There’s a reason Eve Ensler wrote an entire play about the vagina – it’s an amazing part of your anatomy. From being a love shack of pleasure to giving birth to a tiny human, your vagina is the ultimate powerhouse. And knowing what a vagina is is the ultimate form of girl power.
But your vagina is more than just a place for babies, penises, and tampons. It is a self-reliant organ that represents a women’s strength. Still, it’s easy to forget about the awesomeness of your vagina, and instead curse it when your period starts on the day you decided to wear a white skirt. We often take this organ for granted. We talk about it hushed tones – if we talk about it all outside of the OB GYN – and refer to it as our hoo-ha or love taco. (Those aren’t even the worst nicknames for vagina. Believe me.) Learning exactly what your vagina is and what it does will make you want to say the word over and over again. It’s time to be proud of your vagina, an organ that can literally push a baby out of your body with its own strength! To help with your vagina praise, here are 13 things to know about your lovely lady parts.
1. It Houses The Most Sensitive Part Of Your Body
2. It Cleans Itself
Ignore all of those commercials for douching and special vaginal soap. Your vagina doesn’t need any help in the cleanliness department other than washing it the way you do the rest of your body. Non-smelling clear or white discharge is secreted as a way to keep your vagina’s pH balance, rid the organ of any infections, and keep it clean.
3. It Expands
Your vagina is the real life Elasti-girl. Its average length is three to four inches, but Psychology Today notes that it can expand 200 percent when sexually aroused to accommodate your partner’s penis. Oh, and there’s also that amazing feat where it expands to aid in the the birth of your baby. All of that extra estrogen causes an increase in blood flow to your vagina, which helps all of that elastic tissue stretch as you push.
4. It Tells You When It’s Baby-Making Time
You can pee on all of the ovulation sticks you want, but your vagina will let you know when it’s optimal baby-making time. Your body’s cervical mucus (aka that clear goop that stretches when squeezed between two fingers) is usually fatal to sperm, but when your body is ovulating, it helps the sperm along into your body to fertilize your egg. It also the screens sperm and sends only the best of the best to your egg. So if you’re tired of all that sex, check your vagina for this fertile mucus and know that now’s the best time to get it on. (Or the best time to avoid if you don’t want a baby!)
5. It Lets You Know If Something Is Wrong
While vaginal discharge is normal, a change in its scent or color can alert you to a problem. Vaginitis, STDs, and yeast infections are common vaginal problems with symptoms often including foul-smelling, colored discharge. If you notice something different with your vagina, pay attention. She’s trying to tell you something.
6. Its Scent Matters
Your vagina can have a lot of scents, and that’s totally fine. Sometimes the smell can change after a good workout because of the surrounding sweat glands. What you eat can also affect the smell (and taste) of your vagina as your pH is influenced. Some odors, however, can alert you to a yeast infection or even a forgotten tampon. If something smells off, give your doctor a call.
7. It’s Self-Healing
8. It’s Ready For Sex Before Your Brain
You’ve probably noticed that your vagina is ready for sex before you’ve even made it to the bedroom. As you become aroused, the blood flow to your vagina increases and can bring all of that fluid needed for lubrication. Your clitoris will also enlarge, which can make it easier for your partner to find and bring you to orgasm. Thank you, biology!
9. It Reacts To Your Stress Levels
If you find yourself anxious or stressed, it can take a toll on your vagina. Some vaginal infections can be a symptom of stress as your body has a harder time maintaining the balance of good and bad bacteria in your vagina. If you find that your discharge has changed or an infection is present, take a look at your emotional well-being and see if it’s the reason.
10. It’s Tilted Inside
If you’ve never been able to find that infamous G-spot, you’re not alone. Your vagina tilts back 30 degrees, making it hard for your partner to reach (or find) that illustrious pleasure button. Certain positions can help put pressure on your G-spot, however, and possibly help you reach a vaginal orgasm.
11. It Resumes Its Shape After Stretching
No need to fear, your vagina is not going to turn into a cavernous opening. Although it expands for sex, the vagina resumes its tautness once intercourse is over. And even though childbirth can cause your vagina to feel a tad bit looser, over time, the elastic tissue will resume its natural shape. If you’re concerned, you can also do some Kegel exercises to strengthen your entire pelvis.
12. Its Hair Has A Purpose
Whether you have a landing strip, a full set of pubes, or a bare V, you should know that your pubic hair is there for more than just looks. Acting as its own love trap, pubic hair is thought to hold your natural scent and help waft those pheromones out to entice your partner.
13. It’s Not A Black Hole
While it’s possible to forget about a tampon in your vagina, it’s not possible to lose it forever. Anything lodged in there can be removed, but make sure your hands are clean. If you can’t reach whatever it is with your own fingers, go to your gynecologist for a removal.