Nothing is quite as attention-grabbing as your lady bits : it’s desirable, comes in different shapes and sizes (should you be so lucky as to come face to labia with one) , and unfortunately, not everyone who has it understands it completely.
Like for example, not everyone woman knows how everything works down there apart from it helping us eliminate urine. From the specific parts, to how to maintain a healthy environment for your vagina, and down to knowing how to pleasure yourself for it, the vagina is practically a super machine.
Women’s Health wants to help you understand your vagina better: starting off with the fact that not everything down there is just the ‘vagina.’
“We tend to use the word “vagina” to describe everything that’s down there, but that’s not really accurate,” says women’s health expert Jennifer Wider, M.D.
Your vagina is actually the muscular canal that connects your uterus to the outside of your body, or more familiarly, the place where you are able to stuff a tampon, where a baby comes out during a normal delivery, and where a penis or toy comes in during intimate moments.
For everything else, you have your urethra (where pee comes out, yes, it’s a separate hole!), your labia (the majora and minora, essentially what you see first when you are spread eagled, those folds of skin that are easily visible), and the vaginal opening is your vulva.
When we say the vagina is a super machine, we really mean it! All these parts mentioned are self-cleaning, so take those douches and harsh soaps and throw it in the trash. These overly-fragranced, chemical-laden products that claim a host of cleansing promises can even throw your vagina out of whack, giving you itching, burning sensations or something much more serious.
Wider says it’s important for you to know what’s what when you’re treating stuff on your own, like a yeast infection or genital warts.
Drugstores sell vulvar creams (which go on the outside) and vaginal cream, and they’re two totally different things, added Wider, and you don’t want those!
But don’t worry, your doctor isn’t go to explode into rage if you can’t name your lady parts accurately, but of course, it helps if you have knowledge of these parts so that when something is bothering you down there, a change in appearance, itching, burning, or strange odor or discharge maybe, it’s helpful to your doctor to know what exact area you are talking about.
An itchy vagina, for example, could be caused by something totally different from an itchy vulva.
Take a peep then at Dr. Michelle Metz, MD., an ob-gyn based in New York City, answer the questions about your lady bits that you might be too timid to ask: