Vagina Owner's Manual

Vagina Owner's Manual
by H.Bangambiki


The Vulva is the external sexual organ of women. There are many
questions about the vulva on, and this FAQ will begin to
attempt to answer some of these.


The external female genitals are collectively referred to as The
Vulva. All of the words below are part of the vulva.

Mons Veneris

The mons veneris, Latin for "hill of Venus" (Roman Goddess of
love) is the pad of fatty tissue that covers the pubic bone below the
abdomen but above the labia. The mons is sexually sensitive in some
women and protects the pubic bone from the impact of sexual

Labia Majora

The labia majora are the outer lips of the vulva, pads of fatty
tissue that wrap around the vulva from the mons to the perineum. These
labia are usually covered with pubic hair, and contain numerous sweat
and oil glands, and it has been suggested that the scent from these
are sexually arousing.

Labia Minora

The labia minora are the inner lips of the vulva, thin stretches
of tissue within the labia majora that fold and protect the vagina,
urethra, and clitoris. The appearance of labia minora can vary widely,
from tiny lips that hide between the labia majora to large lips that
protrude. The most common metaphor for the labia minora is that of a
flower. Both the inner and outer labia are quite sensitive to touch
and pressure.


The clitoris, is the small white oval between the top of the labia
minora and the clitoral hood, is a small body of spongy tissue that is
highly sexually sensitive. Only the tip or glans of the clitoris shows
extrernally, but the organ itself is elongated and branched into two
forks, the crura, which extend downward along the rim of the vaginal
opening toward the perineum. Thus the clitoris is much larger than
most peole think it is -- about 4" long, on avergae. The clitoral
glans or external tip of the cltoris is protected by the prepuce, or
clitoral hood, a covering of tissue similar to the foreskin of the
male penis. During sexual excitement, the clitoris may extend and the
hood retract to make the clitoral glans more accessible. On some women
the clitoral glans is very small; other women may have large clitori
that the hood does not completely cover.


The opening to the urethra is just below the clitoris. It is not
related to sex or reproduction, but is instead the passage for urine.
The urethra is connected to the bladder. Because the urethra is so
close to the anus, women should always wipe themselves from front to
back to avoid infecting the vagina and urethra with bacteria.


(A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

The above illustrations show the area between the labia minora. From
top to bottom can be clearly seen the clitoris, urethral opening, and
vaginal opening. A, B, and C show vaginal openings with a normal
hymen, a membrane that partially covers the opening. The hymen is the
traditional "symbol" of virginity, although being a very thin
membrane, it can be torn by vigorous exercise or the insertion of a
tampon. Illustration D shows an imperforate hymen that completely
closes the vagina; this rare condition requires surgical intervention
to provide for a normal flow of blood once menstruation begins.
Illustration E is of a vagina in a post-partum woman (one who has
given birth).


The perineum is the short stretch of skin starting at the bottom
of the vulva and extending to the anus. The perineum in women often
tears during birth to accomodate passage of the child, and this is
apparently natural. Some physicians may cut the perineum preemptively
on the grounds that the "tearing" may be more harmful than a precise
scalpel, but statistics show that such cutting in fact may increase
the potential for infection.



The vagina extends from the vaginal opening to the cervix, the
opening to the uterus. The vagina serves as the receptacle for the
penis during sexual intercourse, and as the birth canal through which
the baby passes during labor. The average vaginal canal is three
inches long, possibly four in women who have given birth. This may
seem short in relation to the penis, but during sexual arousal the
cervix will lift upwards and the fornix (see illustration) may extend
upwards into the body as long as necessary to receive the penis. After
intercourse, the contraction of the vagina will allow the cervix to
rest inside the fornix, which in its relaxed state is a bowl-shaped
fitting perfect for the pooling of semen.
At either side of the vaginal opening are the Bartholin's glands,
which produce small amounts of lubricating fluid, apparently to keep
the inner labia moist during periods of sexual excitement. Further
within are the hymen glands, which secrete lubricant for the length of
the vaginal canal.


The word is in quotes because there is still some debate as to the
existance or purpose of the G- spot. In the illustration above, what
is indicated as the g-spot in fact points to a region known as the
Skenes glands, the purpose of which are unknown. Despite the
controversy, one fact remains-- there are many women who claim that
pressure on this region of the vagina is extremely pleasurable.
Usually, two fingers are used, and because the spot is deep within the
tissue, some pressure may be needed. Also, because the Skenes glands
are alongside the bladder, some women may found that the increased
pressure makes them feel as if they need to urinate.


The cervix is the opening to the uterus. It varies in diameter
from 1 to 3 millimeters, depending upon the time in the menstrual
cycle the measurement is taken. The cervix is sometimes plugged with
cervical mucous to protect the cervix from infection; during
ovulation, this mucous becomes a thin fluid to permit the passage of


The uterus, or womb, is the main female internal reproductive
organ. The inner lining of the uterus is called the endometrium, which
grows and changes during the menstrual cycle to prepare to receive a
fertilized egg, and sheds a layer at the end of every menstrual cycle
if fertilization does not happen. The utereus is lined with powerful
muscles to push the child out during labor.


The ovaries perform two functions:

-the production of estrogen and progesterone, the female sex hormones,

-and the production of mature ova, or eggs.

At birth, the ovaries contain nearly 400,000 ova, and those are all
she will ever have. However, that is far more than she will need,
since during an average lifespan she will go through about 500
menstrual cycles. After maturing, the single egg travels down the
fallopian tube, a journey of three or four days-- this is the period
during which a woman is fertile and pregnancy may occur. Eggs that are
not fertilized are expelled during menstruation.

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