Vagina: Anatomy, function, condition and normality (2023)

General description

Vagina: Anatomy, function, condition and normality (1)

what's your vagina like

Your vagina is a muscular, elastic tube that is an important part of your body.reproductive anatomy.Many people view the "vagina" as a stand-in for all the reproductive parts associated with Female Assignment at Birth (AFAB). But your vagina is just one vital organ that is part of your sexual and reproductive health.

The vagina is an important part of the external genitalia or vulva that enables the experience of sexual pleasure. Furthermore, it is an important part of the internal reproductive system that enables pregnancy and childbirth.

Who has a vagina?

People assigned female at birth (AFAB) have vaginas. The AFAB population includes cisgender women (people who are AFAB and identify as women), as well as some transgender men and non-binary people. Some intersex people also have a cervix.

Some non-AFAB trans women and non-binary individual optionsgender confirmation surgeryknown asvaginoplasty. Vaginoplasty uses a person's genitalia to build a vagina.

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What does your vagina do?

The vagina enables sexual pleasure, drains menstrual blood from the body and plays an important role in pregnancy and childbirth.

  • sexual place:The walls of the vagina contain nerve endings that allow you to feel pleasure when a penis, finger or sex toy is inserted into the vagina. When you're sexually aroused, your vagina expands and lubricates itself to prevent friction from causing pain instead of pleasure.
  • menstruation:The lining of the uterus (endometrium) is shed every month during pregnancy.menstrual cycleUnless you're pregnant. The mucous membrane leaves the body through the vagina in the form of menstrual blood. You can insert tampons and menstrual cups into your vagina to control blood flow.
  • Hard:During sexual intercourse (intercourse), if your partner ejaculates, sperm can be released into your vaginal canal. Sperm must swim out of the vagina and through the uterus and fallopian tubes in order to fertilize the egg.
  • dio:When it comes to the role of the vagina in childbirth, people sometimes refer to it as the "birth canal". Your baby starts in the womb and is born through the vagina. The vaginal opening is the last stop on the baby's journey from your body to the outside world.

Interesting facts about your vagina

Sometimes a maternity ward is compared to an oven that cleans itself because it cleans itself without outside help. Your vagina is home to a variety of bacteria and fungi that keep you healthy. These tiny organisms coexist in a fragile ecosystem, sometimes called the microbiome or vaginal flora. When there is a proper balance of these organisms in the vagina (especially the large ones)lactobacillus, the "good" bacteria in your vagina), your vagina is not infected. Bacterial imbalance or fungal overgrowth can lead to infection.


Where is your vagina located?

Many people confuse "vagina" with "vulva", but vaginas and vulva are not the same. Your vagina is a tube-shaped organ inside your body that protrudes from your body. This is the powerful passage from the uterus (inside the body) to the vulva (which includes the external genitalia or genitalia).

inside your body

The vagina extends from the cervix, the tissue similar to the cervix that connects the vagina to the uterus. Your vagina ends in a hole on the outside of your body called the vaginal opening. Your vagina is located between the bladder (which contains urine or urine) and the rectum (which contains feces).

The G spot is located a few centimeters inside the vagina on the front wall. Many people feel pleasure when this area is stimulated (with fingers or penis) during intercourse.

out of your body

Your vagina ends in a hole called the introitus, which is part of the vulva. Your vulva includes folds of skin on either side of the vaginal opening. The outer folds are called labia majora. The inner folds are called labia minora (inner lips). The clitoris is located where the inner lips meet the tip of the vulva. The vaginal opening is where the inner lips meet the floor of the vulva. Sometimes the inner lips completely or partially cover the opening of the vagina. You may need to separate your inner lips with your fingers to feel the vaginal opening.

Your vaginal opening is one of three important openings in the vulva area that connect the internal and external functions of your body. The opening of the urethra is at the top. Your vaginal opening is in the middle. Your anus is at the bottom.

  • Opening the urethra:There is a small hole under the clitoris that allows urination. The tube that carries urine from the bladder (urethra) exits the body through this opening.
  • vaginal opening:This is where your baby leaves your body during birth and where blood flows during menstruation. It is also an opening through which a penis, finger, sex toy, tampon or menstrual cup can be inserted. A thin membrane called the hymen usually surrounds or partially covers the vaginal opening. This membrane can stretch during intercourse, exercise, and even when inserting a tampon. This stretch may or may not be painful.
  • also:The organ that carries stool from the large intestine (rectum) empties out of the body through this opening.

What is the average depth of the vagina?

The average depth of the vagina (when not excited) is just over 3.5 inches. But the size of your vagina depends on a variety of factors, including your age, weight and whether you've had sexmenopause. Surgery involving the pelvis can also shorten the overall length of the vagina.

Your vagina is an elastic organ that can expand in depth to a certain limit. When you are sexually aroused, the organ that connects the vagina to the uterus (cervix) tilts upwards, lengthening the vaginal canal. Your vagina can expand to accommodate a penis, finger, or sex toy. However, the experience can become uncomfortable if the inserted object touches the cervix. Communicate with your partner what makes you happy.

What is the vagina made of?

