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The Vagina, Vulva, Clitoris, and More! – Parts & Anatomy Down There

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For people who have a vagina, vulva, and clitoris, there can be a lot going on under your underwear. It can help to take some time to learn what everything’s called and how it works!

What’s going on on the outside? The labia, clitoris and more!

A lot of people choose to call everything that your underwear may cover ‘a vagina.’ But the vagina is just a tube inside. So that’s a bit like calling someone’s whole face a throat.

All of the bits on the outside are collectively called the vulva. The vulva is made up of:

  • Labia Majora translates from Latin to “big lips.” The labia majora are the lips of the vagina that surround everything and have hair on them after puberty.
  • Labia Minora translates to “small lips.” The labia minora are the smaller lips that sometimes extend outside the bigger lips. They tend to be lighter and thinner than the labia majora.
  • Bartholin’s Glands keep everything nice and moist in the vulva. The Bartholin’s glands are next to the opening to the vagina.
  • The clitoris is the button-like nub at the top of it all, near where the labia majora meet.
    • We usually include the clitoris when talking about what’s outside of the body. But, parts of the clitoris are actually deep inside the body. The part of the clit that you see is just the tip of the iceberg and it’s called the clitoral glans!
    • The clitoris is the only part of the human body whose only job is to feel pleasure. A lot of people like when the clitoral glands are massaged, licked, or rubbed.

How do vulvas look?

Everyone’s vulvas look different, every part comes in a variety of sizes. For some people, all of the bits are tucked inside of the labia majora. For others, the clit and/or the labia minora stick out from inside. Both are common, and no shape or look of a vulva is better or worse.

Some people say that having sex or masturbating change how their vulva looks. Unless someone is injured, this isn’t true. There’s also no way someone can tell if you’ve had sex or masturbated by looking at these parts.

What’s going on inside? The vagina, uterus, ovaries, and more!

What’s inside the body near the vulva is complex and there’s no name for all of it together. It’s made up of:

  • The urethra is where pee comes out. It’s a tube that runs from the bladder to an opening in the vulva. The small urethral opening is under the clit, between the labia minora.
  • The vagina is the tube that extends up from the vulva and connects to the cervix. The larger opening to the vagina is just under the urethral opening. Some people like moving around sex toys, fingers, or penises inside their vagina because it feels good for them.
  • The cervix is a small, narrow cylinder that connects the vagina to the uterus. It’s usually about 2-3 cm long.
  • The uterus is sometimes called the womb, and it looks a bit like a pouch. This is where a fetus grows in when someone’s pregnant.
  • Ovaries are where eggs are made, stored, and released. They’re two small glands about the size of almonds. Each one is connected to the uterus with a Fallopian tube.
  • Fallopian tubes carry eggs from the ovaries to the uterus. There are two Fallopian tubes, one on either side of the uterus.

What is ovulation?

Ovulation is when a mature egg leaves the one of the ovaries and travels through the Fallopian tubes to the uterus. If it isn’t fertilized by sperm, it’ll go out of the body through the vaginal opening. These eggs are so small that you won’t feel when this is happening. They’re also too small to see without a microscope.

If an egg gets fertilized, it can stick to the walls of the uterus and slowly become a fetus. This means the person with the fertilized egg is pregnant.

People first ovulate a little before their first period. It keeps happening about once a month until they’re around 45-55.

What is menstruation? A period?

Someone menstruates if an egg isn’t fertilized and doesn’t stick to the wall. This is sometimes called having a period or being on the rag. It’s when blood and other fluid comes out of the vagina.

Periods last about 2 – 7 days. They can be a lot to process, but they’re common and healthy. They happen about once a month, from someone’s first time in puberty until they’re around 45 -55.

People’s uteruses start building thicker walls to support a fetus when an egg is about to be released. If a fertilized egg doesn’t stick to these walls, the body gets rid of them. Menstruation fluid is made up of blood, mucus, and these walls.

You can learn more in the links below!

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