LIFE AND ADVICE

A Handy, Fail-Proof Guide To The Vagina… ‘Cos School Doesn’t Teach You Everything

Let's get acquainted with our bodies.
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We asked you on our Instagram story if you felt that the Australian education system does a good job teaching you about the female body.

A resounding amount of our replies landed at one troubling consensus: No, it has failed us. 

WATCH: 5 fascinating facts about vaginas.

Indeed, almost 100 answers quickly came in from followers, with “NO”‘s flying left right and centre. 

One follower commented, “No! I’m sick of the same old diagram, with zero conversation.”

Another wrote in, “As a soon-to-be 15-year-old who doesn’t fully know where my clit is, I can 100 per cent call it sh!t.”

In 2017, the United Nations ranked Australia 39 out of 41 countries for our standard of education, which doesn’t exactly sound promising.

Although this doesn’t necessarily directly correlate to our sex education, specifically if our government can’t offer good enough maths, reading, and science, there is no wonder our health education is stale. 

One of the most basic elements of sexual education we should be acquainted with is our vaginas. That includes: What the different parts are called and what they do.

We don’t know about you, but we have many gaps in our knowledge here. 

So, we decided to write an explainer on the different parts of the female sexual anatomy and what they do.

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Detailed diagram of the female sexual anatomy. (Credit: Getty)

The Exterior Anatomy 

Labia 

Labias, which are also called Vulvas (not us thinking those were different body parts), come in different sizes, shapes, and colours. 

According to the National Vulvodynia Association, this part of the body protects our sexual organs. There are two lips, with the larger one named Labia Majora and the smaller one called Labia Minora, and they start at the clitoris and end at the opening of your vagina. 

The look of the Labia varies from person to person, and there is no normal way for it to look as every vagina is unique. 

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A simple diagram. (Credit: Getty)

Clitoris 

Ah, the Clitoris, the only part of any human body that exists purely for pleasure, a gift some may say!

According to Planned Parenthood, this part of the female sexual anatomy is the vulva’s pleasure zone that lives “under the point where the inner labia meet and form a little hood,” which is actually called the “clitoral hood.”

Then depending on what angle you’re looking from, it’s situated on top of the vagina and the urethra.

Interestingly, the little hood we can see is just the tip of the Clitoris with the rest of its “spongy shaft divided into two “legs” that reach more than five inches inside your body.”

Opening of the Urethra 

The Urethra is where you pee. According to Healthline, it starts “at the bottom of the bladder, known as the neck”, and it extends down through the pelvic floor.

On the outside of the body, it can be found sitting in front of the Vaginal opening.

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Labia and Vaginal opening art. (Credit: Instagram)

Opening of the Vagina 

The Vaginal opening can be found between the anus and the urethra. This is where period blood sits during the menstruation cycle.  

Mon Pubis 

Ever heard of this before? Is it french for My Public??

As a matter of fact, no – it’s actually “a pad of fatty tissue that covers the public bone,” as reported by Healthline.

It looks like an upside-down triangle that “extends from the top of the public hairline to the genitals.”

In simple terms, it is the part of your vaginal skin on the front that grows pubic hair in puberty.

The Internal Anatomy 

Vagina

Medical News Today explains that the Vagina is “an elastic tube that connects the uterus and cervix to the vulva,” and it’s about “three inches long.”

Although, its shape varies, the two most common are an oval or cylindrical shape. It is also where you hold period blood and give birth. 

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The female urinary system. (Credit: Getty)

Cervix 

The Cervix is the wedge between your Vagina and Uterus. Planned Parenthood describes it as doughnut-shaped with a little hole in the middle. 

This little connector allows menstrual blood out, sperm inside, and it stretches during childbirth.  

You can even feel your Cervix if you insert your fingers far enough – it’s also why you can’t lose a tampon inside of you as it won’t get through. 

Uterus 

This is our womb! It is the shape of an inverted pear, and it sits low in the abdomen where it is held in place by muscles, ligaments and fibrous tissues, as reported by News Medical.

It connects to the vagina through the cervix, aka the neck of the womb.

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Diagram of baby in womb. (Credit: Getty)

Fallopian Tubes 

Here is where our eggs travel from the ovary to the uterus. Most women, unless they have had surgery to remove one or an abnormality, will have two.

Healthline reports that the Fallopian tubes section, called the ampulla, is where the egg is fertilised by sperm. 

Ovaries

The egg sacks! Ovaries are the size of grapes and they have three functions:

1. They protect the eggs that all females are born with.

2. They produce estrogen and progesterone. 

3. They release the egg or eggs every menstrual cycle in a process called ovulation as explained by LiveScience

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Vagina art. (Credit: Getty)

Fimbriae 

According to Healthline they are “small, finger-like projections at the end of the Fallopian tubes,” which is where the ovaries move to the uterus. 

Bartholin Glands 

These glands live on both sides of the vaginal opening and they “secrete fluid that helps lubricate the vagina,” as per the Mayo Clinic.

Skene’s glands 

These are small ducts that exist on both sides of the urethra and the front part of the vaginal wall.

Hymen

This part of the body is a fleshy and thin tissue that sits at the opening of the Vagina.

The Hymen can come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Planned Parenthood notes that “Hymens naturally have a hole big enough for period blood to come out and for you to use tampons comfortably.

“Some people are born with so little hymenal tissue that it seems like they don’t have a hymen at all.”

Have a question for Dolly Doctor? Drop us an email – dollydoctor@aremedia.com.au

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