Is My Vagina “Normal”? How To Tell If Your Vagina, Clitoris, And Labia Are Healthy

right there among life ‘s capital questions, like “ Is there an afterlife ? ” and “ Why did I have to memorize the annual agrarian output of Nebraska in middle school ? ” lies possibly the most daunt, most pressing question of them all : “ Is my vagina normal ? ” well, you can stop badgering, because the answer is yes — and no. See, there is not actually any such thing as a convention vagina. Like the leprechaun or the CHUD, the idea of there being one kind of “ normal vagina ” is a total myth. Despite the things you may have seen in pornography or hear from some of your more weirdly judgmental friends, vaginas — a term which people much use to refer to both the internal vagina itself and the vulva, the set of external genitals that includes the clitoris and the labium — hail in an IKEA ‘s deserving of sizes, shapes, colors, and other physical variations. however wrinkled or smooth or flappy or bumpy your vagina is, it is a normal vagina. Dr. Mary Jane Minkin, a clinical professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and generative Sciences at the Yale University School of Medicine, tells Bustle that yes, basically all vaginas and vulvas are normal. But when people started grooming their pubic hair, “ people started looking at each other ‘s vulva and [ … ] saying, ‘She does n’t look like me precisely. Well, I must be abnormal. ‘ ” Dr. Minkin clarifies that, “ No, she ‘s normal and you ‘re normal. ” however, since indeed many of us have been taught that an goodly or attractive vulva looks a very specific way — short, reduce inner labium that do n’t protrude, with a small, visible clitoris, light-toned skin, and a lack of vaginal discharge — it can be easy to get worry that a spouse wo n’t find your bits attractive … or even worse, that you ‘re having a health problem just because your Georgia O’Keefe does n’t look like all the vagina you keep seeing on Tumblr.

Odds are that your vagina is A-OK. But barely to give you some peace of judgment, here ‘s our template to the different shapes and sizes vaginas and vulva can come in ( vitamin a well as a few signs that things are actually not well down below ). Are you ready ? People, let ‘s learn about our fun-caves !

Your Labia

A person sits in a gynecologist's examining chair. Your OB/GYN can tell you if you're vagina's healt... Keith Brofsky/Photodisc/Getty Images Your labia are the most visible zone of your vulva — it ‘s the part that splits open into two flaps at the mons pubis, or the attack bite of your body above your pubic bone. This is called your labium majora. If you spread your labium majora, you ‘ll find your labium minora, which are flaps that stick out on either side of your vaginal open. ( Majora means “ greater ” in latin, and minora means “ little. ” You ‘re welcome ! ) many people grow up believing that the lips of the labium majora or the labium minora are “ supposed ” to be a certain duration, but that is n’t genuine — in about one-half of all people with vulva, the lips of the labium minora are farseeing and adhere out from the labium majora. sometimes both sets of lips are long, sometimes they ‘re slurred, and sometimes they ‘re flimsy. sometimes the skin of the labium is the like spirit as the rest of your peel, sometimes it ‘s dark, and sometimes it ‘s lighter. Some labium are longer on one side than the other. All of these permutations are manner more common than most adult-oriented publications would have you believe, and are absolutely healthy. For an educationally NSFW count at all the different ways labia can look and still be healthy, check out this gallery of them at the Labia Library. And remember : It ‘s very park to have a set of wrinkles within the skin of your vulva — that ‘s actually a sign of elasticity, so do n’t feel like it makes you look “ honest-to-god ” or anything like that. That ‘s pathetic ! Everyone loves a stretchable vulva ! Stretchy vulva are our greatest natural resource ( I do n’t have a link to back that up, but I ‘m reasonably certain that it ‘s dependable ). And most importantly, remember that the size of your labium minora has nothing to do with the number of sexual partners you ‘ve had or how much you ‘ve had arouse. That is a gross ( and honestly nonsense ) schoolyard myth. And the inner labia are actually full of heart endings, so actually, the bigger they are, the more electric potential fun you can have playing around with them. Normal : Labia of all sizes, lengths and colors, including asymmetrical labium, and labium minora that are larger than the labium majora. When To See A Doctor : Skin of the labium discolored with white patches can be a sign of the zodiac of a disease called lichen sclerosus, which is most coarse of people of menopausal long time. Itching, burn, and/or bleeding of the clamber on the vulva could besides be signs of a health problem — anything from a hide condition to an STI. So you ‘d best speak to your sophisticate if you ‘re experiencing those symptoms .

