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Vagina shapes and sizes: myth buster

By Steph Haase Friday, July 22, 2016 - 06:00
Because the vagina is on the inside of the body, we don’t really think much about its shape and size. Read up on the myths and get the facts!
All vaginas are the same

There are probably as many different vaginas as there are women in this world. Just like penises, or noses for that matter, all of them are slightly different. Sure, the basic structures are the same, but for the rest, vaginas can vary quite a lot.

The shape doesn’t vary a lot

It actually appears that there are five different vaginal shapes, according to a 1996 study.
Some women’s vaginas are shaped like cones. Others have parallel-sided vaginas. And while these names still sound somewhat clinical, it does get more exciting. Would you believe that there are heart-shaped vaginas? And pumpkin-seed-shaped and even slug-shaped vaginas? We leave it up to you to imagine what these actually look like.

What you see is what you get

No! Vaginas are miraculous organs! They can change considerably. When a woman is aroused, not only does the vagina get bigger, it also gets longer. The average vagina gets around 4 cm longer when sexually excited.
And the next time you are afraid a penis is too big for a seemingly small vagina, just remember that a baby’s head can pass through there!

Giving birth makes your vagina bigger

Talking about babies – many people think that giving birth changes the vagina. That’s only partly true. Sure, while giving birth, the vagina can get stretched quite a bit but generally, your vagina will go back to close to normal after a while. But, if you had several young children at a very young age, your muscles can be overstretched and may not get back to normal.

In case you have concerns, please talk to your doctor. You can also try Kegel exercises.

Age doesn’t affect vaginas

Vaginas also change over the course of a woman’s life. Hormonal changes, whether during menopause, childbirth, or breastfeeding, can all affect the vagina.
Especially for older women, some of the vagina’s elasticity may change and the skin may thin or you may feel drier than usual. If this affects you, please mention this to your doctor.

There are loose and tight women

Lots of people believe that having lots of sex will make a woman ‘loose’. So you could actually tell if a woman is often sexually active by feeling her vagina. That’s a huge myth!

The vagina is a muscle, and while it loosens during sex, it will tighten again afterwards. And there is no evidence that it might just stay loose if a woman has lots of sex.

But virgins are tighter, right?

No, that’s another myth. It might feel that way, but usually, it’s the anxiety and fear that means the muscles may not relax, or, instead, even contract, resulting in a tighter feeling.

The lighter the vulva, the better

Not true. The skin around the vulva (on the outside of the body) will always be darker than the rest of the body. It’s very thin and elastic, that’s why it can look unnaturally dark. If you stretch it, you will see it becomes lighter. But where it’s folded the skin looks darker and that’s totally normal.

 

Do you have any questions about the vagina? Send them to us on Facebook (Kenya or Naija), the discussion board, or here below. 

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