It is amazing how few people actually know what a vagina is or what it looks like. The main reason is that unlike with boys, female genitals are tucked away underneath, meaning girls can’t even see their own bits let alone get a glimpse of anyone else’s whilst in the showers or in the toilet. The only way a girl can get a good look at what is going on down there is if she is very bendy, which is highly unlikely, or more sensibly she could use a mirror. In fact, vagina is just the term for the tunnel which leads to all the funky baby making kit hidden inside – the bits you can see on the outside are known as the vulva.
Altogether this is what makes up the vulva:
- The vagina is the hole we use for sex and the opening babies come out of. It is from where a girl will bleed when she is on her period or the place she may insert a tampon. However, this is not the tube girls wee from. Unlike boys, girls are far better designed; they have one hole for sex and babies, and another tiny opening for urinating.
- Girls also have another set of lips – they are called the labia or less technically as fanny flaps. The vaginal lips act as a doorway, allowing the inside of the vagina to stay nice and warm and moist, a great environment to keep the friendly bacteria happy and therefore keep the vagina clean and healthy as well.
- On the outside of a girl’s body you can see the labia minora – the flaps that make up the vaginal lips, and the fleshy outer lips known as the labia majora or outer lips. Where the lips join at the top there is another flap of skin called the clitoral hood.
© Going off the Rails 2012. Adapted from ‘Playing Downstairs’ by Jonny Hunt