacterial infection caused by a foreign object in the body. Even though it is rare, getting one is a medical emergency and could be fatal if untreated.

Luckily, the FDA has applied standards to the design and manufacturing of tampons that greatly decreases the risks.

To avoid TSS, ensure that tampons are changed frequently. Carefully read the directions of the brand of tampon for additional information.

Wash Your Toys, Please

Masturbating is a great way to show the vagina some love, but a lot of women who use vibrators and dildos don’t know that improper cleaning after each use could cause some unwanted sensations down there. Porous toys can be harbingers of bacteria and infectious little things that can lead to reoccurring yeast infections or bacterial invasions and can mess with your natural flora.

There are many toy cleaners available to sanitize your toy, but antibacterial soap and warm water works too! You may also find this easy-to-follow infographic created by PleasureBetter insightful.

Infographic of How To Clean Sex Toys Created By PleasureBetter


Hay Girl, Hay!

Have you ever taken a look at the vagina? If not, you should! Get a handy mirror, wiggle out of your underwear and take a good look. The vagina is a beautiful part of your anatomy and should be admired, loved and cared for.

Then, once you and your vagina are well acquainted, give her a fun name, like snuggles, pinky, rosebud or Regina. Your lovely lily is your BVF (best vagina forever) and pure magic so give her some love!

Disclaimer: Your health is important, so nothing in this article should be considered a stand in for your doctor. This article is meant to be informational entertainment, only. Please see a licensed medical professional for any conditions, diseases, infections or treatments.