Although many women and their sexual partners have taken some time to familiarize themselves with the vagina, the reality is that most of us don’t know as much as we should about this fascinating piece of anatomy. Below, I’ve compiled a list of ten of the most interesting facts about the vagina because, well, knowledge is power…and also pleasure.
1. Contrary to popular belief, women who have frequent sex do not develop “loose” vaginas. The vagina naturally becomes looser when women are sexually aroused in order to prepare for intercourse--but after sex, everything goes back to its normal state. What does cause vaginal looseness? Older age and (for some women) childbirth. Click here to learn more.
2. During childbirth, the bacteria inside a mother’s vagina coat the baby on its way out. The transfer of these bacteria is thought to be highly beneficial to the child because they actually help us to digest milk and they play a role in blood clotting. Ultimately, this may be good for children’s health because research shows that children born via vaginal delivery tend to be healthier than those born via C-section. You can learn more about this fascinating research here.
3. About half of women report that they at least sometimes have orgasms as a result of vaginal penetration alone. The other half typically require clitoral stimulation or other sexual activities (e.g., cunnilingus, nipple play) in order to orgasm.
4. The closer a woman’s clitoris is to her vaginal opening, the easier it is for her to have an orgasm during vaginal intercourse. Why? Because the clitoris receives more indirect stimulation when it's closer to the action. So what's the ideal distance? It’s literally a rule of thumb: “If the distance is less than the width of your thumb, you are likely to come.”
5. Some women today are having their hymens surgically restored, most commonly to “prove” their virginity in cultures where virginity is a prerequisite for marriage. After the surgery, some women even insert a gelatin capsule containing fake blood into their vagina to make the results even more “convincing” upon having intercourse. Click here to learn more about this practice and some of the other reasons women are doing it.
6. At one point in recent history, some women used Coca-Cola vaginal douches as a form of contraception. Perhaps not surprisingly, it didn’t work very well. Click here to read about other methods of contraception you definitely don’t want to try at home...or anywhere else for that matter.
7. The shape of a woman’s lips is related to her likelihood of having vaginal orgasms. Specifically, women who have a more prominent tubercle of the upper lip report more consistency in vaginal orgasm. What exactly does it mean to have a “prominent tubercle of the upper lip?” Find out here.
8. It is estimated that about 1 in 3,000 women are born with a vaginal septum, which essentially divides the vagina in two. That’s right—some women have two vaginas. These women are still able to get pregnant and have children, but they are more likely to require C-sections when they give birth.
9. Some women develop vaginismus, a condition in which the muscles around the opening of the vagina involuntarily clench very tightly, making penetration impossible. Vaginismus has many potential causes, both physical and psychological. Interestingly, doctors have discovered that Botox (used to prevent wrinkles on the face by paralyzing the underlying muscles) can be a rather effective treatment for this condition.
10. Although the G-spot is usually described in textbooks as being about one-third of the way inside the vagina on the front wall, doctors have yet to find conclusive evidence that the G-spot is a distinct anatomic site. As a result, many have referred to it as a “gynecological UFO”--it has many "sightings," but no confirmation of its existence. The search for the G-spot continues, but some believe that what we think of as the G-spot is actually just the internal portion of the clitoris.
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