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20 Things Every Woman Should Know About Her Vagina

Here are 20 things every woman should know about her vagina and vaginal health.

By
Lissa Rankin, MD
Woman talking to doc

It’s amazing how much misinformation is out there about the vagina. Given how fascinated our society is with the female body, you’d think we’d be a little more informed. But from what I discovered while soliciting questions for my book What’s Up Down There? Questions You’d Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend, many of us still have a lot to learn.

20 Things Every Woman Should Know About Her Vagina

To help out, I’ve compiled a list of 20 things I believe every woman should know about the vagina.

  1. While men do pee out of the penis, women do not pee out of the vagina. There are three holes. Learn to know your anatomy.  Get a hand mirror and go to town.  From front to back, the urethra is the first hole, the vagina is the second, and the anus is the third. Don’t laugh! You’d be amazed how many people don’t know this.

  2. The vagina doesn’t connect to your lung. If you lose something in there, don’t worry. Reach in all the way and pull it out. Do not--I repeat, do not--go hunting for whatever you’ve lost with a pair of pliers. If you think you put something in there and you can’t find it, chances are good that it’s simply not there. Think of your vagina as being like a sock. If you lose a banana in a sock…it stays in the sock.

  3. Yes, it’s true--your vagina can fall out. Not to belabor the sock metaphor, but it can turn inside out just like a worn out sweat sock and hang between your legs as you get older. But don’t fret; this condition—called pelvic prolapse—can be fixed. Pelvic prolapse is unfortunately common, and estrogen decline with postmenopause and multiple vaginal deliveries are the main risk factors for developing it. There are also various degrees of prolapse: if it’s mild and doesn’t interfere with your quality of life, there is no need to medically treat it. For those on the other side of the extreme, surgical repair is an option.

  4. Contrary to popular mythology, there’s no such thing as being revirginized. Once you lose it, it’s gone. Just so you know.

  5. You can catch sexually transmitted diseases even if you use a condom. Sorry to break it to you, but the skin of the vulva can still touch infectious skin of the scrotum—and BAM! WartsHerpes. Molluscum contagiosum. Pubic lice. So pick your partners carefully.

  6. The vagina is like a bicep. Use it or lose it. If you don’t have a partner, pick up a battery-operated boyfriend to help keep things healthy as you age. But don't worry—it's usually not an issue until after menopause, when fragile vaginal tissue can scar and shrink. If you are not sexually active and do not engage in manual stimulation, practicing some pelvic floor exercises will be useful. Your vagina will be able to pleasure you until the day you leave this life.

  7. Every vulva is different and special. Some lips hang down. Some are tucked up neatly inside. Some are long. Some are short. Some are even. Some aren’t. All are beautiful. You’re perfect just the way you are.

  8. Most women don’t have orgasms from intercourse alone. The clitoris is where the action is. Most women who do orgasm during sex have figured out how to hit their sweet spot, either from positioning or from direct stimulation of the clitoris with fingers.

  9. If you’re hunting for your G Spot, be patient. Stimulating this area usually requires more time and deeper stimulation than most people think. Try using a finger in a “come hither” motion to stimulate the front wall of the vagina, where the G spot lives. If you can’t find it, don’t worry. You’re not alone. Many can’t—and it's definitely not critical to having a fulfilling romp in the hay.

  10. How you choose to decorate is completely personal. Waxing, shaving, tattooing, piercing, or simply going au natural. It's your choice, and don't let anyone else pressure you into doing something that doesn't resonate with you. 

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