We covered the basics of the clit a couple months ago, but that isn’t the only part of the vulva! The vulva is your external genitalia- while it includes the vaginal opening, the vagina is an interior part of the reproductive system. Referring to what you can see from the outside as your “vagina” is not actually accurate.
So, let’s take a look at the vulva straight on. Up at the top, you’ll find the clitoris and the clitoral hood. You can read more about the shape, function, and common misconceptions about the clit in this article I wrote recently!
Moving down a little, you can find the urethral opening. It is important to note that this is not the opening to the vagina, as there is a common misconception that the two are the same thing. This is the opening where urine is released from the bladder. It is much smaller than the vaginal opening, and it can be very harmful to insert objects into it.
Below that is the vaginal opening. This is where discharge, menstrual blood, and babies can come out. It’s also where fingers, penises, and sex toys can enter. Always be careful with what you put in your vaginal opening! No soaps or scented products should be used on your vulva or in your vagina, at risk of upsetting your natural pH balance. Additionally, keep in mind that you never have to do anything that causes you pain, and make sure that you visit your doctor if you have any concerns!
Surrounding the clit, urethral opening, and vaginal opening are the labia minora and majora, also known as the inner and outer lips of the vulva. Interestingly, these parts of your anatomy (along with the clitoris) swell when you get aroused. They look different on everyone, with a large variety of shapes and colors. The only “normal” is what is normal to you!
That’s the basics! Not too complicated, but the anatomy of the vulva and vagina haven’t been taught to most people. Want to read more? I love this article from Modern Fertility and this one from Planned Parenthood!
Featured image via Modern Fertility.
Sydney Soganich is a writer for Sex and the Crescent City. She is a Freshman majoring in Political Science on the premed track. If she's not working, she's probably reading a romance novel or watching a romcom!