Vaginas are designed to deal with periods, babies and sex, but how do you know if your vagina is normal? Vaginas vary immensely, like people. Here is a guide to how vaginas differ.
The Vulva and Vagina
Women’s sexual organs are located inside and outside the body. The vagina, womb and ovaries are internal, while the vulva is external. This includes the vagina opening, the outer and inner lips (labia) and the clitoris.
The vagina is a tube around 8cm long connecting the cervix at the neck of the womb to the vulva between the legs. Its elasticity allows it to stretch when giving birth and around a man’s penis during sex.
Vaginas vary in colour, size and shape and can be small and egg-shaped (ovoid) or large and cylindrical. Normal colour ranges from pale pink to deep red-brown.
Pelvic floor exercises keep your vagina in shape, helping to maintain pelvic floor tone and improving sexual pleasure and function. Running and walking also help to tone up the pelvic floor, ensuring good health overall.
Labia or lips size is not important. Some women worry that their vagina is not normal if their labia are too large. The only reason this could be a problem is if it interferes with a woman’s sporting, social or working life. For example, for cyclists, large labia can affect the level of comfort when sitting on the seat. This is very rare, but it has not stopped women from seeking labiaplasty for cosmetic reasons.
Mucus secretions are normal and the amount and consistency varies throughout the menstrual cycle. If you notice changes to your discharge in smell or colour, it could be a sign of infection. Order a self-test kit at https://www.checkurself.org.uk/order-a-test-kit/, visit a genito-urinary medicine (GUM) clinic or see your GP.
Healthy vaginas should not itch. If you experience itching, it may be thrush or another infection. Consider STI testing in London to rule out any sexually transmitted infections. It could even be eczema or lichen sclerosus. All conditions need treatment, so seek help if the itch continues for a month.
If you are at all concerned about your vagina, see your GP. Do not ignore a problem, as untreated infections can cause great harm.a