Vaginas, vulvas, labias and clitorises all make up that wonderful organ we commonly refer to as the vagina. Each one is as unique as a fingerprint and has its own little quirks and likes and dislikes. It's an amazing machine that can bring life into this world, create mind blowing pleasure, and even clean itself! Because it's so amazing, we thought we'd pay homage to the great vagina and bring you some fun, quirky, and interesting facts that you may not have known. Let the vagina education commence!
1. Sex will NOT wreck it
We've all heard the concept of “loose”women. The idea that if a woman has a lot of sex it will loosen the muscles in the vagina and cause her to become sloppy and loose (hotdog down a hallway anyone?) But it's actually more the opposite. See, the vaginal cavity is like a muscle. The more you use it the stronger it gets, so using it regularly for sex (and pelvic floor exercises) can actually make it a strong, tight, amazing fucking machine!
2. It can expand a lot
In saying the above, no matter how tight or not your vagina is, it has the ability to expand up to 200% of it's natural size. The walls of the vagina have these ring-like ridges around them which help to expand when needed, like when giving birth. And the brilliant thing is they can often snap right back to their previous size and tightness, especially with regular kegel exercises.
3. Shark Week!
We've all referred to our periods as shark week before, but did you know our vaginas have something in common with sharks? It's a substance called “squalene”and it's produced in shark's livers and as a natural lubricant for vaginas. Also, as a fun little aside, if you google images for a shark's brain, you'll see it has a remarkable likeness to the female reproductive system.
4. Lost and Found
Although certain things have been known to get stuck inside vaginas (condoms and sponges - stringless tampons - being the most common items reported) it is impossible for it to get lost inside the body like it can if you lose something in the anal passage. The cervix, which acts as a shield between the vagina and the uterus just will not allow anything of that sort of size to pass through. Microscopic stuff like sperm and bacteria (why you should NEVER douche) have the ability to pass through, but don't stress about a lost condom getting up inside your body. If you do find something has got stuck there whatever you do DO NOT use anything other than fingers to try and remove it. The horror stories I have heard from doctors about women fishing around inside with tongs... Please do not do this. If it is irretrievable, go to the doctor to get it removed.
5. The hymen is rarely sealed
Yeah we all know the idea of losing your virginity is the breaking of the hymen, but what most people don't know is that the hymen is not this sort of skin-like seal like on the top of a bottle (if seal is broken do not use). Most hymens are like on O-ring or a bit like a figure eight. When it is completely sealed it is actually a pretty dangerous medical problem that can lead to all sorts of crap with period blood build up and bacteria and all sorts of nasties. It occurs in about 0.05% of women and is easily fixed with surgery.
6. Talkin' bout Vaginas
Considering the word vagina is deemed as taboo in many circles (for example, in 2012 American representative Lisa Brown was ejected from the House for mentioning the word in an abortion debate) it may come as a surprise to many that the very first time the word vagina was used in film and television was by Walt Disney. Yep, you heard right. In 1946 Disney was commissioned by the Cello-Cotton company (who make tampons and pads etc) to make an educational film about menstruation. It was shown to over 105 million American students and, although is rather outdated now, was a huge thing for young women in those days. Although considering the above story about Lisa Brown, it does appear we've just gone backwards.
7. Careful, it bites!
Okay, so it doesn't really bite, although there are stories throughout history of “vagina dentata” which is the idea that a vagina will grow teeth and bite off a penis, but for some women it can close up very tightly, and not in the “good way” that you can achieve with regular pelvic floor exercises. A condition called Vaginismus can cause the vagina to suddenly and involuntarily clench shut. It can create very painful experiences for both the vagina and the penis, if indeed the clenching actually allows a penis to enter, and has been linked to both physical and psychological issues. One of the most common treatments used is botox injections.
8. The Whipple Tickle
I'm gonna guess you've never heard that term before. It's funny though, because it could have been a term you'd see in almost every Cosmo issue you ever picked up. The Whipple Tickle is the name that was originally put forth for the G-Spot! I kid you not. It was first suggested as a tribute to Professor Beverly Whipple, one of the co-authors of the publication “The G-Spot and Other Recent Discoveries about Human Sexuality”, but instead it was decided to call it the G-Spot as a nod to Ernst Grafenberg, a German born physician, after Beverly found an article he had penned in 1950 talking about female ejaculation and internal vaginal erogenous zones.
9. Rainbow Vag
As we grow and age our vaginas change. During puberty they begin to open and widen more, and it will even begin to change colour to more deeper shades. When we are aroused and blood flows to the area (and also during pregnancy, especially the later stages), and it becomes a deeper and darker colour, and conversely, during menopause, as women begin to lose estrogen, it becomes a much lighter colour. From a pale peach to a rich dark brown, all of these colour changes are completely normal and happen to all vaginas.
10. Like a Fine Wine
Your vagina has a few things in common with a nice bottle of wine. Firstly it really does get better with age. As we grow and mature so too do our body bits, and the older we become the more pleasurable sex and orgasming can become. Secondly, our pH levels are best and healthiest when they are in the same range as good wine. Wine pH levels are at their best at around 3.0 and 4.0, and the ideal vagina pH levels are 3.8 to 4.5. And remember, like I said at the very start, your vagina will clean and look after itself and keep all those balances in check. Don't ever douche or clean the inside or you can totally do some damage... A little bit like adding water to wine; unnecessary and taking away all of the good stuff!