7 Interesting Facts About the Vagina

Thanks to the taboo that has always existed around female sexuality, the vagina remains one of those great unknowns - even to many women!
7 Interesting Facts About the Vagina

Last update: 08 January, 2021

The vagina is the key female sexual organ. However, in addition to its sexual function, it also plays an essential role in your body’s reproductive and hormonal systems. It has a mucus-like tissue that’s responsible for maintaining lubrication and a natural pH balance. This helps block the passage of infectious agents like viruses or harmful bacteria.

  • Its walls are made up of fibromuscles. In addition to providing elasticity, these allow the vagina to carry out many of its main functions.
  • It also serves as an outlet for period blood and cervical mucus and, since it has hundreds of nerve endings, it’s a center of pleasure and sexual arousal.

Although many taboos and myths about the vagina’s functions have already been busted, there are some curious facts that many of us are still unaware of. Are you ready to discover them?

1. Its size changes when we orgasm

A woman having an orgasm.

One of the first things you’d like to know about the vagina is that it’s an elastic organ that expands during sexual intercourse in many women. This is because blood is concentrated in this area to facilitate penetration. In addition, its interior walls are composed of small folds that open up like umbrellas during intercourse.

However, when we’re approaching orgasm, its size decreases by up to 30% because the muscles of the vulva contract abruptly.

2. It has self-cleaning abilities

Another aspect of the vagina vagina is that is has bacterial flora that act as a protective barrier. They fight against bacteria.

The presence of transparent or white discharge is completely normal. Plus, although it can be uncomfortable for some, it’s a key part of the self-cleaning process of this complex organ.

  • The use of perfumed soaps, deodorants, and other intimate hygiene products can cause alterations in the vagina’s pH balance. Naturally, this can harm its proper functioning.
  • Vaginal douches aren’t recommended, since, contrary to what most people believe, they alter the vaginas’ pH and increase the risk of suffering from discomfort and infections.
  • To maintain good vaginal health, you don’t need to apply yogurt or any type of food as a “remedy”. On the other hand, it’s been proven that a balanced diet and the consumption of probiotic foods can be beneficial for overall health.
    • The only way that yogurt can provide benefits to vaginal health is through its ingestion within a balanced diet, not applying it directly on the vulva.

If you have doubts about how to properly care for your vagina, consult your gynecologist, as the professional will be able to give you the best advice.

3. Its muscles can be strengthened

A woman doing Kegel exercises.

The muscles of the vagina can be toned and strengthened. Of course, if you choose to practice exercises focused on working your pelvic floor muscles regularly.

  • These activities can help to reduce the risk of problems such as urinary incontinence, prolapse, and other conditions that may end up impairing your quality of life.
  • There’s no doubt that at least one in three women will have dysfunctions in the functioning of their pelvic floor muscles by the time they reach menopause.
  • Kegel exercises and pelvic lifting and stretching are simple but effective ways to work this part of the body.

4. The clitoris is a major source of pleasure

Now that we’ve done away with the hundreds of taboos, we know that the clitoris is the only human organ whose sole purpose is to give pleasure. In fact, the majority of female orgasms originate in the excitement and stimulation of this delicate organ.

The clitoris boasts more nerve endings than any other part of the body (approximately 8,000). It can measure between 6 and 12 centimeters long and 6 centimeters wide, extending up inside the body.

5. Sex can help you maintain a healthy vagina

One of the other things you’d like to know about the vagina is that having sex regularly is one of the healthiest ways to exercise the delicate muscles of this organ. On the other hand, prolonged periods of abstinence will make the internal tissues of the vagina become brittle. This decreases their flexibility and their capacity to self-lubricate.

Actually, in some women, going without sex for long periods can lead the muscles to contract more than normal. This can make penetration painful in the future.

This article may interest you: Before and After Oral Sex Hygiene Tips

6. The vagina can prolapse

There’s a condition known as vaginal prolapse. This occurs when the uterus, Fallopian tubes, and vagina collapse, putting intense pressure on the vaginal area.

It most commonly occurs following childbirth. This is to the weakening of the pelvic floor muscles or because of surgical interventions that compromise the womb. If you experience the symptoms of vaginal prolapse, you should seek medical help immediately to avoid complications.

7. It’s more sensitive after giving birth

A mother with her newborn.

After giving birth, all women naturally need some time to recover before starting to have sex again. The muscles gradually regain their normal size eventually. However, it’s probably a good idea to wait between four and six months after childbirth to have penetrative sex.

This is because the pH of the vaginal flora takes a while to regain its balance. Until this happens, you’ll be at an increased risk of contracting bacterial or yeast infections.

During this period, it’s also essential to avoid consuming alcoholic beverages or too much sugar. You should also make sure you steer clear of tight underwear or other intimate apparel.

If you have any doubts, consult your gynecologist

These are just some of the most interesting aspects you should know about the vagina. There are many others worth investigating, not only for “general knowledge” but to better understand your body and take care of it accordingly. And, remember to consult your gynecologist if you have any questions or want more detailed information.

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