The vulva includes the mons pubis. This is the rounded area in front of the pubic bones at the lower part of the belly (abdomen). It becomes covered with hair at puberty.

The vulva has 2 folds of skin. The outer folds are called the labia majora. The inner folds are called the labia minora. These skin folds protect the opening of the urethra and the vagina. The urethra is the tube that carries urine out of the body. The inner folds of the vulva form a hood of skin called the prepuce or the hood of the clitoris. Below the prepuce is the clitoris. The clitoris is a sensitive piece of tissue that swells with blood when stimulated.

At the bottom of the inner folds of the vulva is the fourchette. This is where the labia minora meet. Below the fourchette is the perineum. This is also part of the vulva. The perineum ends at the anus. The anus is where stool leaves the body. 1

Vagina vs. Vulva

While vagina has emerged as the term of choice for women’s genitalia, vulva is actually the correct term for all of the external organs, including the mons pubis (pubic mound), the labia majora and minora, the all-important clitoris, the external openings of the urethra (a.k.a, the hole you pee from) and the vagina.

The vagina is the muscular canal that connects the uterus to the vulva. It’s what babies pass through during childbirth, as well as a woman’s menstrual flow. 2

Different shapes and sizes

Using an inaccurate term to generalize the characteristics of the female reproductive anatomy lies at the basis of misconceptions about how genitals “should” look. Vulvas are extremely diverse, but that isn’t embedded into society. Porn is a readily available source of genital images, but it doesn’t represent the wide variety of vulval traits, nor do the anatomical images found in textbooks and on posters in medical practices. There is no such thing as the „ideal or normal labia“, when they come in many colors, shapes and sizes.  Each vagina is unique and specific to every person. So there’s not necessarily a “normal” vagina shape or standard way your vagina should look. 3   4

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