The Vulva: Let’s Talk About Life on the Outside

I believe most women want to know about their genitalia, but they feel embarrassed asking - and then decide to simply refer to everything as “my vagina”.

Ladies, your lady part should not be a mystery to you.

To have a better conversation about female genitals, we all need to know our anatomy and what each organ does.

Meet the Vulva

If I were the vulva, I would be pissed off that no one knows about me, that no one uses my name. 

For starters, stop calling me the vagina. The vagina and I share the same space on your body and the same “V” in our name. But, that’s about it.

I am hairy. She is not.

I protect your inner female parts. She does not.

I am the vulva, I am a collective name for all the external organs, including the labia, the clitoris, the urethra, and the opening into the vagina called the introitus. The introitus is a long tube. I am important and nobody even knows my name.

 

The vulva is everything on the outside top to bottom and encases a bunch of different organs on the outside of female genitalia. The Mons Pubis is the hairy upper part of the genitalia under the pubic bone. It’s mainly hair, skin, and then fat underneath.

The Specifics

The vulva, the actual vulva, consists of the lips of the genitalia. The technical names are the labia majora and the labia minora.

The labia majora is the hairy outer portion. Underneath the hair and skin is fat. Every woman has different sizes and shapes and color. Both sides don’t need to be equal. Some labia also hang lower than others. There is diversity in the vulva and that is completely normal.

The labia minora are the inner, smaller lips. These do not have hair. They can be very sensitive. And once again, many shapes and sizes. The overall purpose of the the labia majora and the labia minora is not to be grabbed, but to protect your inner parts.

If you separate the labia on both sides, you get a glance at the tissue underneath. The most important structures are the urethra and the vaginal opening called the introitus.

The urethra is the opening where you pee from. It sits between the clitoral hood and the vaginal opening.

The perineum is the tissue under the vaginal opening and above the anus.

The clitoris gets its own paragraph. I bet you didn't know that the clitoris is the equivalent to the penis - it contains the same erectile tissue. When the clitoris is stimulated, it becomes hard. It has thousands of nerve endings and makes it one of the most sensitive organs in the human body. The clitoris sits under a hood, called the clitoral hood. If you lift the hood, there is a long part called the ‘glans’. The remainder of the clitoris is inside your body. If you were wondering, the only function of the clitoris is sexual pleasure.

And now, you know your anatomy, functions and you know the difference between your female parts.

I am a true believer in knowledge leading to empowerment. Knowing your body parts correctly will make it easier to talk about them and making sense of what is happening down there.