Did you know that what you see as part of the female reproductive system isn’t the vagina? It’s actually the vulva. The vulva is comprised of the external genital organs that include the labia majora, clitoris, mons pubis, bulb of vestibule, labia minora, external urethral orifice, vulval vestibule, and the aperture of the vagina. On the other hand, the vagina is the fibro-muscular tube that connects the vulva to the cervix. It is the tube that makes sexual intercourse, childbirth and menstrual flow possible.
In an un-aroused state, the vagina measures approximately four inches. However, it expands to double its size when aroused (we'll talk more about this process later in this list). It also comprises one of the most complex organs on the female body – the clitoris. This organ is responsible for only one function and that is to provide pleasure. It is so powerful that the highest known number of orgasms achieved by a woman in one hour is 134 compared to the measly 16 by the male gender.
Without further ado, here are 10 absolutely incredible facts about the human vagina:
10 Douching Isn’t Good For Your Vagina
Douching is the act of washing the vagina with soap and water. However, according to doctors such as Dr. Herbenick, douching is bad for you. This practice strips the vagina of its natural flora making it prone to nasty infections. Examples of adverse infections and conditions caused by douching include low birth weight, ectopic pregnancies, cervical cancer, pelvic inflammatory disease, recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis, preterm births and even infertility. To prevent the overgrowth of pathogens, it is better to understand that the vagina self-cleans so there is no need to clean it again.
9 Approximately Half of the Woman in America Use Vibrators
A recent study to find out the prevalence of the use of vibrators by American women reported that 52.5% of them used a vibrator for masturbation. It also found out that the sample made up of 3,800 women aged 18 to 60 used the device for several sexual function aspects such as arousal, desire, lubrication and overall function. Three out of every 10 women indicated that they used the vibrator during sexual intercourse and four out of every 10 had used it during foreplay. Approximately 70% of the women who had ever used a vibrator reported no side-effects whatsoever while the other 30% reported side-effects such as numbness and genital pain.
8 It Expands Twice Its Size When Aroused
Normally, a vagina measures four inches deep. When excited, it expands nearly twice that size through a process called Vaginal Tenting. The normal vagina looks like a collapsed tube whose walls are in contact. However, as a woman gets aroused, two thirds of the collapsed tube increases in length and width. During this time, the woman experiences more muscular tension. This muscular tension pushes the uterus upwards, which creates more space in the vagina. The cervix also contracts and lubricant production is increased.
7 Vaginas Come in Different Shapes and Sizes
There is no such thing as identical vaginas and vulvas. A study was conducted in which the baseline dimensions of the human vagina were measured. The sample included 28 women between the ages of 18 and 39. These women were from diverse ethnic backgrounds and included Caucasians, African-Americans, Hispanics and Asian/Pacific Islanders. The study found that the proportions of a resting vagina in women of reproductive age couldn’t be distinguished by a single shape or one summary measurement. The differences in length likely come from the constriction by the surrounding pelvic tissues and the inherent compliance of the vaginal walls.
6 Lesbians Have More Orgasms than Straight or Bisexual Women
A recent study assessing orgasm incidences during sexual activity across different sexual orientation categories found that lesbians had a higher probability of reaching an orgasm compared to heterosexual and bisexual women. 74.7% of the lesbian women indicated that they reached orgasm compared to 58% of bisexual women and 61.6% those of heterosexual orientation. The study also found that heterosexual men achieved orgasms more than gay men and bisexual men. Interestingly, in both genders, the bisexual category trailed in their probability of orgasm.
5 The G-Spot May be a Myth
It is common knowledge that the woman’s vagina has some sort of a button called a G-Spot that when pressed results in an orgasm. However, is this fact or myth? Several studies have reported that this renowned, extremely erogenous vaginal region is not real. No sole structure consistent with a distinctive G-spot has been identified. Additionally, other studies have found out that not all women have a G-Spot. Researchers and doctors however point to the existence of a clitourethrovaginal (CUV) complex in which the proper stimulation and interaction between the clitoris, urethra, and anterior vaginal can lead to that ‘blissful’ orgasm.
4 Condoms Do Not Make Sex Worse for Women
Experts say that heterosexual women achieve orgasms in the same way if their partner uses a condom or does not. The use of condoms among women is received with mixed reactions. Some of them say that it feels better to use condoms since it eliminates their worry of sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies. Others complain that the usage of condoms increases the distance between them and their partners. Additionally, some accuse condoms of significantly affecting their enjoyment of sex. However, a study done at Indiana University concluded that women time after time rated sex to be exciting and congenial whether they used condoms or not.
3 It Doesn’t Change Much When You Have Babies
While you will certainly feel some changes during childbirth, these changes will ease and your vagina will come back close to its normal size. Some changes you may feel include a wider and more open vagina. Dr Suzy Elneil from University College Hospital says that this is perfectly normal and the feeling will go away in a few days. There is also a probability that the vagina will not return to its pre-birth shape but kegel exercises can help you. Dryness and soreness are also other side-effects of childbirth that can be solved by using lube and staying away from sex for 6 to 12 weeks after giving birth.
2 The Clitoris is Actually Not a Button
The clitoris is not actually a button but a complex structure with branches that extend down beneath the skin in a wishbone shape. It has two legs that extend 3 inches into the vagina to what is believed to be the G-spot. It has about 8,000 nerving endings compared to only 4,000 on the penis. This is more than anywhere else on a woman’s body. It is also similar to a penis in that is has a glans, a foreskin, a shaft and it puffs up when it is aroused. Its only function in the body is to serve as a pleasure center.
1 Lube Helps
Studies have found that the use of lubricants during sexual intercourse increases sexual pleasure and satisfaction. In the study, 2,453 women who completed the 5-week internet-based study reported that the usage of both water-based and silicone-based lubricants significantly increased their sexual enjoyment and pleasure for solo sex and penile–vaginal sex. Therefore, couples with problems as far as lubrication is concerned are advised to consider using these lubricants during sex.