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Back to Sexual health. Vaginas are deed to help us have and enjoy sex, have periods and have babies. But what's normal and what's not? Find out how vaginas can be different.

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The vagina is a flexible tube that s the uterus to the vulva. Vaginas vary among individuals in color, size, and shape. Getting to know what the inside of a vagina looks like and what is normal for each individual can help people feel more familiar with their body. It can also help with identifying abnormal changes. Here, we look at the anatomy of the vagina and how to do a self-exam.

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We also discuss symptoms that can indicate a health issue with the vagina and explain when to see a doctor. The vagina is an elastic tube that connects the uterus and cervix to the vulva. The vagina is about 3 inches long. The shape of a vagina can vary from person to person.

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Some vaginas are oval like an egg, while others can be more cylindrical. The opening of the vagina is between the urethra, through which urine leaves the body, and the anus. The vaginal opening is where blood leaves the body during menstruation, a penis enters during sexual intercourse, and a baby leaves the body during birth. The hymen is a thin layer of tissue that surrounds and partially covers the vaginal opening. Sexual intercourse or exercise can stretch or tear it.

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The cervix connects the uterus to the vagina. A small hole in the cervix allows menstrual blood and sperm to pass through. During childbirth, the cervix dilates.

Vaginal bleeding - irregular

The vagina expands through arousal and sexual stimulation. During sexual arousal, the uterus and cervix lift upward, elongating the vagina. People refer to this process as tenting. People cannot usually see or feel these glands.

Why do i have a rash near my vagina?

During arousal, the glands release fluid that lubricates the vagina. During arousal, the G spot swells. The area visible externally, the vulva, is what many people refer to as the vagina.

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However, the only part of the vagina visible outside of the body is the vaginal opening. Learn more about the vulva here. A person can carry out a self-exam of their vagina to check for any unusual changes that may indicate a health issue. Self-exams are helpful alongside regular gynecologist pelvic examinations and cervical screening.

People can carry out a self-exam of their vagina when they are not menstruating. For a self-exam, they will need:. Vaginal discharge can change slightly in consistency and color during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and menopause. Healthy discharge is usually clear to white or pale yellow, and it can have a mild odor.

Inside the vagina: what it looks like

If a person notices any ificant change in their vaginal discharge, this could indicate an underlying issue. The individual can see their doctor for a checkup and report any other symptoms. A range of conditions can affect the vagina and how it looks and feels inside. s and symptoms of conditions affecting the vagina may include unusual discharge, pain, or visible changes. Vaginitis is an inflammation or irritation of the vulva or vagina. There are many causes, including sexual activity, reduced estrogen levels, or douching.

Symptoms of vaginal thrush

Symptoms of vaginitis include:. Vaginismus is a sudden tightening of the muscles surrounding the vagina that occurs when a person tries to insert something into it. Vaginismus is an automatic response of the body over which the person has no control. Sexually transmitted infections STIs can cause symptoms in and around the vagina. Many of these STIs may appear without noticeable symptoms, or they may seem similar to other conditions, such as vaginal infections. Due to the overlap in symptoms between different STIs, it is not usually possible to diagnose one based on the symptoms alone.

Therefore, anyone who experiences symptoms in this part of the body should visit a healthcare professional to undergo diagnostic tests. Symptoms of genital warts include:. If people have trichomoniasisthey may experience:.

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Gonorrhea shares symptoms with vaginal infections. Although some people with this STI will not experience any symptoms, those who do may notice :. Chlamydia does not always produce symptoms, but when it does, these may include :. Vaginal cancer can cause symptoms if it spre deeper into the walls of the vagina or the surrounding areas.

Symptoms include:.

Vaginal thrush

In some cases, a person may have vulvar cancerwhich can also cause painful sexual intercourse, bleeding, and pain, among other symptoms. However, both of these cancers are rare. Vaginal prolapse happens when the uterus, bladder, or bowel descends into the vagina. Vaginal prolapse can occur as a result of pregnancy, childbirth, or an existing medical condition. The shape, size, and color of the vagina can vary among individuals. Anyone who notices any unusual symptoms, such as growths, in or around their vagina should see their doctor or gynecologist for a checkup.

s of a health issue may include:. People can also carry out a self-exam of their vagina to check for any unusual changes or growths.

Vaginal care after giving birth

However, self-exams should not replace regular pelvic examinations with a healthcare professional. There are many different types of vagina, and the shape, size, and color naturally vary. In this article, learn more about the types of vagina and….

A person should not clean their vagina as this can cause infection. Read this article to find out why, and learn how to practice healthful vaginal…. Just as woman can have different sized breasts, hands, and feet, the depth of vaginas also varies.

Learn about the average depth in this article. Sometimes women feel vaginal tightness, but can a vagina be too tight? Vaginal pain may result from injury, infection, or an unknown cause. Learn what can cause vaginal pain, as well as other symptoms that may also occur…. Diagrams Anatomy Self-exam Problems Summary The vagina is a flexible tube that s the uterus to the vulva. Share on Pinterest. How to do a self-exam. s of a problem. Medically reviewed by Carolyn Kay, M. Medical myths: All about allergies. MSG: What the science says about its safety. Not again! Double diagnosis and learning to love my condition.

Related Coverage. What are the types of vagina?

Should you clean your vagina? Medically reviewed by Debra Rose Wilson, Ph. How deep is a vagina?

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What to know. Can a vagina be too tight? Vaginal pain: Causes and how to treat it.

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