Your vagina is made up of many types of tissue and cells that secrete a fluid that keeps the vaginal walls moist, elastic and healthy. The cells of the vagina are particularly sensitive to hormones.estrogen. Your body produces more estrogen during your reproductive years than during menopause. The decrease in estrogen after menopause can cause thinning and dryness of the vaginal walls. over the counter lubricants andestrogen replacement therapybe able to helpvaginal drynesspostmenopausal

Conditions and diseases

What are some common conditions and diseases that affect the vagina?

Many conditions can affect your vagina, but the most common problems are:inflammation of the vagina, various diseases that cause inflammation and/or infection of the vagina. The most common cases that fall within this broader range are:

  • bacterial vaginosis: Vaginal infection caused by bacterial overgrowth (espGardnerella vaginalis) in their vaginal flora.
  • fungal infection: Vaginal infection can occur when too much fungus grows in the vagina.
  • trichomoniasis: A sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by a parasitevaginal trichomonas.

Other conditions include:

  • Bartholin's cyst:A sac filled with fluid that is produced in the Bartholin's glands (glands on each side of the vaginal opening).
  • Clamidia: Asexually transmitted infection(ITS) using the so-calledChlamydia trachomatis.
  • genital herpes: A sexually transmitted infection caused by herpes simplex virus (HSV).
  • gonorrhea: a sexually transmitted infection caused by germs called "bacteria"Neisseria gonorrhoeae.
  • virus del VPHInfection: sexually transmitted infection caused by the human papillomavirus.
  • syphilis:A sexually transmitted infection caused by a type of bacteria called an "STI"Treponema is pale in color.
  • Vaginal atrophy:A condition that occurs after menopause in which the walls of the vagina become dry and thin due to a decrease in estrogen.
  • vaginal cancer: A rare cancer that occurs more often in people with HPV infection.
  • cancer of the vulva: Rare cancers caused by HPV infection orlichen sclerosus.
  • Vaginal prolapse:A condition in which the vagina slips out due to weakening of the pelvic floor muscles.

What are the common signs or symptoms of my vaginal disorder?

Depending on your specific situation, you may experience different symptoms. In particular, a difference in vaginal discharge usually means you have an infection.

  • irregular vaginal bleedingoheavy menstrual bleeding.
  • vaginal dischargeIt can be transparent, whitish, gray or green.
  • Vaginal discharge has the consistency of cottage cheese.
  • Vaginal discharge has a fishy smell.
  • Itching, burning or pain in the vagina or vulva.
  • Burning sensation when urinating.
  • Pain during intercourse (dyspareunia),.

What are the common tests to check the health of the vagina?

  • pelvic examination:Your doctor will examine your vagina and vulva for abnormalities or signs of disease.
  • PAP test:Character tests.Cervical cancer.In rare cases, abnormal Pap test results may indicate signs of vaginal cancer.
  • colposcopy:Surgery to enlarge the vaginal tissue using a microscope with special lighting. Your doctor can take a sample of tissue from any relevant area of ​​your vagina and test it in a laboratory.
  • Vaginal pH test:A test that measures your pH level, or the acidity of your vaginal fluid. Your PH level can help your doctor diagnose an infection.
  • SPI tests:Your doctor may test your urine (Urine analysis) or vaginal fluids to detect microorganisms that cause STIs.
  • Pictures of the pelvis:Your doctor may order imaging tests to check for structural problems in your vagina, such as growths or prolapse.ultrasoundIt is used most often, but your doctor can tell youmagnetic resonance(MRI) gcomputed tomographyThe same is true for CT scans.
  • Biopsy:Your doctor may take a tissue sample to look for cancer cells.

What are the common treatments for the vagina?

Antibiotics (gels, creams, pills) or antifungal medications can treat most vaginitis. Vaginal changes associated with decreased estrogen (such as vaginal atrophy) can often be improved with:Hormone therapy.

Vaginal cancer may require surgery or treatment, such aschemotherapygradiation. Treatment depends on the severity of the cancer.


Simple lifestyle tips to maintain vaginal health

  • Get regular pelvic exams and Pap smears.Not all conditions that affect the vagina cause visible symptoms. Regular check-ups allow your doctor to detect problems and intervene early if necessary.
  • Avoid rinsing.Douching disrupts the natural balance of bacteria in the vaginal flora, which protects the vagina from infection.
  • Change wet or sweaty clothes.Wearing dry clothes reduces the risk of bacterial or fungal infections.
  • Do pelvic floor exercises (Kegel exercises),.Regular exercise of the pelvic floor muscles can combat conditions such as vaginal prolapse. Strong pelvic floor muscles also increase your ability to control and tighten the vaginal walls, improving sexual arousal and pleasure during orgasm.
  • Practice safer sex.usecondomOr use dental dams during intercourse or anal or oral sex. Avoid sharing sex toys and limit the number of sexual partners. Practicing safe sex can reduce the risk of infection.

Cleveland Clinic Notes

Your vagina plays a vital role as part of your internal and external reproductive system. The vagina facilitates pleasure, pregnancy and childbirth. Protect your vagina by practicing safe sex to reduce the risk of infection. Avoid douching, which reduces the vagina's ability to clean itself. Ask your doctor for regular pelvic exams to make sure your vagina is healthy.


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