Female Sexual Anatomy
A great way for a woman to get more acquainted with where things are is by using a hand mirror to take a look at your genitalia. Once you learn what each part is, seeing it on your own body can give you a better understanding of your heath and sex. Keep in mind; just as each woman has a unique face, each has a unique body as well. Things might not look exactly like the images on this site, but that’s normal. Each body is beautiful in its differences.
The vagina is the stretchable passage that connects a woman’s external sex organs (vulva) with her cervix and uterus. The vagina is a tube with walls of wrinkled tissue that lay against one another. The walls open just enough to allow something to go in the vagina, (like a finger or penis) or come out of the vagina (like a baby).
The vagina is 2–4 inches long when a woman is not aroused and 4–8 inches long when she is sexually aroused.
The vagina has three functions:
-to allow menstrual flow to leave the body
-to allow sexual penetration to occur (either by hand, sex toy, or penis)
-to allow a fetus to pass through during vaginal delivery
The cervix is the narrow, lower part of the uterus at the end of the vagina. Compared to the soft walls of the vagina, the cervix feels like the hardness of a nose with a small dimple in its center. The dimple in the cervix is the os, or opening into the uterus. The entrance is very small. Normally, only menstrual fluid leaving the uterus, or seminal fluid entering the uterus, passes through the cervix. No finger or penis can go up through it, although it is capable of expanding enormously for a baby during labor and birth.
The uterus is a pear-shaped, muscular reproductive organ from which women menstruate and where a normal pregnancy develops. The uterus is normally about the size of a woman’s fist. It stretches many times that size during pregnancy.
During sexual arousal, the lower end of the uterus lifts toward the abdomen, which creates more space at the end of the vagina. This is called “tenting.”
The fallopian tubes are two narrow tubes that carry eggs from the ovaries to the uterus. Sperm travels into the fallopian tubes to fertilize the egg.
The fimbriae are like dozens of tiny fingers at the end of each fallopian tube that sweep the egg from the ovary into the tube.
The ovaries are two organs that store eggs in a woman’s body. Ovaries also produce hormones, including estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. During puberty, the ovaries start to release eggs each month and do so until menopause. Usually, one ovary releases an egg each month.
The Bartholin’s glands are two glands that release fluid to lubricate the vagina during sexual arousal. They are located on either side of the vaginal opening. Usually you cannot see or feel them.
The G spot, is located on the front wall of the vagina — the wall that is closest to the abdomen. It is about 1–2 inches inside the vagina. The G spot is very sensitive and swells during sexual excitement. For some women, when this spot is stimulated, it can cause a woman reach orgasm.
The urethra is the tube that empties the bladder and carries urine out of the body.
The vulva is the whole female genital “package”. The vulva has five parts: mons pubis, labia, clitoris, urinary opening, and vaginal opening. People often confuse the vulva with the vagina. The vagina, also known as the birth canal, connects the cervix and uterus on the inside with the vulva on the outside.
The labia, or lips, of the vulva are folds of skin that surround the opening to the vagina. The labia can be different sizes, shapes, colors, and textures, and are part of what makes your vulva unique. Both the outer and inner labia are sensitive, and can swell and open up when you’re turned on.
- Labia Majora: The outer labia which are two folds of skin and fatty tissue outside the inner labia and connect to the thighs. After puberty, the labia majora get covered by pubic hair.
Labia minora: Inner labia that are the folds of skin inside the outer labia that begins at the clitoris and end around the vaginal opening. The inner labia can grow and change color as you mature, be wrinkled or smooth, and sometimes stick out from between the outer labia. The inner labia are visible when the outer labia are pulled apart.
The muscular tube leading from external genitals to the cervix. The vagina expands to give birth to babies, is where the penis goes in during vaginal intercourse, and where menstrual fluid leaves the body. From the outside, only the opening is visible.
Around the vaginal opening you may be able to see the remains of the hymen, also known as the vaginal corona. This is a thin membrane just inside the vaginal opening, partially blocking the opening but almost never covering it completely. Hymens come in widely varying sizes and shapes. For most women they stretch easily but even after the hymen has been stretched, little folds of tissue remain.
The clitoris is a spongy tissue that’s devoted purely to sexual pleasure. It becomes swollen when you’re aroused. Only the tip of the clitoris can be seen at the top of vulva — the rest is hidden under a part of the labia called the clitoral hood. The tip of the clitoris varies in size from smaller than a pea to bigger than a lima bean. The rest of the clitoris is inside the body, and is about five inches long. The sensitivity of the clitoris is different from person to person.
Like the penis, it becomes firmer and swollen during sexual arousal. Unlike the penis, the clitoris’ only purpose is for sexual pleasure. It doesn’t play a part in reproduction like penises and vaginas do. The clitoris is basically there just to make you feel good. And it’s often super sensitive: the clitoris has thousands of nerve endings in it!
If the inner lips (labia minora) are spread, right below the attachment of the inner lips to the underside of the clitoris, a small dot or slit will be visible. This is the urinary opening, the outer opening of the urethra; a short (about an inch and a half), and thin tube leading to your bladder.