Whether you’ve been too shy to ask or just didn’t know where to look for information, you may have wondered about some things down under. We share five surprising facts about your vagina.
Your vagina has been with you your entire life, but how much do you actually know about it? Sure, you’re aware of the G-spot and that babies come out of it, but we bet you had no idea that it could do the following things.
1. Your vagina will triple in width during birth
Yes, that’s right. If you’re pregnant and considering a natural birth, rest assured that it’s possible for a baby to squeeze through there. The average width of a vagina is 3-4cm. When you’re expecting, your body secretes pregnancy hormones to prep it for its great expansion. “By the time you have to push your baby out, your vagina would have tripled in width to about 10cm to fit your baby’s head,” obstetrician Dr Pari Ghodsi told whattoexpect.com.
2. It can change colour
Well, it’s not quite like a chameleon, but there are things that can lead to your va-jay-jay changing slightly in colour. Dr Michael Krychman from the Southern California Center for Sexual Health and Survivorship Medicine explains that during pregnancy and sexual arousal, there’s a change in blood flow to the vagina, usually making it a deeper, darker colour. A decrease in oestrogen can result in the vagina becoming a lighter or duller shade.
3. It can trap a penis
Yes, seriously, it can, although this is rare. During intercourse the pelvic muscles of the vagina clamp down on the penis more firmly than usual, which can it make it difficult and even impossible to remove the penis. If you ever find yourself in this predicament, call an ambulance immediately and stay calm and still until help arrives.
4. You can’t lose anything in your vagina
In case you were worried about forgetting that tampon in there and that it would get lost, relax – it’s not possible. The opening of the uterus is too small for anything to go through it, unless it’s a baby about to be born, of course. Before puberty your uterus is about 3.5cm in length with an average thickness of 1cm. After puberty, its length is about 7.6cm and its width 4.5cm with a thickness of 3cm, explains medicaldaily.com.
5. Your vagina can become depressed
Charlotte in Sex and the City isn’t kidding when she says her vagina’s depressed – this can happen! The condition is called vulvodynia, which causes chronic pain, burning and sensitivity in the vulva. The discomfort can last for weeks or months and disappear just as suddenly as it appears. No one knows for sure why vaginas get depressed, but factors that may contribute to this condition include previous vaginal infections, injury or irritation of the nerves surrounding the vulva, hormonal changes due to menopause, breastfeeding or use of the Pill. Creams, irritable underwear, overuse of antibiotics and allergies or sensitive skin can also bring on vulvodynia.
Xanet is an award-winning journalist and Living and Loving’s digital editor. She has won numerous awards for her health and wellness articles and was a finalist for the Discovery Journalist of the Year in 2009 and again in 2011 for the Discovery Best Health Consumer Reporting and Feature Writing category. She is responsible for our online presence across social media channels and makes sure our moms have fresh and interesting articles to read every day. Learn more about Xanet Scheepers.