Your Clitoris

A couple in bed. The clitoris is one part of your vulva. BDG Media, Inc. justly at the peak of where the labium minora meet is the clitoris. The dither of skin where they meet, which covers some of the external clitoris, is called the clitoral hood. You may have heard that a clitoris is a bantam pink nub that looks kind of like a pencil eraser ( do people even use pencil erasers any more ? ), but in fact, the clitoris is largely inner. Three-quarters of the organ is under your bark. The average external part of the clitoris is around 2-3 centimeters in duration, but clitorises have been known to be a lot larger than that, particularly when their erectile tissue has been stimulated. The external share of the clitoris can besides be smaller than that, and “ recessed ” or “ obscure ” clitorises have no assign visible under the hood at all. They besides sometimes have folds of peel that sag over the general clitoral area. But having a recessed clitoris does n’t mean that you do n’t have a clitoris, or that having it touched wo n’t be enjoyable. Check this NSFW gallery of different clitoral hoods to see all the different lengths and amounts of coverage that a clitoral hood can have. And if there are any goofballs in your life who are still making jokes about how unmanageable it is to find the clitoris, tell them to shut up and them use this NSFW diagram to inform them of precisely where it is ( then tell them that episode of South Park is like 15 years erstwhile ).

Normal : long clitorises, short clitorises, or obscure clitorises. When To See A Doctor : clitoral pain or discomfort, which can be related to over-stimulation during sex or masturbation, or due to a build-up of smegma under your clitoral hood. besides watch out for itch, which can be a gestural of a yeast infection .

Your Vagina

Though we frequently describe the whole vulva as a “ vagina, ” your actual vagina is the small open located below your urethral open and clitoris. Though very little of the vagina is visible, if you put your finger inside, you may feel all manner of bumps, ridges and valleys. It ‘s like the Shire in there, right ? These bumps are called vaginal ruga, and they are wholly normal. In fact, they ‘re amazing — they help the vagina expand for sexual activity and all other sorts of fun stuff. however, since some STIs, such as genital warts, can cause small abnormal bumps to grow on and inside the vaginal opening, it pays to truly familiarize yourself with the texture of your vagina, so that you can be aware if something unusual is going on in there. Get up in there ! It ‘s a cover girl means to spend a Saturday afternoon, particularly if there is n’t a adept baseball game on or anything. besides, if you come off from this article knowing only one thing, I ‘d like you to know that all the talk about “ stretched out ” vagina is a lie. There is n’t actually such a thing as a vagina that has expanded past the point of no recurrence. Though people who have recently given birth may experience a impermanent loss in vaginal muscleman shade, you ca n’t “ stretch ” your vagina through vigorous sexual activity, no matter how many partners you have. Your vagina is a aplomb and tough organ filled with muscles, not a delicate cashmere perspirer. And ultimately : Though many of us are teach to believe that vaginal discharge beyond our periods is not normal, dismissal is actually a natural part of how your vagina cleans and lubricates itself. typical vaginal empty is clear or white, and can be gluey or about paste-like. however, vaginal pain is n’t normal, tied if it follows intimate sexual intercourse. If sexual intercourse regularly makes you feel sore or in annoyance, or if you have vaginal pain unrelated to any early activities, talk to your doctor of the church. Normal : Bumps inside, white and clear fire. When To See A Doctor : Clumpy or gray, yellow, or green drop, often with a firm or foul smell, can indicate problems such as a yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis. New, abnormal bumps or sores can indicate an STI. Spotting between periods can be related to a broad variety show of problems. Itchiness or tenderness in or around your vaginal opening can be a signal of an STI, a yeast infection, or another trouble a doctor of the church should take a expect at. so angstrom long as your vagina is feeling full, it pretty a lot is good. And if you ‘re silent worrying, Dr. Minkin says to go to your gynecologist, have them take a look, and say “ ‘Yep, you ‘re normal, you ‘re ticket. And I see a lot of vulva like yours. ‘ Which I do about all the time. ” See ? That was n’t so chilling. You can unclench now.

Experts Dr. Mary Jane Minkin, MD, OB/GYN, clinical professor at the Yale University School of Medicine This article was primitively published on June 9, 2015

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Category : Healthy