Get To Know Your Vulva.

Do you know the difference between your vulva and your vagina?

Most women (and men) don’t. No one is to blame. After all, “vagina” has been the widely used catch-all term for a women’s intimate parts.

This fleshy package of highly misunderstood parts is the gatekeeper of your vagina. In fact, vulva is the Latin word for “wrapper”.  The vulva encompasses all of the external female genital organs. Starting from the top, the vulva includes the mons pubis, the clitoral hood and clitoris, labia majora and labia minora, vaginal opening, urethra, and anus. All of these individual parts are important and we will touch on each of them in future posts.

anatomy of female vulva
| Get To Know Your Vulva. |

Are all vulvas the same?

No two vulvas are the same. They come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and can change over time. Most commonly, the vulva will change during puberty, with pregnancy, or during other hormone-related changes like menopause. For some women, these changes have no consequence, while other women may not like the changes they see.

For example, it’s not uncommon for labia to grow and change color. Over time, those perky pink labia lips you once had may now be a little saggy, asymmetrical, or even dark and brooding. The labia minora or inner vaginal lips may be thickened, discolored, hang down just too far!  Or, perhaps the clitoris has atrophied and/or is hiding beneath the wrinkled mound of the clitoral hood. Don’t worry, that all can be fixed!

Have these changes been drastic? Do they cause pain or discomfort during sex, when exercising, or while wearing certain clothing? Do you avoid wearing a bathing suit out of fear that one of your labia is going to sneak out from the side? These may be reasons to talk to your doctor about your options.

Taking care of your vulva is important! We suggest getting to know it intimately. Observing your body regularly will help you learn what is normal for you. It’s good for your health, so grab a mirror and take a look–feel around, and you may learn to get to know your vulva better!

Vulvar Care Tips

  • Keep your vulva clean, dry, and free from irritants.
  • Avoid harsh soaps and perfumes when cleaning this area.
  • Warm water and a clean dry towel tend to work just fine.
  • 100 percent cotton and natural fibers tend to be the kindest, healthiest undergarments.
  • Avoid trapping heat and moisture from nylon leggings or wet bathing suits, as these can cause bacterial growth.

FAQs About Female Genital Anatomy

What is the vulva in female anatomy?

The vulva is the external part of the female genitalia, including the labia, clitoris, vaginal opening, and other structures.

Where is the vulva located in females?

The vulva is located on the outside of the female body, surrounding the vaginal opening. It is readily visible.

What are the different parts of the female genitalia?

The female genitalia includes the vulva (external), the vagina (internal), the clitoris, the labia majora, the labia minora, and other structures.

What is the difference between the vulva and the vagina?

The vulva refers to the external female genitalia, while the vagina is the internal canal connecting the vulva to the uterus.

What is the difference between the vagina and vulva in terms of anatomy?

The vagina is an internal muscular canal, while the vulva includes external structures like the labia, clitoris, and vaginal opening.

Can you explain the female vaginal anatomy?

Female vaginal anatomy includes the vagina, a muscular canal that connects the vulva to the cervix and uterus.

What is the location of the female vulva?

The female vulva is located in the pelvic region, on the outside of the body, surrounding the entrance to the vagina.

What are the labia in the female reproductive system?

The labia are the folds of skin on either side of the vaginal opening. The labia majora are outer folds, and the labia minora are inner folds.

What is the difference between the labia majora and labia minora?

The labia majora are the outer “lips” of the vulva, while the labia minora are the inner “lips” that lie within the labia majora.

Cosmetic gynecologist and surgeon Dr. Sue Kafali of FemSculpt Cosmetic Gynecology specializes in gynecological plastic surgery and intimate wellness. She helps women from Chicago, Illinois, and throughout the country improve their intimate function and confidence. Contact our office today for a complimentary consultation with Dr. Sue Kafali!

About Dr. Sue Kafali

Best Labiaplasty Surgeon Dr. Sue Kafali, Chicago Illinois
| Get To Know Your Vulva. |

Board-Certified Cosmetic Gynecologist and top labiaplasty surgeon Dr. Sue Kafali of FemSculpt Cosmetic Gynecology specializes in vaginal rejuvenation surgery & intimate wellness in Chicago, Illinois. For a complimentary consultation with Dr. Sue Kafali, contact our office today.